To The Editor,

Soon, as citizens, we will have to elect some of our neighbours as our municipal representatives in the Champlain Township. We should ask each candidate if they are up to the task to protect the environment in Prescott-Russell. Two major dossiers are at stake in our region: the possible construction of a cement plant in L’Orignal and the deforestation of the lands. It is not enough to say, as a future elected person, that you are against a cement plant. We should ask all candidates what they are going to do to avoid a catastrophe that would last more than 50 years in L’Orignal if Colacem, with the UCPRs mayors living west of our village, manage to impose a serious come back of heavy industry near Ivaco. This company already contributes to the pollution of our village for years.

The 380-metre-high Sudbury landmark which was built in 1970 has been for years associated with the connotation of a city stigmatized with a heavy industry label. If the same thing happens in L’Orignal, we will have to forget about tourism and the green economy. What is going to happen to our young farmers who want to go organic with their growing? The Baie de L’Orignal will never be the same.

It seems that people forgot about the CIP in Hawkesbury. The taxpayers have already paid nearly $29 million to decontaminate the area. I don’t think that the new generation wants such an environmental disaster to happen again. Only the old-timers want to impose their views to the future generations, falsely thinking that a cement plant will create jobs for local people. Jobs are available right now in our region, but only a few qualify. It would be the same with a cement plant. There will be opportunities for chemists and technicians. I doubt that the company could find this workforce here. Finally, ask each candidate what they would do to stop the deforestation around L’Orignal, Vankleek Hill and Hawkesbury. You now have food for thought. Please vote in October to renew our municipal representatives!

Pierre Simard,