Citizen Thierry Nootens, a former spokesperson for the Sherbrooke Coalition living environment and artisan of the referendum against the urban plan in 2007, made a return to Sherbrooke City Hall on Monday to denounce the project Moving from Costco to the Saint Joseph Plateau. Candidate Hélène Pigot also questioned the decision of the council in this matter.
“24 gas stations on the St-Joseph plateau. Is that the answer of Sherbrooke to climate change? Yet all environmental experts have demonstrated that the fight against GHG is of absolute importance. If I understand correctly, motorists will make a detour through the plateau for a few cents less, a second detour to return home or work, spending a second time en route saving, emitting more GHGs en route . It is inept and it is unspeakable, “commented Mr. Nootens.
“Fighting GHGs requires muscle. Are cities not equipped with a management plan to guide their development in the direction of the common good? Sherbrooke had the opportunity to say no and she did not. Do we have to trust a council that sails blindly in town planning and the environment? The peripheral location of the plateau reinforces the dependence on the automobile and the concomitant pollution. The more it is developed, the more the existing businesses are scavenged. We are dealing with an already outdated business model. Our city hastened to come to the aid of a monumental urban mistake which should never have come into being. I challenge the professionals of the City of Sherbrooke to explain to us in a public meeting how this’ Is good for sustainable development to further develop the Saint Joseph Plateau. ”
Thierry Nootens wondered whether the interests of the multinationals passed before the wishes of the citizens. He also deplored the possible abandonment of citizens’ referendums after the adoption of Bill 122. “The Sherbrooke Renewal website states that its core values include sustainable development, citizen participation and transparency. RS, maybe it means Kingdom Sevigny. ”
Hélène Pigot, fears the impact of the arrival of Costco and its 24 pumps on smaller businesses. “Price regulation by a big player has never served citizens, because it kills small businesses and afterwards, Costco can put the price he wants. Have you really assessed the impact of opening these 24 gas stations for small neighborhood stations?
“In the competitive market, there are service stations opening up. Whenever there is an offer, we do not do an exhaustive study on the impact on the commercial fabric in Sherbrooke. When you look at the Department of Energy study, however, there is a problem. In Sherbrooke, we pay too much for gasoline, “said Mayor Bernard Sévigny, recalling among other things the collusion that was raging in the cartel of gasoline a few years ago.
“I am concerned about what is happening in the municipal world. There has been a crisis for several years. The turnout in the elections speaks to us. There are things that fuel this cynicism, things we have not had a hold on, such as the abolition of municipal referendums and the decision on Costco. I would like to know how the council will ensure to represent the real will of the people in this file, “asked the citizen Julie Dionne.
“It’s a question of appreciation. I am not sure that it is shared by the whole population. I have heard many people who were in favor. I hear your concern. We did not survey what percentage of the population was favorable. However, the decision was taken by a majority vote by the council, “replied Mayor Sevigny.