If it works, fix it

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM -

It’snot front page news, but Cham­plain Col­lege is un­der pres­sure from its Saint-Lawrence cam­pus to ‘sep­a­rate’. The unions that is.

Cham­plain Col­lege is, in a way, the fu­ture of how English in­sti­tu­tions out­side of Mon­treal need to sur­vive. They must fed­er­ate, share as much ad­min­is­tra­tive costs as pos­si­ble, and be­come highly ef­fi­cient. For­get­ting the parochial­ism, the ‘we were once’ add what­ever you want.

Some would like the past to come back; think of that Angli­can Church in Shaw­ini­gan that pre­ferred to shut down rather than have bilin­gual ser­vices.

Back to Cham­plain, it’s lo­cal af­ter all. Its head­quar­ters is in Sher­brooke, but its man­date is re­ally prov­ince wide, east of Mon­treal. With three cam­puses, in Lennoxville, Sain­tLam­bert and Que­bec, home of the ‘sep­a­ratists’.

Who, like all good union mem­bers are for the good of so­ci­ety, sav­ing us bun­dles of money and ‘stream­lin­ing’ the ad­min­is­tra­tive process and leav­ing Drum­mondville for­ever. One of their com­plaints is that meet­ings have to be held there.

The pub­lisher is so old he re­mem­bers when they ac­tu­ally had an An­glo­phone com­mu­nity in Drum­mondville. A real one, bosses and work­ers. The for­mer min­gling more with their French coun­ter­parts at nice par­ties, the lat­ter drink­ing beer with their French col­leagues, com­plain­ing in both lan­guages about les ‘mau­dits boss’.. Then the mills closed. Those meet­ings of Cham­plain must be some of the few re­main­ing “English only” func­tions held in Drum­mondville.

Why on earth have the union mem­bers of the Que­bec cam­pus of Cham­plain de­cided to ask that their cam­pus be­come au­ton­o­mous is un­known. We can guess that do­ing so would give their unions more lever­age in forth­com­ing ne­go­ti­a­tions with the gov­ern­ment. We are all aware that when the unions are yelling ‘public good’ it means their own first and fore­most. And in to­day’s con­text, when the gov­ern­ment is un­able to look hon­estly at its poli­cies, unions, pres­sure groups of ev­ery kind have a field day. Watch­ing those ads on TV makes us won­der if all of the Amer­i­can Repub­li­cans have moved North to flood us with half-truths and in­nu­en­does, now seem­ing real. That the Lib­er­als have forgotten who they once were is one thing, that all the re­forms pro­posed are rot­ten to the core is an­other. So our guess is that em­ploy­ees of Saint­Lawrence are propos­ing so­lu­tions to a non-ex­ist­ing prob­lem for the rest of us.

For the Out­side of Mon­treal English com­mu­nity, func­tion­ing struc­tures are a must. Ef­fi­ciency must be pro­moted first and fore­most, this is the only way of achiev­ing the long term sur­vival of all of its in­sti­tu­tions. The present struc­ture of Cham­plain has shown that it can fed­er­ate di­verse re­gions and pro­vide ser­vices at the best con­di­tions. Chang­ing it is ridicu­lous.

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