The United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) are more divided than ever!
On January 25th 2017, the mayors of the UCPR voted in favor of the amendment to the Official Plan. Eastern mayors: Champlain (Garry Barton), Hawkesbury (Jeanne Charlebois) and East Hawkesbury (Robert Kirby) voted AGAINST the amendment to the Official Plan while the mayors of the West: Russell (Pierre Leroux), La Nation (François St-Amour), Casselman (Conrad Lamadeleine) and Clarence-Rockland (Guy Desjardins) voted IN FAVOR of the amendment to the Official Plan. The mayor of Alfred-Plantagenet was absent. The amendment to the Official Plan opens the door for the Colacem cement plant to be established on the site. In addition, UCPR have 12 months to invalidate the Champlain Township's vote which would allow for the zoning change required for a heavy industry such as the cement plant.
It goes without saying that the whole population is dismayed by this decision. Several questions are still unanswered. How is it that the mayors of the west, who have nothing to do with the cement plant, have not been in solidarity with their eastern colleagues? This is incomprehensible, not to say unacceptable, in terms of solidarity between mayors. These people are elected municipal officials and the citizens will ask their rights to be respected as we live in a democracy. People have the right to demand and know the truth and will do whatever is possible to be heard.