• James Armstrong

Loan by-law for Hudson Community Centre renovations moves forward


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

The loan by-law for renovations to Hudson’s Stephen F. Shaar Community Centre has come into effect given the results of the April 18 registry. Pictured here, left to right, are Councillors Barbara Robinson and Nicole Durand, Director General Jean-Pierre Roy, Parks and Recreation Director Nicolas Pedneault and Coordinator of Grants and Certifications, Simon Corriveau as the registry results were announced.

There were 363 Hudson residents that signed the registry for Loan By-Law 687-2017 held at the Hudson Town Hall Tuesday, April 18 as was announced by Director General Jean-Pierre Roy shortly after the registry closed at 7 p.m.

“This means that the loan by-law process can continue,” Roy said, as the number of signatures required for the by-law to be submitted to a poll was 428.

The by-law permits the town to borrow $555,000 for renovations to the Stephen F. Shaar Community Centre. Its continued existence, however, depends upon the approval of a federal government grant application for up to $250,000 that was submitted July 12, 2016. There was no news as of Tuesday evening regarding the approval of the grant.

When asked if information regarding the by-law was available to citizens, Roy said all the details were available inside the Town Hall where the registry was held, throughout the duration of the registry, and was also available on the town website. Roy said a bilingual pamphlet created by a citizen containing the town logo and distributed via Canada Post to Hudson residents was not authorized by the town. “The pamphlets that citizens received were not from the town. If they had the logo of the town, they were sent out in a non-conforming and disrespectful manner. This will not be tolerated by the town,” said Roy. He declined to state whether or not legal action would be taken and did not name the author of the pamphlet.

Pamphlet defense

A pamphlet created and distributed by Hudson resident Véronique Fischer does contain the Town of Hudson logo alongside the title for the loan by-law.

“Contesting a by-law is, by essence, a political discussion,” said Fischer in an interview following the Director General’s announcement.

“Threatening consequences is nothing else but intimidation and an attack on the freedom of speech of all residents,” she said adding, “It’s an attempt to suppress the democratic rights of citizens.” Fischer said that, in her opinion, to make an absolute statement that anyone could have been misled by the pamphlet was ridiculous.

“The mayor doesn’t write a ‘Dear Neighbour’ letter saying we are paying too much tax, please vote against this by-law,” she said.

Grant application

Simon Corriveau, Coordinator of grants and certifications for the town provided further information regarding the grant application. Corriveau said the community centre renovation project was submitted as a grant application last July to the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program (CIP 150) through Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions.

He credits Parks and Recreation Director Nicolas Pedneault for being instrumental in putting the application together. Corriveau said council had passed a resolution on December 1, 2014, mandating the Director of Parks and Recreation to, “…undertake all steps and sign all documents in relation to obtaining grants related to the development of culture and tourism.”

According to Corriveau, there are items in the renovation project, however, that the grant will not cover.

“The roof over the curling rink is the only portion not included,” said Corriveau. “The rest of the building is used by other groups as well as the Legion,” he added, clarifying that because the ice sheet is used for a sport, it would be covered by another type of grant. “We are hoping for a response by the beginning of May,” Corriveau concluded.

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