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One riding at a time ….

April 17, 2009

Federal minister wants to rescue famous Quebec observatory

The federal minister of public works said Thursday he will do everything he can to ensure the famous Mont Mégantic Observatory receives funding to remain open. Christian Paradis said he was angry (He should only be concerned and sign here!) when he heard about the decision to cut funding to the observatory, which is in his riding of Mégantic-L’Érable east of Montreal.

”I won’t be in problem mode; I will be in solution mode. So I committed myself to go to every door that I could knock on, and I even had a discussion with the prime minister,” Paradis said. The Conservative cabinet minister insists the observatory’s budget was not cut by the government. He said the government cut funding to the National Research Council, which in turn funds the observatory.

A director at the observatory, René Doyon, said Thursday it’s good news that someone is trying to help, but he hasn’t yet heard anything from Paradis.

”I’m trying to get in touch with him to discuss exactly what the plan is. But this is obviously a very positive development, and we really appreciate the effort that Monsieur Paradis is doing for this,” Doyon said.

The observatory was told recently its annual grant of about $300,000 would be cut by 40 per cent this year and would be eliminated after that, according to another observatory director, Robert Lamontagne.

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