A few years ago, I attended a Northern Pass hearing in New Hampshire. Most of the 300 citizens in the room were dressed in orange, code for NO. Under discussion was a project to build a new direct current (DC) transmission line delivering electricity to southern New England, erecting towers down the middle of New Hampshire. “Why should we sacrifice our pristine landscape to Hydro-Québec?” most of the 70 speakers asked. “Live free or fry!” placards urged.
Their fierce opposition forced the Northern Pass to agree to bury their lines in New Hampshire, a somewhat more expensive option, but one which disturbs nature less. Now Hydro-Québec is mapping out the route in Quebec, leading from the Des Cantons substation in Val-Joli to the US border, going through part of the Haut-Saint-François, including Ascot Corner, Cookshire-Eaton, Saint-Isidore-de-Clifton, Martinville, and Sainte-Edwidge-de-Clifton.
Further south, it crosses part of the Coaticook MRC, including Mount Hereford. And that is the site of the current controversy. “Why not bury the lines on the Quebec side of the border, just as they are doing in New Hampshire?” ask opponents.
The protest is led by SOS Mont-Hereford, a coalition of people and organizations including the Appalachian Corridor, Nature Québec, the Réseau de milieux naturels protégés and the Conseil régional de l’environnement de l’Estrie. The website SOS-hereford.org reports that 10,694 people support this proposal to date. The focus is on the Hereford Community Forest, a conservation zone created through a donation from the Tillotson family. Erecting high tension lines and towers would not respect the intentions of the donors, they argue, and would have a negative impact on the flora and fauna in the nature reserve.
And what of the route going through the Haut-Saint-François? I wonder. Are our landscapes worth less? How will the new transmission lines and towers impact our quality of life and our nascent tourism industry? I’ve heard lots of discussion of the Mount Hereford situation in Toronto and in Montreal; not so much in our neck o the woods. I am a bit bemused, remembering the considerable citizen reaction to the idea of building wind turbines in our MRC. I wonder how Haut-Saint-Fransciscans will greet this initiative of Hydro-Québec?
CLASSICAL MUSIC CONCERT
French composer and pianist Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns. French composer Jules Mouquet who wrote for the flute. And the inimitable Ludwig van Beethoven. Works by all three of these noted musicians are on the program of a classical music concert in Cookshire on Saturday, June 17, at 7:30 p.m., at the Trinity United Church, 190 Main Street.
The concert features Myriam Genest-Denis playing the flute, Karine Breton on the bassoon, and Marie-Michelle Raby on piano. It is a benefit for the Foundation of the CSSS du Haut-Saint-François. Tickets are $20 each, and $10 for ages 12 or under. Reserve your tickets now at 819-875-5697 or 819-821-4000 x 38506.
150th AT THE MUSEUM
Heads up for a celebration of the Village of Eaton Corner as it was at the time of Confederation. It’s at the Eaton Corner Museum on Sunday, August 13, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Heritage crafts and skills will be highlighted. You’ll meet people, dressed in period costume, who lived in the village in 1867. Music, horse and wagon rides, tea and scone service, and much more. The Museum thanks the Government of Canada’s 150th Anniversary fund for financial support for this event.
“Housewife Heroines” is a new temporary exhibit for June and July at the Eaton Corner Museum, highlighting contributions by women during World War II. During June, the Museum is open weekends only, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. In July and August, they are open Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Village Market of the Sawyerville Community Garden opens Saturday, July 1st, featuring local gardeners who offer fresh products without pesticides or artificial fertilisers. Continuing every Saturday morning from July to October, the market is to also organize specialties such as scones or pizza baked in the outdoor bread oven. Info: Chantal Bolduc at firstname.lastname@example.org or 819-889-3196.
Baptist. In Sawyerville, the Sunday worship service is at 9 a.m. in French, and 11 a.m. in English. Sunday school is at 10 a.m. in English and French. Info: 819-239-8818.
Anglican. The summer schedule has kicked in. On Sunday June 18, the service is at St. John’s Church in Brookbury, on June 25, it’s at St. Peter’s Church in Cookshire, on July 2, the service is at St. Paul’s Church in Bury, and on July 9, it’s at St. John’s Church in Brookbury. All services are at 10:30 a.m. Info: 819-887-6802.
United. Sunday services on June 18 and 25 are at 9:30 a.m. in Cookshire and at 11 a.m. in Sawyerville. Both are led by the recently covenented United Minister, Reverend Tami Spires. The July 2nd service will be the first service on the summer schedule – one service each Sunday, the time and location to be determined. For information, listen to the phone greeting at 819-889-2838 (listen to message).
Quebec Presbytery Camp, affiliated with the United Church of Canada, is hosting a week-long sleepover camp at Frontier Lodge at Lake Wallace, from Sunday, June 25, to Saturday, July 1st. It’s for youth ages 8 to 17, and the theme is “Catching the Spirit.” Cost is $360. Info: Tami Spires (United Church Minister): 819-884-1203 or email@example.com.
Messy Church. On Thursday, June 15, at 5:15 p.m. is Messy Church, a joint United and Anglican intergenerational event. Free of charge, but donations are welcome. Stories, crafts, worship and supper at the St. Paul Anglican Church, 550 Main St., Bury. It’s family friendly, and all are welcome. This is the last Messy Church before summer. Info: Tami Spires (United Church Minister): 819-884-1203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have news to share? Call 819-300-2374 or email email@example.com by June 26 for publication July 5 and by July 31 for August 9.