Letter to the editor, Dec. 18, 2014

Dear Editor,

It was with considerable dismay that I read the letter from Naomi Henshaw that was published in the December 11 edition of Your Local Journal. Although the Town of Hudson is flat broke, primarily due to mismanagement by prior administrations, handed down tax burdens from our cash-strapped provincial government, and alleged criminal activity, the current administration is to be commended for the action it is taking to provide good management to pursue any alleged criminals.

I agree that new and innovative ways are required to set a course for the future of our small town, however, I cannot agree with Henshaw’s suggestion to become a real part of the francophone community. It is not apparent how this would lead to a future of prosperity and diversity, as she claims. Most of the francophone municipalities in Quebec are NOT prosperous, largely due to various laws passed by our provincial government. So much for prosperity!

Also, she seems oblivious to the obvious. Either she does not realize that Quebec laws presently in force to protect the French language and culture are based on an alleged threat from the English community and are designed to eradicate the English language and culture from this province or she places little or no value on the English presence in this province.

So much for diversity! (So much for freedom of choice, new outside investment, new business, new immigrants, etc. etc. too.) Hudson is at a crossroad. Do we want a unilingual Québécois town, or bilingual Canadian town? On the one hand, there are people who are prepared to give up their rights as Anglophones and to become a real part of the francophone community, possibly by having the Town of Hudson join up with a neighbouring community, as Ms. Henshaw seems to propose.

On the other hand, there are those who wish to retain their rights as Canadians and the bilingual status the town currently enjoys. A merger may even be a viable proposition if it results in a town with a legal bilingual status. The Town of St. Lazare could possibly regain its recently lost bilingual status through such a merger. If legal bilingual status is to be preserved, Hudson should continue its development in such a way as to attract like-minded people to live here, while preserving its rural atmosphere.

By-laws should be reviewed to ensure that new construction is in keeping with our rural atmosphere. The influx of new residents would help to alleviate the town’s financial problems and revitalize the commercial centre (and maybe even attract more tourists too.) In order to attract such new residents, the town could launch a publicity campaign promoting Hudson as a great place to live.

The rewards of such a campaign will go a long way towards alleviating Hudson’s problems, at the same time making it an even more beautiful place to live. Perhaps good PR could be generated with a website promoting Hudson highlights such as the Village Theatre, the Yacht Club, Jack Layton Park, the numerous nature trails, the commuter trains to downtown Montreal, and maybe even Pine Lake.

H.D. Reilly