Je voudrais simplement comprendre / I would really like to understand something

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Good evening Mayor Page,

I just came back from Magog where I skated with my girls (10 and 7). I was also there before Xmas, and after Xmas… I spent dollars eating lunch and dinner in Magog, and did my grocery shopping at the Metro. 

The problem is that I am a resident of North Hatley. My house is on Cedar Street. And I love and am very proud of North Hatley.

So, instead of spending my dollars at Justine, or the Pilsen, or at LeBaron, I spent them in Magog because the only winter activity which North Hatley has to offer my daughters during the winter is simply not available. And not even close to being available. So we drove to Magog…

Les vacances de Noël pour la plupart des enfants ont commencé le 21 décembre. J’y suis arrivé en après-midi et suis immédiatement allé voir la patinoire. Depuis la fermeture du Mont Hatley, les enfants de North Hatley ne comptent plus que sur cette patinoire pour s’amuser l’hiver dans notre village. Vous me corrigerez si j’ai tort, mais je n’en connais pas d’autres.

À ma grande déception, la glace était inexistante. Aucune base. Et le carré pour les plus jeunes qui ne jouent pas au hockey n’était même pas déblayé. J’y suis retourné le 22, ai vu deux employés, mais pas d’arrosage. Et toujours pas de déblayage pour les plus jeunes, ni de sentiers de patinage dans le terrain de soccer ou le marché des fermiers pour les enfants et les familles. Zéro. Rien.

Je suis arrêté à l’hôtel de ville le 24 au matin pour m’enquérir mais me suis buté à un bureau fermé m’indiquant que tout était fermé pendant les Fêtes.

Pas d’employés à la patinoire et pas d’arrosage le 25, le 26, le 27, le 28, le 29, le 30 …

I understand the weather issues on two of those days. I was here. But, with a good base, regular flooding and some attention, our kids would have been skating today and tonight, like the kids in Magog and those of the surrounding villages and municipalities. After the one warm day, the temperature dropped substantially and ice even started to form on the lake!

So, I need to ask: what is going on with our rink? We only have one rink… only one …It’s not ready, and not close to being ready. The snow hasn’t even been removed for the water to flood the surface for hockey (inside the boards) and for the area normally made available for the non-hockey players outside the boards… I find that unacceptable. 

And if NH doesn’t make a rink available to our kids during the Xmas holidays, when does it intend to make it available? Why not make all necessary efforts to have one available during those very important days… and please, with all due respect, don’t tell me that the weather hasn’t been cooperating because it’s the same weather for all of the other outside rinks in the region.

So, please, monsieur le maire, when will we have a rink and surrounding skating for our kids to enjoy?

Entre-temps, comme d’autres, je retournerai à Magog demain…

Merci de m’informer.

Hubert T. Lacroix


Good evening Me. Lacroix,

I am just as disappointed as you you are to not have any ice as I have many children of my own who would like to enjoy it.

I am meeting with the subcontractor tomorrow morning in order to get an update on the situation, I will keep you updated.

Happy holidays.

Michael Page

North Hatley mayor 


Bon matin monsieur le maire,

Thanks for your quick reply. 

Votre sous-traitant est soit incapable/incompétent à entretenir une patinoire publique, ou trop occupé pour le faire correctement et en temps utile. Or simply doesn’t care.

A skating rink in a village like ours is a labor of love. If shovels are left behind, the people using the skating rink and skating area will clear the snow themselves. And will gladly take turns doing it. Everyone chips in. Like we did last year, even when it was bitter cold in December and January. I did it often myself. Everyone did, because we all cared.

If the keeper of the rink comes to flood it regularly and shows he/she cares about the rink, word will quickly spread that the ice is good, that kids can play hockey, that the area for the non-hockey players is wide and well maintained, that the trails in the soccer field and the farmers’ market are fun to use, that the lights work and are on until late, that there is music outside … and so people will come to skate, will go to Justine for a coffee or a hot chocolate and something to eat, or will buy something at the dépanneur or at the grocery store, or stay for lunch or dinner in the village, and support our local businesses at a time of the year when they really need it … my point of my e-mail to you last night.

