Quebec town insists politics not involved in demolition of controversial house

MONTREAL — There has been a strong public outcry over the demolition of a house in the town of Chambly, Quebec, with links to a civilian uprising against British rule in the 1800s.

The house, built around 1820, was home to Rene Boileau, a local notary who took part in the Rebellions of 1837-1838.

His father, also named Rene, was a member of the parliament of Lower Canada for the Canadian party, which later became the Patriot party in 1826.

Despite efforts by local citizens to save the house, the wrecking ball brought down the Maison Boileau on Thursday.

Michel Larose, the town’s director-general, said he made the decision to demolish it because it was in poor condition, insisting it had nothing to do with politics.

“It’s mainly the question of safety that prompted me to act,” Larose said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

Larose said the municipality is not required by law to have a resolution from council to demolish a building, especially when the structure belongs to the town.

But Louise Chevrier, a local historian and novelist, said Saturday that rules were not followed, no demolition notice was given and the decision was made in secret.

“The house should have been restored, but the town of Chambly did not take all the necessary measures to protect it,” she said.

Chevrier is also part of a citizens’ movement that organized a vigil Saturday evening.

She said the group is ”convinced the house could have remained standing for decades.”

The Maison Boileau was originally abandoned by its owners in 2016 because it was no longer habitable due to mould and concerns that it would collapse.

The town paid $550,000 to buy the property and had hoped to turn the house into a tourist office, but that idea was abandoned.

Larose said engineers estimated in November 2017 that it would have cost $1.8 million to rebuild it and today, the bill would have surpassed $2 million.

When crews arrived on Thursday, several residents and a local politician tried unsuccessfully to halt the demolition.

Christian Picard, a former Parti Quebecois candidate in the recent election, was arrested for trying to stop workers from bringing down the house, but was later freed.

He slammed the town’s administration on Saturday, adding that it’s time to change the way Quebec protects its heritage.

“There’s clearly a problem in Quebec and we have to change our practices, our regulations and laws,” Picard said in an interview.

“We have to find a new way to protect our heritage.”

Today, the rebellions of 1837-1838 do not go unheralded in Quebec.

While the rest of Canada celebrates Victoria Day, Quebecers mark National Patriots’ Day on the Monday preceding May 25th.

Just Posted

Red Deer loses out on funding for addiction clinic

$8 million divided among eight communities

Man accused in toddler son’s death inept parent, not murderer: defence

EDMONTON — A defence lawyer says a man who is accused of… Continue reading

Feds approve Alberta’s carbon tax on big industrial emitters

OTTAWA — The federal government is giving the Alberta government a passing… Continue reading

Kenney to meet Trudeau next week, discuss pipelines and equalization

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are… Continue reading

Social media furor forces cancellation of Blackfalds school dance

Wolf Creek Public Schools cancelled a school family dance this week after… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: Ethical and sustainable gifts for the season

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Tuesday The Central Alberta Council on Aging will hold its Christmas General… Continue reading

Man accused in toddler son’s death inept parent, not murderer: defence

EDMONTON — A defence lawyer says a man who is accused of… Continue reading

Feds approve Alberta’s carbon tax on big industrial emitters

OTTAWA — The federal government is giving the Alberta government a passing… Continue reading

Kenney to meet Trudeau next week, discuss pipelines and equalization

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau are… Continue reading

Leon Draisaitl, Alex Chiasson score early power-play goals, Oilers beat Kings 2-1

Oilers 2 Kings 1 EDMONTON — Leon Draisaitl and Alex Chiasson each… Continue reading

‘Things haven’t changed enough.’ Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

MONTREAL — There were promises to end violence against women and solemn… Continue reading

Appeal denied: Man who killed couple, their grandson wanted conviction quashed

CALGARY — Alberta’s top court has upheld the conviction of a man… Continue reading

Central Alberta high school football leagues hand out annual awards

The high school football season officially concluded with the annual all-star banquet… Continue reading

Most Read