Sunday, May 08, 2011

One farmer's dream is to delay proposed Chateauguay Valley rail-to-trail bike path by ten years!

The Huntingdon Gleaner predominately features a letter from local farmer Peter Finlayson who is against the proposed rail-to-trail bike path that will cross his farm and take 62 feet of land.

Based on documents from the 1890s Mr Finlayson argues that this is more land than previous rail road had owned and is simply the government stealing his land. Since this letter was published he has proposed that the bike path development be held up in court for ten years until this gets sorted out.

We think that Quebec's rural areas benefit from recreotourism resources like bike paths. The rest of Quebec is benefiting today from the recent creation of regional bike paths. Think of the P'tit Train du Nord, the Estriade, and the Cycloroute de Bellechasse as drivers for regional tourism and employment. Quebec is now criss-crossed with the Route Verte network of connected regional bike paths. Everywhere, that is, except the Chateauguay Valley.

The Chateauguay valley, which has its share of closed factories and struggling farmers, will benefit from a future economy that includes tourism. The politicians and farmers need to look to the future, not to events of two centuries ago when deciding what needs to be done to grow a strong economy in the 21st century.

The Chateauguay Valley is a beautiful regions of Quebec and is already known as a destination for road cycling. It is time to get this bike path built for the people people who think that a rail-to-trail bike path is their preferred destination for cycling tourism. Let's welcome these tourists to our beautiful region.


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