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2019 in review

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Added: Wed, 01/15/2020 - 11:55pm
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Lionel Tessier

January
Public dissatisfaction with the performance of the Centre intégré de santé et
de services sociaux de l'Outaouais (CISSSO) led to an investigation by the Ministry of Health and the appointment of Sylvain Gagnon as a special agent to produce a report on the state of health services in the region.
The abbatoir in Shawville officially opened January 14; operations began in November 2018.
Bill C-46 allows police officers to demand a blood alcohol level test from any driver of a vehicle.
Dog sled races were a great success January 5/6 at Timberland Tours in Bristol.
February
The Pontiac Sorting Centre was fined $40,000 for non-compliance.
A $100,000 grant from the MRC Pontiac to LiveWell – the company promising to create a cannabis research facility in the Pontiac Industrial Park – was recanted because conditions were not met.
Jean Hébert, CEO of CISSSO, was dismissed.
A 63% tax increase for Municipality of Pontiac businesses.
Opening of a Youth Centre in Otter Lake February 15.
March
Interruption of services began at the Pontiac Community Hospital.
To date, the MRC Pontiac invested more than $400,000 to create a Biomass Conversion Centre in Litchfield.
Litchfield and the MRC Pontiac supported the Pontiac Sorting Centre’s request to create a landfill, but the Ministry was reluctant to give its approval because of the company’s many infractions.
April
Sheenboro native Dr. Wilbert Keon died at the age of 83. He was famous for performing the first heart transplant (1984) and the first Canadian to implant an artificial heart (1986).
The federal government provided an additional $2 million to Pontiac municipalities from the Federal Gas Tax Fund.
The MRC Pontiac created a committee to study the possibility of allowing ATVs to use the PPJ bike path.
Rising water levels caused residents to worry about major flooding.
May
The Pontiac struggled with the worst flooding in its history: hundreds of homes and cottages were flooded by exceptionally high waters.
Mansfield called for an independent investigation into the river management system.  
The Ministry of Public Security announced it will provide financial compensation to residents affected by the flooding. Those whose primary residences suffered damage of more than 50% of their value were not eligible to renovate or rebuild.
The Ministry of the Environment issued a preliminary refusal for the Pontiac Sorting Centre’s landfill application.
June
More than a thousand spectators attended the fourth annual Country Festival in Fort-Coulonge.
Both the Pontiac Artists’ Studio Tour  and Jardin educative celebrated 30 years.
After the merger of the Fort-Coulonge and Chapeau Caisses, the new entity, the Caisse Desjardins des rivières de Pontiac, considered moving its head office from Fort-Coulonge to larger premises: members are consulted.
Josée Filion became CISSSO’s CEO.
Citizens protested allowing ATVs on the PPJ trail.
July
The Ministry of Public Security held public consultations on its controversial special intervention zone (ZIS) map.
August
More than 200 people attended the Festival international du cinéma des femmes in Fort-Coulonge/
Mansfield.
A flotilla protest starting in Sheenboro is staged against storing radioactive material in a Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF) in Chalk River.
Eureka93’s (formerly LiveWell) operations came to a standstill.
Cadence Beck was crowned the 2019 Shawville Fair ambassador.
New record set for power outages in L'Isle-aux-Allumettes.
Campbell's Bay Cement was awarded the contract for managing residual waste for the MRC Pontiac.
The annual Shawville Fair began August 29.
September
Nearly four months after the spring floods, residents were still waiting for reports from the Ministry of Public Security to begin essential repairs before winter.
Eureka93 said it was short of capital, was considering selling its assets, and was laying off employees.
After studying the project, the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed the public's fears regarding the radioactive material dump at Chalk River.
Ceremony September 18 for the Pontiac Journal’s Readers' Choice awards.
2019 federal election campaign in full swing.
More than 150 people participated in the annual Terry Fox Run.
October
Équité Outaouais denounced the lack of funding for health services in the Outaouais, which receives only 76% of the provincial funding average.
Piscine Pontiac sought funding for its project valued at $12 million.
Otter Lake municipality spent $60,000 over the past eight years to clean up garbage left in illegal dumps.
William Amos re-elected for a second term in the
federal election with 49% of the votes.
November
Remembrance Day celebrated in all Pontiac municipalities.
Difficulties worsened for the Pontiac Community Hospital’s obstetrics unit.
The Ottawa River Regulation Planning Committee held open houses and claimed the spring
flooding was unavoidable due to a mixture of above average weather conditions. Another report commissioned by the Ontario
government came to the same conclusions, rejecting that flooding was due to human error.
Splash pad installed in Campbell’s Bay.
December
The tenth annual walk to raise awareness about violence against women held in Mansfield/Fort-Coulonge.
75th anniversary celebrated for the Caisse Desjardins des rivières de Pontiac.
December 13 the Pontiac Sorting Centre announced operations will cease, and 32 employees laid off as of December 15.
Eureka93 announced it was unable to continue investing in the Litchfield project.
The Festival of Lights at Chutes Coulonge attracted many visitors every weekend throughout December.