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What compels me to move to Vankleek Hill?

To The Editor,

On November, 20th, I was finally able to plan my next move in Canada. You see, I moved to Ottawa from beautiful France – wasn’t that messy at the time – for a sabbatical with my younger daughter, eight years ago. I was compelled to understand what makes successful multi-cultural and bilingual organizations. I was not prepared for the hardships but I was ready to awake to sustainable and social issues. In 2019, I am drawn to live in and contribute to a sustainable, social and environmental community. Here I am, discovering each of Prescott-Russell’s eight municipalities to find the right work place and home.

First impressions. Out of six explorative-discussions, three times, Vankleek Hill was spontaneously mentioned as a sustainable, vibrant and innovative community. I first tried to drive to Champlain Township municipality 10 days ago, but the road construction hindered my resolve. Good things come to those who wait, don’t they? On December 4, it was my first exposure to Vankleek Hill. And this time, the works didn’t stop me. And I must confess what caught my attention was the sign: “Gingerbread Capital of Ontario.”

Close-knit community. As I parked on High Street, I noticed the neat shop windows. And walked into several stores. They all were very friendly and willing to facilitate my discovery of Vankleek Hill. They spontaneously shout out a few names of local industries that run clean and green businesses. Votre journal The Review incarne la proximité, la vérité et la valeur ajoutée locale dont on a besoin dans notre quotidien, si souvent influencé par les média sociaux. Les vrais liens se tissent en face à face, lors d’actions partagées.

Food matters. Un marché local, ouvert toute l’année. WOW!. En tant que Française, bien sûr, je chéris les repas équilibrés, pris en famille avec de bons produits locaux. Ce n’est pas si compliqué. De plus en plus, les consommateurs veulent connaître l’origine et les processus de production. J’avoue que je connais les superbes bières Beau’s et il me tarde de décourir les vins et le cidre de Vankleek Hill. Faire évoluer nos modes de consommation pour favoriser le local, c’est le bon sens pour l’économie comme pour l’écologie.

Vankleek Hill, vraiment bilingue. Je vous assure. C’est un atout. Les commerçants, les employés municipaux et les responsables rencontrés se sont montrés curieux, compréhensifs et efficaces. La plupart des informations remises étaient en Anglais et en Français. Et cela c’est formidable. Car c’est un réel atout pour le développement en Ontario, au Canada et au-delà : Europe et Afrique. L’Anglais est la langue des affaires, des plans pour le profit, le Français celle des émotions, des sentiments et des plans pour les gens. C’est la parfaite combinaison pour relever les défis qui nous attendent, non?

« Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”? Albert Einstein. I was delighted by my first encounters in Vankleek Hill. I’m so looking forward for the next ones, to contribute to this place that already walks the sustainable talk. By the way, tomorrow, I’ll be back in town, and next Sunday as well. Can’t wait.

Laurence Pechadre,
Ottawa


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