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Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
Ross Murray
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is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at ross_murray@sympatico.ca
Posted 06.27.06
Stanstead, Quebec

ROSS MURRAY

All Orford, all the time

And now, the news:

In Quebec's ongoing top story of 2006 (or quite possibly ever), opponents of the Mount Orford Park land deal say they will launch a legal challenge against the Quebec government's legislation to sell off a portion of the public land.

"We're still consulting our lawyers but we're thinking of using the Quebec Charter of Human Rights and something involving sharp poking things," said a spokesperson for SOS Orford at one of the coalition's twice-daily press conferences.

Meanwhile, Brome-Missisquoi MNA Pierre Paradis said he plans to shave off all his body hair and stand in front of the National Assembly shirtless with "Selling Off Orford is Just Plain Stupid" written on his chest in Magic Marker.

But he insisted he was not in opposition to his Liberal government but merely representing the wishes of his constituents.

Paradis is facing sanctions from his party for voting against the legislation to sell off the Orford ski hill and golf course. This, too, may involve sharp poking things.

Liberal leader Jean Charest made front-page news earlier this week by saying nothing new on the Orford deal. He did, however, sigh loudly and mutter, "I'm so-o-o-o-o bored."

In other news, public hearings are under way to extend Autoroute 410 around Lennoxville. It is expected that this proposed highway will ease traffic congestion and make it easier to get to and from Mount Orford Park.

Eastern Townships tourism officials said this week that the start of the summer season had been slow. They blamed the rain, cold, the high Canadian dollar, a flu bug that devastated the Rainbow Country Cloggers, and a widespread perception among tourists that the entire Eastern Townships had been sold to private investors, just like Mount Orford Park.

At a special meeting earlier this week, Townshippers' Association passed a resolution agreeing to exert pressure on the Quebec government to stop calling Mount Orford Park a "national" park.

The resolution is entitled, "Excuse Us for Making a Fuss, But It Really Is a 'Provincial' Park, Thank You Very Much."

In science news, biologists have found a rare species of hyacinth in northern Quebec. Scientists have determined that if it were transplanted to Mount Orford Park, it would probably die.

In Quebec entertainment, 13-year-old singing sensation Marie-Pier Thibeault-Laframboise has made the Top 10 with her new single "Arête &ccedi;a, toi!" The song has caused a sensation with its provocative lyrics (our translation follows):

    My country is not a country
    Well, it's sort of a country
    We're big enough to be a country
    And we have our own identity
    And star-system for people just like me
    But really we're part of the Canadian federation
    At least until you hear otherwise, please stay tuned

    My mountain is not a mountain
    It's a park. Actually, it's both,
    Which can be confusing sometimes
    But my point is my mountain is a symbol
    Of our identity as a people
    And you can't sell our identity.
    Also, we're rather upset about the whole
    No-smoking-in-bars thing.

    Orford, mon Orford, Mont Orford
    Je t'aime
    Orford, mon Orford, Mont Orford
    I've never been there but I'm told it's quite nice

In sports, observers are still commenting on Phil Mickelson's stunning collapse at last weekend's U.S. Open. Many believe that he would have fared much better had he been playing at the Orford Golf Course.

In weather, warm and wet conditions prevail, perfect for an ecosystem like Mount Orford's. There is a zero percent chance of snow, which is a necessary element for making the park profitable. Or not.

If you mix up the letters of "Mount Orford Park" you get "a tankard for oil porn."

Exclusive! Bat Boy sighted at Mount Orford!

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