Time for reality
That someone can escape from the United States into Canada for almost fifty kilometers is the best proof that something is amiss in the policing of our region.
When we wrote last week’s editorial, we decided to drop what we considered then another call to the wild: No police on our side of the border.
So you can skip this altogether, it is not written for our readers, but to the ‘unconnected’. The unconnected being the functionaries, calling them civil servants is insulting to those who really serve, who cannot see that Stanstead and the border region are special cases.
First, let’s say that nobody on the ground is at fault, it’s way up the food chain where a lot of people are living in a different world. One of spreadsheets and Power-Point slides and, if lucky, a vague remembrance of years passed grinding it on the ground. But the chance of having anyone from a border town, we’re not the only one after all, at the top echelon of the Canada Border Services Agency, the RCMP or the Sûreté du Québec is nil. Not minimal, nil!
We can provide a nice backdrop for a minister’s visit who will take the allotted time to listen to local concerns, that’s part of the schedule after all, but he has a budget that is shrinking and, if he is politically savvy enough, will try to shift as much money as possible into a riding where his party can dream of being elected. Which is not the case here for the Conservatives. So unless a complete disaster happens, God save us from one, we should not expect that the Canada Border Services Agency nor the RCMP get the real staffing that the situation deserves.
We had a couple of months when the RCMP had no choice but to increase patrols in town, then they slowly faded away. The presence is so discrete that, not only the cars are unmarked, the local post also is. Must be the only case in Canada where the RCMP is able to operate almost underground with no signage in front or a Canadian flag anywhere. My gosh, if Denis Lebel hears about this, he’s back in town for a grand opening and dozens of press releases. But then the election is only scheduled for next year; they must be saving ribbon cuttings for 2015.
And forget about a full time presence of the SQ in town, the territory assigned to the Memphremagog regiment is absurd to start with. What they need is a helicopter or two satellite posts, staffed full time, in Stanstead and Mansonville.
Incidents, like last week’s hot chase pursuit, someone crossing the border only to be caught tens of kilometers away, are the best proof that this town needs full time policing.
We hope that our federal MP raises the question in the House.