By Gordon Lambie
On Monday representatives of a large number of organizations, municipalities, and institutions in the Eastern Townships gathered at the Jouvence retreat centre in Mont-Orford Provincial Park to begin a new conversation about how to move forward as a society when it comes to community development. Coordinated locally by the Observatoire estrien du développement des communautés (OEDC), the Estates-General on community development makes up part of a province-wide effort begun last May to establish new priorities for community development and better understand the work that is already being done.
“We cannot continue to do things the way we have before,” said Claude Belleau who, along with former Magog mayor Vicky-May Hamm, was asked to be one of the spokespeople for the new initiative.
Although the process of the Estates-General began with a call for identifying priorities and sharing information during Monday’s gathering, Belleau called on those present to recognize that they are at work in a time when great change is possible.