There was Estrie, then Montérégie. There was also Brome-Missisquoi, La Pommeraie and Les Cantons-de-l’Est. Finally there is Town of Brome Lake which forms part of all this, both separately and at the same time! Obviously all these territories, be they geographic, historical, administrative, political, sanitation or tourism, have a purpose, except to simplify life.

In the beginning, that is in 1792, there were the Eastern Townships within the colonial government of Lower Canada. In 1858 it was decided that those Townships would become Les Cantons-de-l’Est. That matter was settled. At least until 1981 when, in its wisdom, the Government of Quebec created l’Estrie, which included most of the the Cantons-de-l’Est. But hold on, it’s not that simple. These new Cantons did not include municipalities further to the west, such as Granby, Dunham and Sutton, because they had to make room for a new place: la Montérégie; it was there that they placed Cowansville, Farnham, Bromont and finally Brome Lake, whether they wanted in or not.

When the time came to think about the future and try to fathom what card to play, one had to contact the MRC de Brome- Missisquoi, a group of 21 municipalities – including TBL – which decides all sorts of things: for example, should one join l’Estrie or remain in Montérégie when the population needs medical care, or to obtain subsidies? There lies the existential question: are you Estrien or Montérégien?

After years of discussion, the MRC de Brome-Missisquoi recently opted to transfer to Estrie the entire range of provincial governmental services…on condition that the Caquiste government form a committee for the harmonious transition to l’Estrie, whose acronym might be CFHTE or CPTHVE in French! But, for the moment, and to make things simple, if that is still possible, TBL will be part of l’Estrie for all matters concerning transportation, tourism, immigration, health and social services, environment and public security. We will have to turn to Montérégie for matters relating to communications, the economy and innovation, energy and natural resources, employment, municipal affairs, agriculture food supply and so on.

Oh, by the way: when a tourist is lost in Brome Lake, he is in fact lost in the Cantons-de-l’Est.

Translation: Tam Davis