Simcity any­one?

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM -

decades it was a top sell­ing game, build your own city and ei­ther see it pros­per or go into obliv­ion. Towns come and go. Rock Is­land was, for a cou­ple of years in its early ex­is­tence, a tad big­ger than Sher­brooke. Should we re­mind all that Rock Is­land was first named Kil­born’s Mills, in hon­our of one of the two men who bought land here, later Colonel Charles Kil­born along with Isaac Og­den. They built a canal, now com­pletely cov­ered, and the par­cel of land that was formed rapidly changed its name to Rock Is­land.

Seems that the only re­main­ing ‘sou­venir’ of the time is the fact that Kil­born grew hemp for a while. Mak­ing rope.

When you play Simcity, you have to be care­ful: spend too much and be doomed, or too lit­tle and be doomed as well. Then out­side forces set in and you can ei­ther boom or bust.

Let’s be hon­est, that the lo­cal su­per­mar­ket down­graded its ban­ner is not a pos­i­tive sign. Nei­ther is the lat­est de­ci­sion by a for­merly lo­cally con­trolled fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion to slim down to one lo­ca­tion and that one re­move one of the ATMs.

That we can no longer count for the full time ser­vices of a lo­cal eco­nomic devel­op­ment of­fi­cer is not good ei­ther. This is a job that takes time to ma­ture and some ‘money’. Both Burling­ton and Plattsburg seem to be spend­ing more on pro­mot­ing their town as a ‘gate­way’ to the USA than all lo­cal bud­gets in Que­bec put to­gether. So we can guess that it would take a cou­ple of years to know enough about the lo­cal in­dus­tries, its man­power, the plusses and the mi­nuses to be ef­fec­tive. This is not a short term en­deav­our; the real re­sults are seen at a min­i­mum on a five year time­frame. Guess what hap­pened to the last one? Com­plete waste of money. When she was fi­nally able to re­ally start work­ing, gone.

This towns needs more than pipe dreams, saviours com­ing here to redo our town from top to bot­tom, bring­ing back the glory days of But­ter­field and Spencer. And why not, if only ’50 Shades of Grey’ could bring back the whip in­dus­try to its for­mer glory, af­ter all we were once the whip cap­i­tal of the Com­mon­wealth. Or maybe the fed­eral gov­ern­ment should man­date that all cars sold in Canada carry one, af­ter all, Ottawa still uses horse­power as a mea­sure.

This town and the whole re­gion needs a re­al­ity check and fast. We are let­ting go to waste what we know best, deal­ing with the big­gest mar­ket on earth. We are quite sure that if we were to ex­plore se­ri­ously the ‘gate­way’ op­tion that in a cou­ple of years we would have a cou­ple hun­dred jobs in that sec­tor. Not the best pay­ing ones maybe, but steady em­ploy­ment at rea­son­able wages. That we don’t have a sin­gle call cen­tre in town is a mys­tery that never ceases to amaze us.

So we need to act and fast. Bud­get wisely and for the long term, then if a sub­sidy is gone, the job is still there. Restart­ing the process is time con­sum­ing and un­pro­duc­tive. The stop and go ap­proach is cost­ing too much to be re­peated.

Marchis Col­orec­tal Can­cer Aware­ness Month. The Canadian Can­cer So­ci­ety (CCS) would like to take the op­por­tu­nity to press the gov­ern­ment for the speedy im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Pro­gramme uébé­cois de dépistage du can­cer col­orec­tal (PQDCCR), which was promised a few years ago. In the next few months, the CCS would like Min­is­ter Bar­rette to com­mit to pre­sent­ing a clear timetable and con­firm the con­tin­ued fund­ing of its im­ple­men­ta­tion.

Col­orec­tal can­cer is the sec­ond lead­ing cause of can­cer-re­lated deaths in Que­bec. It kills more men and women than prostate and breast can­cers com­bined. “Ev­ery day, 19 Que­be­cers are di­ag­nosed with col­orec­tal can­cer and seven die from it. Be­tween 230 and 275 lives could be saved each year if at least one in two Que­be­cers aged be­tween 50 and 74 took a fe­cal oc­cult blood test ev­ery two years. In 2010, the CCS wel­comed the gov­ern­ment’s de­ci­sion to put in place the PQDCCR. Five years later, we are ask­ing the gov­ern­ment to guar­an­tee timely ac­cess to the pro­gram be­cause there is an ur­gent need to act,” says Suzanne Dubois, Ex­ec­u­tive Direc­tor, CCS – Que­bec Di­vi­sion.

Over the past few years, im­por­tant work was car­ried out in eight health in­sti­tu­tions (pi­lot projects), which helped cut down the wait­ing lists for colonoscopy, stan­dard­ize the prac­tice and up­grade en­doscopy units. The CCS wants pi­lot project eval­u­a­tion re­ports to be made public so that we can as­sess where we are and what still re­mains to be done.

“The ab­sence of an or­ga­nized screen­ing pro­gram for col­orec­tal can­cer is re­spon­si­ble for dif­fi­cult treat­ments that could for the most part be avoided when the dis­ease is de­tected early. Not to men­tion that screen­ing can help pre­vent can­cers even be­fore they de­velop,” says Mélanie Cham­pagne, Direc­tor, Public Is­sues, CCS – Que­bec Di­vi­sion.

Apart from Que­bec, all other Canadian prov­inces have col­orec­tal can­cer screen­ing pro­grams and in many cases, they are op­er­a­tional and of­fered to every­body in the tar­get group. Cur­rently, ac­cess to col­orec­tal can­cer screen­ing is un­even for the 2 mil­lion Que­be­cers who could ben­e­fit from it. With­out an or­ga­nized pro­gram, a doc­tor’s pre­scrip­tion is re­quired for a col­orec­tal can­cer screen­ing test. But in a re­gion like Mon­treal, three in ten peo­ple don’t have a fam­ily doc­tor.

“The CCS is wor­ried that many Que­be­cers run the risk of be­ing di­ag­nosed with colon can­cer too late. It hopes that the PQDCCR will be a re­al­ity in Que­bec within the next few years,” adds Ms. Dubois. “Un­til then, the CCS en­cour­ages peo­ple aged be­tween 50 and 74 to talk to a health­care pro­fes­sional about un­der­go­ing a col­orec­tal can­cer screen­ing test. It’s a move that could save lives.”

Ev­ery day, the Canadian Can­cer So­ci­ety works to save more lives. With the sup­port of thou­sands of Que­be­cers, donors and vol­un­teers, we fight to pre­vent more can­cers, en­able our re­searchers to make more dis­cov­er­ies and help more peo­ple touched by the dis­ease. Let’s save more lives. Visit or call us at 1 888 939-3333.

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