I hope that your subcontractor understands all of this … that this rink is more than a job to clear snow or water a surface to skate. 

It’s a community rallying point, which, in turn, can affect our local economy. 

Your sub-contractor has to care.

If not, I suggest you find another one… and quickly! It’s now December 31..

I look forward to hearing from you.


Hubert T. Lacroix

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2 thoughts on “Je voudrais simplement comprendre / I would really like to understand something”

  1. ———- Forwarded message ———
    From: Hubert T. Lacroix
    Date: Tue, Jan 1, 2019 at 09:41
    Subject: Re: Conclusions après mes photos de cet après-midi…

    Bon matin monsieur le maire, et bonne année!

    We could go on for a long time on this matter.

    I could tell you that I do know that the trail in Magog is on cement not grass, but that the hockey rink where we skated is on grass …

    That I am disappointed to now hear that your subcontractor simply didn’t do his job in November, and to realize that he wasn’t thereafter available for reasons of illness and wasn’t replaced by someone else until he was able to come back.

    We need this rink for our village. We need it well maintained. It is always packed with skaters when it is: families, hockey players of all ages … well into the night.

    It is going to be minus 20 this evening… where will your subcontractor be this afternoon and tomorrow morning?

    I won’t write to you anymore in a couple of days. As I told you, school starts on the 7th.

    Kindest regards.

    On Dec 31, 2018, at 23:08, MIKE PAGE wrote:

    Chère M. Lacroix,

    J’ai pus rejoindre la personne en charge de la patinoire aujourd’hui et voici quelques détails. Pour des raisons incontrôlables les bandes de patinoires non pas pus être installées avant la mid Décembre et malheureusement nous avions manquer la période optimal pour partir la base. Après vérification j’ai apprit qu’à Magog ils sont sur l’asphalte, pas du tout come être sur le gazon.
    J’ai aussi appris que la personne concerné a eu des problèmes de santé dernièrement, mais heureusement elle vas mieux maintenant et elle est prête à travailler. Malheureusement la météo présentement ne joue pas dans notre faveur. Je vous rassure que la patinoire vas être prête dès que possible.
    Entre temps je me permets de vous suggérer des activités local autre que le patinage. North Hatley offre aussi de la randonné dans le parc Scowen, du curling et aussi du ski de fond au golf et sur la piste cyclable. Mes enfants aime bien aussi glisser à l’école suivi d’un bon chocolat chaud chez Justine. Donc il y a plusieurs activités qui sont offert localement.
    En conclusion je partage votre frustration, nous la vivons souvent aussi à la Semaine de relâche. C’est pour cette raison que j’ai déjà entamé des démarches il y a presque un ans pour obtenir une base de ciment avec possiblement une toiture pour maximiser la saison du patinage malgré nos températures très variantes.
    Je suis présentement en recherche de subvention et dont pour cette cause.

    Je termine en vous souhaitant une bonne et heureuse année.


    Michael Page
    Maire de North Hatley

    Sent from my iPhone

    On Dec 31, 2018, at 4:43 PM, Hubert T. Lacroix wrote:

    Monsieur le maire,

    Je n’ai encore vu personne s’occuper de la patinoire de NHatley aujourd’hui.

    And today, I went to Magog, again, skated there, and stopped in Ste-Catherine-de-Hatley and watched kids play hockey on the rink behind the school … they were skating on ice …

    I can’t tell you how upset and angry I am. School starts on the 7th …

    What is your subcontractor going to do about this?

    And I assume he/she won’t work on Jan 1 …

    Very, very disappointing…


  2. While it’s been a long time since my own 3 children spent countless happy winter hours at the North Hatley skating rink, when I read the letters from Mr. Lacroix, I wanted to cry.

    What kind of Quebec town totally neglects its outdoor skating rink over the Christmas holiday? Good outdoor skating weather it was and no ice, no notice and no explanation. It’s shameful.

    Mr. Lacroix’s letters say it all.

    Merci Monsieur Lacroix !

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