IMPASSE – 1

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North Hatley : la saga du Chemin Virgin ou chronique d’une mort annoncée

Alors vous raconter qu’en ce début d’été 2020, des marcheurs du village de North-Hatley et du canton se sont alertés pour sauver un petit chemin aimé de tous. De gros cubes de ciment reliés par une chaîne, escortés d’une vilaine pancarte avaient barré le chemin Virgin que tous les adeptes de la nature du coin connaissent et apprécient discrètement.

On s’alarma, une lettre fut écrite, contresignée par quelques voisins inquiets, envoyée aux 2 maires respectifs qui finirent par communiquer ensemble …… et à notre grand soulagement, le statut municipal du chemin fut confirmé… les bornes disparurent, nous fûmes soulagés pour un temps, croyant naïvement nos droits citoyens respectés, la nature du sentier protégée.

La saison d’été s’est déroulée paisiblement mais subrepticement certains aménagements inopinés vont culminer durant ce bel été des Indiens en une bien mauvaise surprise : non seulement, nous avons constaté l’apparition d’un imposant fossé transversal qui barre le sentier de bord en bord mais également l’édification d’une quasi – autoroute avec fossé latéral attenant, le tout rempli de grosses pierres de très mauvais goût, totalement discordantes ……

Comment est-ce possible ? Cette allée pharaonique (!) mange quasiment le quart de la sauvagerie du chemin Virgin que nous souhaitions protéger….

Las ! Nous apprendrons bien assez vite que cette amélioration territoriale de la propriété adjacente au chemin Virgin a été réalisée selon les normes exigées par le village pour permettre l’accès routier au domaine mais aussi pour faciliter son entretien, et surtout les allées et venues des charrues à neige…. Ah ! C’est donc ça ! La conformité aux sacro-saintes normes prioritaires devant toutes considérations de simplicité, de bon sens, d’esthétique… Même en considérant les problèmes bien concrets encourus avec la neige, l’écoulement de l’eau, etc… n’y aurait il pas eut lieu d’envisager des solutions plus légères, plus discrètes, moins invasives qui existent bien évidemment… mais qu’il aurait fallut chercher avant de lancer les bulldozers. Pour cela aurait fallut être guidé par une sensibilité et une prudence visiblement absente.

Navrant, monsieur le Maire.

Pascale Galipeau, résidente du chemin de l’Université, 8 novembre 2020

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North Hatley: the Saga of Virgin Road – or – the Chronicle of a Death Foretold

And so, at the beginning of summer 2020 walkers from the village of North Hatley and from the Township got in touch with each other to save a small road beloved by all. Large cubes of cement linked by a chain and accompanied by an ugly sign had closed off Virgin Road, which all nature enthusiasts in the area know and enjoy.

We were alarmed, a letter was written, countersigned by a few worried neighbours, and sent to the two respective mayors, who ended up responding together … and to our great relief, the municipal status of the path was confirmed … The cubes of cement disappeared, and we were relieved for a while, naively believing our rights as citizens had been respected and that the nature of the road had been protected.

The summer season unfolded peacefully, but then, surreptitiously, certain unexpected developments would unfold, during our beautiful Indian summer, constituting a nasty surprise: not only had a large ditch now been cut across the road in its entire width, but also what was almost a highway had been built with a ditch along one side, filled with large, completely unsuitable stones, all in very bad taste  … How was this possible? This alleyway (!) had become fit for a pharaoh and had now replaced almost a quarter of the wilderness along Virgin Road, which we had wanted to protect …

Alas! We would quickly learn that this territorial improvement to the property adjacent to Virgin Road had been carried out according to the standards put in place by the village to allow access to the domain but also to facilitate maintenance of the road, and especially make it possible for the snow plow to do its job …  Ah! So that’s what happened! Compliance with sacrosanct standards had been prioritized over considerations of simplicity, common sense, and aesthetics … Even considering the very concrete problems posed by snow removal, the flow of water, etc. … would it not have been possible to consider lighter-handed, more discreet, less invasive solutions, since such solutions clearly exist … But such solutions would have had to have been arrived at before sending in the bulldozers. For that, one would have had to have been guided by sensitivity and prudence, which clearly were absent.

Heartbreaking, Mr. Mayor.

Pascale Galipeau, resident on Chemin de l’Université, November 8, 2020.

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Judith LeBaron
Judith LeBaron
3 months ago

Virgin Hill Road was beloved by many generations of local people, newcomers and tourists alike. Surely, care could have been taken to improve this small road without inflicting so much damage – especially when citizens had already voiced serious concerns beforehand.

Who wanted this? Did anyone?
Judy LeBaron
North Hatley citizen

Louise Moses
Louise Moses
3 months ago

How incredibly sad that this has happened. I am surprised that this was allowed to happen or maybe not.