MRC consults public on 2020-2030 planning initiative

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Added: Wed, 02/13/2019 - 11:19pm
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Allyson Beauregard

CAMPBELL'S BAY - The MRC Pontiac, in collaboration with the SADC, Emploi Québec, the Ministère de l'Économie et de l'Innovation, and the Pontiac Chamber
of Commerce, launched its 2020-2030 strategic planning initiative, January 30 at the Campbell’s Bay RA Centre by inviting the Pontiac's economic actors and elected officials for a day of “community therapy” led by Doug Griffiths, author of “13 Ways to Kill Your Community”.
“Griffiths explained how to avoid destructive attitudes and turn aspirations into
concrete and winning strategies that will form the basis of Pontiac's future
economic vision,” said the MRC in a press release.
Afterwards, the 136 attendees divided into groups to discuss the region's
challenges, assets, needs and problems that need to be addressed, along with potential action plans. This was the first consultation on the 2020-2030 strategic plan, which will update and build on Vision 2020 (est. 2009) to determine the MRC's priorities and goals for the next ten years. 
“We are taking a look at what has been accomplished from Vision 2020 and deciding what to continue ... Many things have been achieved, but it's important to review if some things are worth pursuing or if we should go in a different direction,” said Warden Jane Toller, noting the Pontiac was very different when the previous plan was created.  
“One thing that has changed is, 10 years ago, there wasn't much discussion about forestry initiatives because Vision 2020 was created right after the closure of the mills, but now it's an important priority,” she added.
Toller emphasized the new plan will be an inclusive group effort. “This isn't being put together in an office at the MRC; it's very much going to be composed of the desires of the entire Pontiac: businesses, school boards, community organizations, residents – everyone will be consulted,” Toller told the Journal. 
 To collect public input and data on the future of the region, the MRC launched an anonymous online survey (www.mrcpontiac.qc.ca/
questionnaire). The questions ask to identify sources of pride in the Pontiac; the largest asset and risk to communities; visions of an ideal community; what untapped business opportunities should be pursued; what the MRC's top
economic development opportunity is; needed changes; desired new services; and where people are employed.
A series of public meetings will be held throughout 2019 to gather opinions in person.