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Remembering 2019: more good than bad

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Added: Wed, 12/18/2019 - 1:22pm
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Allyson Beauregard
Rédacteur / Managing Editor

With Christmas quickly approaching and 2019 drawing to an end, it’s common to look back and reflect on the past year – an eventful one for the Pontiac. We had lots of news – good and bad – to write about in 2019’s Pontiac Journal. 
Unfortunately, the human brain has a natural tendency to give weight to and remember negative experiences, interactions and events more than positive ones,
also known as the negativity bias, or what psychologists call positive-negative
asymmetry.
The Pontiac did experience significant struggles in 2019: the record-breaking spring floods tore thousands from their homes and many lives are still in limbo in the aftermath; although somewhat expected, the promise from Livewell Foods, now Eureka 93, to create a cannabis research facility in Litchfield with 500 jobs is up in the air due to financial troubles; and the Pontiac Community Hospital experienced several obstetrics interruptions as well as a handful in general surgery due to a lack of staff, although the future may be brighter (see page 6).
While the Pontiac is ranked the sixth poorest MRC in Québec, we can be proud
of countless positive developments in the last year. We can overcome our hardwiringto focus on the negative by highlighting the positive:
Shawville’s abattoir, a project many years in the making, officially opened;
A group of students from École secondaire Sieur-de-Coulonge in Mansfield completed an impressive four-day, 130 km ski adventure to Parliament Hill;
The Friends of St. Joseph’s Manor has raised over $300,000 for next year’s
expansion project (see page 30) and Residence Meilleur du Haut Pontiac, another long-awaited project, opened its doors;
Bryson native Yannick LaSalle received national honours as the Canadian Culinary Champion and Luskville resident Alexandra Paquette won the Canadian Archery Championship. Local residents Vera Ruttledge-Mayor, Suzanne Vallières-Nollet and Denis Rozon received provincial recognition for their community involvement;
The first Pontiac Kidney Walk in Shawville in May doubled the organizer’s goal and raised $20,000 for the Canadian Kidney Foundation;
The Pontiac Artists’ Studio Tour celebrated 30 years of success in June;
Campbell’s Bay’s splash pad broke ground in October and the Pontiac Senior Comets hockey team created last year is boasting top ranks in the league so far this season;  
Finally, the Pontiac Dialysis Unit is celebrating its first anniversary this month – a decade-long, $600,000 community fundraising endeavor.
This is just a snapshot of all the great things that happened in the Pontiac in 2019. So many more could be added to the list!
As 2019 draws to an end, combat the brain’s negative tendencies by savoring and remembering the good stuff: all of the region’s success stories and what make us happy and proud to live in the Pontiac.
See you in 2020, dear readers!