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Added: Thu, 11/19/2015 - 11:44pm
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Amidst the new expansion at the MRC Pontiac building in Campbell’s Bay,
residents seem to be keeping a very
watchful eye on the construction process and were quick to point out that a company from outside the Pontiac, Mario Malette Foundation from Hull, was installing the foundation at the building. “The MRC shops local!” said one man sarcastically in a message left in my inbox.
But hold on; just wait a minute!
Yes, it is true, some companies from
outside our 19-municipality cluster
(including the Municipality of Pontiac) were subcontracted by the general
contractor, Gestion DMJ Management, who was awarded the $1.5 million
expansion contract: as noted, the foundation was done by a Hull-based company and the electrical work will be done by D.L Electrique from Maniwaki - which is actually still included within the Federal Pontiac riding. DMJ is also a Hull-Aylmer based company. The framers have yet to be announced.
However, the majority of the work is being given to companies right in our back yards: Gérald Lance from Shawville is the Site Manager, Plomberie Gatineau from Luskville will be doing the plumbing work, Campbell’s Bay Cement provided the cement for the foundation, Magnalum in Shawville will be supplying the structural steel, and Cuisines Pilon Kitchens – a
separate contract awarded by the MRC Pontiac – will be installing the kitchen. Perhaps some of us were a bit quick to
comment?
Organizations like the MRC Pontiac are bound by regulations that require them to submit a Call to Tender for work that needs to be done; a process that is intended to keep the awarding of contracts clean, fair, regulated and free of conflicts of interest and corruption. It’s very simple; the lowest conforming bidder usually wins the
contract, even if that means they are from outside the area. Doesn’t choosing the cheapest option make sense given that the MRC is funded, at least in part, by resident taxes? We’re quick to gripe when our shares to the MRC increase!
Would we (taxpayers contributing to the MRC) be willing to pay more in taxes to see only local companies hired if that were the case? Our struggling local businesses are proof that we aren’t poster children for
buying local ourselves and often shop
elsewhere to save a dime if we can.
Although it would be nice if the MRC only supported businesses in our own riding when possible, sometimes it’s not the
cheapest option. Sadly, in times of increased governmental cutbacks, cheaper is more attractive - and more essential – than ever. Sometimes it’s not possible to have our cake and eat it too.
Allyson Beauregard, Editor