Women’s In­sti­tute Time Line un­veiled in Tea Room

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Staff, Stanstead

Po­lit­i­cal de­bate at the na­tional level is highly re­hearsed drama wor­thy of the big­gest opera pro­duc­tions. Lo­cally, like the best in­ten­tioned am­a­teur pro­duc­tion, they are not to be crit­i­cized with the same cri­te­rion as the for­mer. So it was at last Thurs­day’s Stanstead By-elec­tion de­bate. Or­ga­nized by the Stanstead Jour­nal with the in­dis­pens­able help of Gisèle Davi­ault, the six can­di­dates vy­ing for the post left va­cant by the de­par­ture of Coun­cil­lor Rol­lande Rouleau faced some forty cit­i­zens who had taken the time to come to the Pat Burns Arena and see and hear first­hand what they were all about.

Mod­er­ated by the pub­lisher of this news­pa­per, the event was in­for­mal with no clock to time to the pre­cise sec­ond the an­swer given.

So from the first ques­tion, “How of­ten have you at­tended coun­cil meet­ings over the last few years?”, it was easy to see that this was not a well-re­hearsed and pol­ished-to-the-last-word de­bate. When a can­di­date, Michel Cor­riveau, ques­tions the why of the ques­tion, you know that this will be ei­ther a long evening or a short one. It stayed on time, Mr. Cor­riveau be­ing able to de­fend his re­al­iza­tion, even if he ques­tioned the ques­tion again. Apart from Mr. De­nis Dubois and Ge­orges O’Shaugh­nessy, none of the can­di­dates had found time to at­tend a cou­ple of meet­ings in the last few years, Mr. O’Shaugh­nessy be­ing al­most a fix­ture at ev­ery meet­ing for the last year.

The sur­prise of the evening was that one of the town’s worst kept se­crets came out in the open. It is al­most im­pos­si­ble to bring en­try level jobs in town as the gran­ite in­dus­try pays higher wages than other in­dus­tries do. And the town is un­able to keep its ed­u­cated youth; one of the few ex­cep­tions be­ing can­di­date Ni­cholas Ouel­let. The elec­tion is this Sun­day.

Rep­re­sent­ing the lo­cal schools at last Thurs­day`s event were (l. to r.): Irene Humphey, rep. North Hatley Ele­men­tary; Cather­ine Zahra, Ayer’s Cliff Ele­men­tary Prin­ci­pal; Dyanne Saanum, Stanstead County Pres­i­dent who pre­sented the cheques; Elaine Baylis Creary, Princess El­iz­a­beth Ele­men­tary School prin­ci­pal; and Heather Strat­ton, sec­re­tary for Sun­ny­side Ele­men­tary.

Photo A.J. Bedard

Around forty peo­ple at­tended the de­bate.

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