Time for re­al­ity

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM -

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.

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