English weekly newspaper in Chateauguay Valley set to rise from the ashes

A well-loved English-language community newspaper in the Chateauguay Valley area south of Montreal is getting set to relaunch after it was shut down last fall.

The Gleaner, whose nameplate boasts has been around since 1863, has been the property of several media groups over the last few decades. Its most recent owners, Gravité Media, shut the paper down last fall — but offered the historic name to any group who wanted to take it over.

"They were incredibly generous, and they offered it to the English-speaking community," says Sarah Rennie, the interim president of the non-profit group which plans on taking the name and running with it. "If anybody was interested in acquiring the title, they offered it to us."

Eventually, the idea is to bring back a stand-alone print publication. Rennie hopes to have that happen by the fall. In the meantime, the group is planning a relaunch event in Huntingdon on Wednesday night.

A souvenir print edition is being produced for the occasion.

"It's a special edition print newspaper, so it's a 20-page paper that was put together entirely by volunteers." Rennie says. "We're hoping to get as much attention as we can, because we're going to launch a fundraiser at the same time, and then we're going to be online for the summer, and we're really hoping that come the fall, we're able to start putting together a weekly newspaper."

Rennie says an actual paper edition of the newspaper is very important to members of the largely rural wedge of southwestern Quebec nestled between the island of Montreal and the borders with Ontario and the United States.

"We're a rural area, so online access is just not there for everybody," she says. "There are people who are still on dial-up internet, actually."

CJAD 800's Shawn Dearn contributed to this report.