The Gleaner
Letters to the editorOpinions

Working together to survive together

I was somewhat dismayed a few weeks ago to learn of the closing of yet another Valley church. Surely other community churches could have banded together to come up with some form of sharing to find a solution, ensuring the continuation and survival of the Franklin United Church.

I hear subscribers of the Gleaner claim how happy they are at the rebirth of the Gleaner legacy. They say how they keep their copies to pass along to their friends and family when they come to visit. As wonderful as that may seem, it will not sustain the financial viability of the Gleaner going forward. Buying them a subscription will go a lot further to preserving the Gleaner’s survival, than keeping a copy on the coffee table for the next family visit.

The Huntingdon County Hospital Foundation recently launched a fundraising campaign for its residents. I’ve heard comments such as “I support the Barrie Memorial Hospital so why would I support the Huntingdon CHSLD”? Most of us have friends and family members of the Valley who have had occasion to use both facilities. Why would we choose to support one of these health centres and not the other? Both need our support and form an integral part of the Chateauguay Valley.

With the introduction of Bill 96, the Quebec anglophone community and in turn the Chateauguay Valley Anglo community need to wake up and realize that our English culture is under threat. Look no further than the June 12 edition of the Gleaner when the Bloc took out an ad celebrating the St-Jean-Baptiste holiday. One ad in the French section and nothing in the English section. So much for living in an inclusive society. To the CAQ’s credit they did take out an ad in both the English and French sections. Of note, a letter was received by the Huntingdon County Hospital Foundation from the local Bloc MP saying that they had no money to support the Foundation this year despite having supported it in the past.

We really appreciate and need more local support like that of the Darragh Family. Along with their many volunteers, they came forward by sponsoring The Big Iron and Classic Car Show. Proceeds in the past have gone to the Genie in a Bottle Project and more recently the Huntingdon Minor Hockey Association and the Huntingdon County Hospital Foundation. The demise of a similar show in Ormstown has led to a very generous family giving back to our community. Thank you!

I know the Gleaner offers discounts for nonprofit advertisers and I recently learned that the Huntingdon Fair doesn’t charge for kiosks for nonprofits. Perhaps the organizers of the LBA Ormstown Fair might like to revisit their policy of charging nonprofit organizations in the Valley. Anything we can do to assist our greater community of nonprofits and cultural diversification will reap dividends, not to mention the reward of the feel-good factor by being part of a vibrant and inclusive community supporting our Valley neighbours.

If the Anglo community in the Chateauguay Valley doesn’t want to become a footnote in the history journals of the twenty-second century, we must work together to survive together. It would really be sad to see the closing of yet another church in the Valley.
Ian Gill
[The opinions expressed are those solely of the author and do not represent any official positions of either the CVCIS (owner of The Gleaner) or the Huntingdon County Hospital Foundation, of which he is both a member and director.]

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