‘Write! Don’t write!’ I asked myself several times. At last, I said to myself, I owed it to my friends at Camping du lac de l’Est.
In fact, I spent a nice early retirement of 11 years (2003 to 2013) at said camping. Many have asked my opinion on the phone and on social networks. I worked there as a maintenance administrator (kind of doing everything) and then as a maintenance manager.
Respect was the key and it became mutual. If I was in trouble with one or more of the guys who showed up for the show, all I had to do was talk a little louder than usual and a few seasonal workers would come and help me restore order. If I had a job and lacked experience, I received advice and volunteer help from the camp.
During the early years, my manager was Mr. Richard Lévesque, President of CLLE (Centre de Loisirs du Lac de l’Est), an ambitious person who worked in management full time, on a voluntary basis. We had differences sometimes, because he wanted to evolve, always evolve, and I wanted to serve first, because it was the camp money that was used to pay me. We always come to a compromise.
We’re in 2022 and the customer doesn’t seem to matter anymore. Ease of handling.
I have several questions:
Why does Rivier-Oil have all the required staff and not this one?
Why can’t the work be done without getting everything out? This was done during electrical and sewage works, in whole sectors of 20-30 stadiums.
Why did the sewage system suddenly fill up? There are about 14 septic tanks, which are emptied regularly and independently of each other. They cannot all fail at the same time, and if some of them are down, the respective sectors can be closed. At least five were installed around 2005, according to plans by the ministry and an engineer.
Does the sewer go to the lake? If so, why is swimming allowed? To find out if there is pollution, there are three pressure gauges near the lake; Have they been checked?
Why did more than half of the campers stay outside during the council meeting when there was a nice big room upstairs that could accommodate everyone?
Why can’t the departure date be postponed, even a little, out of respect for customers who have sometimes paid for rent for 50 to 60 years?
Why can’t we guarantee a return on their site for people who have made improvements to their sites for thousands of dollars?
Why so little sympathy for people who have invested tens of thousands of dollars in buying boats, rafts, quads, and equipment that they will have to liquidate at a loss?
Do you believe in a project fully funded by governments? Unfortunately, I doubt it and fear it will end up like skiing in Saint-Pacôme. However, I dare to keep a little hope, because it would be a disaster to return such beautiful equipment to nature.
Did council members think well about the consequences of their decision and were they well aware of the alternatives involved in respecting the camp? There is still time to reduce the damage. It’s about letting go of the “I’m the boss here” attitude.
Thanks to journalists Maxime Paradis and Stéphanie Gendron for their research and analysis. However, I guess they, like me, can’t say everything they know.
In conclusion, I sympathize with all the volunteers who have run the camp site since the 1960s and who are now accused of not doing enough.
Hearty greetings to the campers I met, from Quebec, Levis and our region and to the happy boys of L’Islet Sud.
André Hudon, Saint-Onésime-d’Ixworth