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Open letter to the mayor of Brownsburg-Chatham, Georges Dinel – Our Municipal Library

10 mai 2011

Mr. Mayor,

So you are going to invest $ 10,000 * in order to conduct a study on whether to merge the library of Brownsburg-Chatham with Lachute’s.

One year ago, you formed a committee to assess the relevance of a library and its location in Brownsburg-Chatham.

This committee (that did not cost anything to anyone), which included among others representatives of the Ministry of Culture and Réseau BIBLIO Laurentides, said at the outset the importance of a local library not only to borrow books, but also as a place of access to computers; it was also mentioned as a refuge for young people who find assistance for homework and for seniors who seek quietness often absent from their own homes. The committee finally insisted on the identity function of a library in a municipality like ours.

Yourself, did you not announce in your speech about the 2011 budget that there would be a library in our town in no later than two years? And now you turn to the central city to save a few dollars.

What interests do you serve, then, Mr. Mayor? Those of your fellow citizens or those of the mayor of Lachine who has every interest in this merger to proceed to get more sub to grow? Our citizens will save, you answer. Oh really?

If the merger goes ahead, the Ministry of Culture will require you to maintain a service station on the territory because the number of inhabitants justifies and requires. If you tear down the arena as it is envisaged, where are you going to install it? In a church basement? In a school with opening hours that suit no one?

But the possible merger raises other questions.

The residents of Brownsburg-Chatham  already dependon Lachute for a variety of needs: food, clothing, restaurants, entertainment, etc. Can they accept that Lachute also define their cultural needs?
Do you think Brownsburg-Chatham will be able to attract young families if they do not have the infrastructure to satisfy the cultural needs of their children? Our city is undergoing desertification, Mr. Mayor. Physically and culturally. And, as everyone knows, deserts bear only the lives of cactus.

If the merger is the solution for the library, could it not also solve all other problems? The fire department, for example, roads, public works could also be included in Lachute’s budget. Why not merge outright with the city-center? Is this not the logical conclusion of your argument, Mr. Mayor?

You have already, in 2010, eliminated a librarian position and prohibited those who stay to tour schools to promote reading (which for me is a terrible sin, a crime against youth); you already, the same year, cut the budget for the acquisition of the library, preferring to spend a whopping six-figure sum to buy a shovel to maintain roadsides, and especially you already imposed a tax increase 20% to fill a deficit for which citizens are still waiting for proof of existence.

In all these « accomplishments, » where do you place the welfare of the citizens?

Francis Jobin
Writer

* At the City Council meeting of Monday, May 9, we learned that the amount to be disbursed will be of 6297 for Brownsburg-Chatham, Lachute assuming the same amount.

For more thoughts on the library in general and for our city, visit the We Deserve Better coalition’s blog by clicking here.

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