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Tuesday, 08 November 2016 09:39

The beginning of the world

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The beginning of the world Paul Cyr

As a native of Grand Isle I know that in the St. John Valley we don't live at the end of the world nor at the end of U.S. Route 1. We actually live at the beginning of the world, the beginning of U.S. Route 1.

We're not isolated from the rest of the state, they're isolated from us.

We live in an area with an population of about 100,000 residents. We're as big as Portland (about 65,000) and Bangor (about 30,000) combined.

Maybe we need to stop looking south for our economic development and begin looking at our closest neighbors and our closest markets. We need to look north, into northwest New Brunswick and southeast Québec.

Someone said if you stick a pin in the middle of the international bridge between Madawaska and Edmundston and draw a circle with a 60 mile radius, you'll find about 100,000 residents in 50 municipalities.

Madawaska County, N.B., has a population of about 35,000 and Témiscouata County, QC, has a population of about 20,000, while Aroostook County has a population of about 70,000. Granted, not all of those 70,000 live within 60 miles of the bridge in Madawaska but the vast majority of them do. Let's say, for instance, that about 50,000 do. That's 100,000 potential customers and trading partners with easy driving distance from where you live.

When we look north, it becomes very obvious that we are not isolated at the end of the world. We actually live in an area of North America with tremendous potential. You know as well as anyone else that this area is largely underdeveloped.

The Acadia of Lands and Forests, our home, is ours for the taking if we learn to work together as one economic giant. The good news is that this has already started on a modest scale. Seeds are being planted here and there. You need to get in on these promising undertakings, you need to create your own opportunities here, in your backyard gold mine.

Look around. Positive things are happening in the background. Don't be left out. Contact Succeed Here at:

Read 4415 times Last modified on Tuesday, 08 November 2016 10:55
Don Levesque

He spent more than 30 years in community journalism, mainly at the St. John Valley Times, located in Madawaska, Maine. where he wrote a bilingual newspaper column, Mon 5¢, for more than 20 years. He has been inducted into the Maine Franco-American Hall of Fame ans into the Maine Journalisme Hall of Fame.

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