• James Armstrong

Hudson town council passes Declaration to the Right to a Healthy Environment


Hudson Town Council approved the Declaration to the Right to a Healthy Environment presented by members of the 1st Cavagnal Scout Troop (left to right) Joey Chevrier, Nathan Block, Kyle Hogue, Jasper Sheridan, and their Troop Leader Stéphane Hogue.

Members of the local 1st Cavagnal Scouts Troop presented Hudson Town Council with a proposed Declaration to the Right to a Healthy Environment. Scout leader Stéphane Hogue was invited by Mayor Ed Prévost to read the proposed declaration at the council meeting held Tuesday, April 7, at the Stephen F. Shaar Community Center. Hogue read the introductory statement to the declaration and was joined by members of the troop who took turns reading the declaration that was unanimously passed by council to the applause of the audience.

The document states that, “…the Town of Hudson states and declares that all people have the right to live in a healthy environment” followed with a list that includes clean air, clean water, safe food, access to nature, the right to know about pollutants and contaminants released into the environment, and the right to participate in the decision- making process that will affect the environment.

The Declaration, according to the introductory statement, comes from the David Suzuki Foundation and is being promoted across Canada at the municipal government level where decisions affecting transportation, housing density, waste management and other issues affecting the environment are made. Further information is available at http://www.davidsuzuki.org/ and www.bluedot.ca

In a similar vein, the mayor remarked at the beginning of the meeting that council will pass a fair trade proposal at the next council meeting. Information regarding this topic was distributed at the meeting by The Hudson Fair Trade Committee composed of Councillor Deborah Woodhead, and residents Robert McKinnon, JP Vialard, India Robbins, Gwen Giberson, and Mark Smith.

“We intend to become a Fair Trade Town,” said Prévost in his opening remarks adding, “We are very much endorsing this venture. According to information hand-out, the process of making Hudson a Fair Trade Town has begun and depends upon a minimum number of businesses carrying at least two fair trade products. The document points out that this initiative is intended to promote a healthy economy for the town as a member of the Fair Trade Community. Former Interim Mayor Diane Piacente said during the second question period that Hudson’s Société de développement commercial (SDC) has not been receiving information from the town regarding members that have paid or not paid their fees. She noted the SDC will be holding its annual meeting at the end of the month.

While lauding the Fair Trade initiative, Piacente asked council, “Why haven’t the local businesses been included? There has been no contact with the SDC.” Piacente offered to continue working with the SDC so long as the town would not create any “brick walls.” Councillor Nicole Durand promised to verify with the town treasurer as to the unpaid dues.

Piacente further pointed out that council had recently cut funding to their SDC although other towns in Quebec are encouraging businesses to organize themselves in this officially recognized manner and are supporting them financially.

“This is not just Hudson businesses,” said Councillor Deborah Woodhead in response to Piacente’s concerns about the Fair Trade initiative adding, “This is a general philosophy and a way of looking at life. They can certainly be part of it. We would love them to be on board and be part of our committee.” The mayor acknowledged that he had received Piacente’s message and would act upon it.

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