The best and worst Where did 2012 year go? Already it is time to reflect on another year.

tory March 18, 2012 when she won the Red Bull Crashed Ice race in Québec City, becoming the first Canadian woman to win such a competition. “Fearless Fannie,” a hockey player, continues to be one of the best on the circuit. This sport is sort of like speed skating on an ice-covered motocross course. Check out the videos online, they are bound to provide hours and hours of family fun. Argenteuil voters made history twice this year, electing for first time a Parti Québécois MNA in a by-election and re- electing a PQ member in the fall vote. Somehow the planet did continue to re- volve. The full length of Autoroute 50, which took about 50 years to build, finally opened a few weeks back. “Québec is open for business,” recently declared PQ leader Pauline Marois and Québec’s first female Premier. She was speaking in English but she was address- ing an American audience. What next? Is she going to visit Harrington on Canada Day to celebrate Confederation with les anglais? Speaking of unlikely events, unprec- edented progress was made this year in making Prescott-Russell a tourism des- tination, according to some people. This point is debatable, obviously. But it is worth noting that the region’s reputation as a prime place for R and R has not suf- fered any over the last 12 months. All of this is being said because if you raise ques- tions about anything to do with spending public money on economic development projects, you get called “negative.” We cannot forget that this was another year of strange and extreme weather. Plus, Walmart finally came to Hawkes- bury, jolting retailers and sparking mixed reactions from consumers. There were many burning issues that flared up in 2012 and will continue to smoulder in 2013. We would be remiss if we did not again underline the many people out there who make this newspaper job the best job in the world. Thanks to all the people out there who still believe in the old-fashioned news- papers. Judging by the rapid and often strong reaction to what we do, and not do, many really care about the content of our community papers. The power of one can never be under- estimated. A big “like” goes out to all those who actively participate in our governments, and our democracy. A salute to all those who while at public meetings, mute all those noise-making gadgets, listen to others and demonstrate common decency. Also kudos to all of those people who use their real names when they send let- ters to the editor or post comments on Facebook, who offer to help out when a car goes into a ditch, who do not impede emergency vehicles, who contribute to the public discourse, who have no hidden agendas, who assist the elderly and who volunteer. See you next year.

How was it for you? Everyone has his or her own personal peaks and valleys over the course of 12 moths. In recapping the big news events of 2012, we were reminded once again that this year had its soaring highs and devas- tating lows. As usual, there was an ample supply of “hard news.”There were vicious crimes, fa- tal accidents, and tragedies. Nobody can forget that rainy Friday night, May 25, in Hawkesbury, when a fire broke out at the Place Mont Roc retire- ment home. It seemed every emergency service unit in the area had converged on the build- ing. It was a night of fire, rain, sirens, and ultimately, grief. Grim-faced onlookers bowed their heads when the horrible rumour turned out to be true – an elderly couple had not survived. People said that it could have been a lot worse, considering the large number of seniors who had to be evacuated from a three-storey building in the middle of the night. But in the hours following the tragedy, nobody took much comfort in that thought. As usual, Facebook was alive all that night. Photos posted at 3 a.m. May 26 brought instant responses and led to long conversations. Obviously, some nev- er sleep, nor tell their devices to “sleep.” If there is any benefit to be derived from the Place Mont-Roc fire is that the tragedy has accelerated the installation of sprin- klers in Ontario retirement facilities. A few months later fatalities of a differ- ent kind were in the news. There was a murder in St-Isidore on the July 1 weekend, and another slaying, in Grenville, in November. The violent attacks shocked everyone. This sort of thing only happens in big bad cities, right? Then there was a country- wide man hunt for a suspect in the Gren- ville killing. Pascal Hotte, who made Qué- bec’s 10 Most Wanted list, was recently collared in Edmonton. Of course, there are always too many le- thal accidents on our roads, although the death toll has remained relatively low in recent years. But statistics never provide any solace to those who are directly af- fected by highway casualties. Fortunately, the region gained wide- spread attention for a positive reason last year. Everyone’s spirits were lifted in February when Jo-Ann and Gaétan Champagne, former dépanneur owners in Hawkes- bury, received the $50 million they had won in a lottery. They had struck it rich in December of 2011 but received their prize in early 2012. Somehow, following the cheque presentation, the winter was a little better for everyone. A new star emerged on the sports scene with a wild and wonderful finish in an extreme activity that looks as dan- gerous as it is exciting. Fannie Desforges, who is originally from Fournier, made his-

En juin, les uns entrent, les autres sortent, ils sont nombreux à avoir profité de la journée « portes ouvertes » sur les lieux du futur hôtel de ville de Rigaud. Plusieurs associent la bâtisse patrimoniale du 73, rue St-Pierre aux Sœurs de Ste-Anne qui y ont logé jusqu’en 2005 et qui en ont été propriétaires jusqu’en 2011. Ce sont elles également qui l’avaient acquise en 1933 pour lui donner la vocation de pensionnat pour jeune garçons, selon les vœux du curé de l’époque, Monseigneur Pierre A. Sabourin. Le Jardin du Sacré-Cœur offrit l’enseignement pendant 35 ans, rôle assuré par les religieuses.

La remise en état de l’édifice de trois étages, est évaluée à plus ou moins deux millions de dollars. En effet, l’édifice appelé à devenir la Maison du citoyen, hébergera des organismes communautaires dès son ouverture prévue en juin 2013.


Grenville (Qc) 819-242-3131



Plus de conseil d’administration au 9e groupe scout



« Wow, c’est un choc », s’est limité à dire le président sortant du conseil d’administration du 9 e groupe scout de Hawkesbury, Philippe Labre. Ce dernier commentait les résultats de l’élection d’un nouveau conseil d’administration. Au bout du compte, les sièges sont demeurés vacants alors que personne n’a proposé de candidatures. Près d’une vingtaine de personnes ont assisté à l’assemblée générale annuelle du mouvement qui se tenait le 10 septembre. Successivement les postes de président, vice-président, secrétaire et autres ont été libérés, mais non comblés. « C’était un peu prévisible. On s’était entendu au conseil. C’est un peu à contrecœur. On ne fait pas ça pour saboter le mouvement », a confié Philippe Labre. Celui-ci mettait un terme à dix années de présidence. Ajoutez à cela environ 25 années comme animateur scout. Depuis environ les cinq dernières années, une baisse d’intérêt était constatée. Le groupe de scouts de Hawkesbury se limitait à environ une douzaine d’enfants. Il était ainsi devenu peu viable. « Il va peut-être falloir laisser la chance à quelqu’un d’autre pour relancer le scoutisme. Actuellement, il y a, je dirais, plus d’adultes impliqués que d’enfants. Les scouts, ce n’est pas un groupe social. »




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