By Michael Boriero
The Comité d’opposition de Saint-Denis-de-Brompton (CoSDDB), formed by concerned residents regarding the town’s decision to merge its emergency services, fire fighters and first responders, with the city of Sherbrooke, held an impromptu protest last Thursday.
According to CoSDDB spokesperson Michel Inkel, the demonstration was a chance for residents to voice their displeasure with the town’s lack of transparency. On May 3, Mayor Daniel Veilleux and his town council reached a 20-year partnership agreement with Sherbrooke starting Jan. 1, 2023.
However, Inkel told The Record that the municipality came to this decision without consulting the town’s residents. The demonstration took place nearby the local fire station. He said there were about 40 residents there at its peak, but they were consistently around 15 to 18.
“We hope that we were able to at least intrigue residents who weren’t up to date with everything going on. Many people stopped to ask questions, sign our petition, so, really, it was a great success in our opinion,” he shared, adding the heavy rain likely kept people inside.
The demand is simple. Although the town is not legally obligated to hold a referendum, the CoSDDB wants Veilleux to display some accountability and good faith by holding one due to the agreement’s impact on the well-being and physical safety of the town’s residents.
The citizens’ opposition committee also started an online petition at https://www.change.org/IncendieSDDB. Inkel said that, as of Friday, they had collected close to 600 signatures. There are also hard copy petitions in circulation around town and in local businesses.
The initial proposal to partner with Sherbrooke was intriguing to residents, Inkel explained, and the mayor promised to hold an information meeting to detail the partnership. The problem, however, was after two months of radio silence, the town went ahead with the agreement.
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