MRC Meeting - Citizens protest PPJ free-for-all; tender threshold quadrupled

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Added: Wed, 05/22/2019 - 10:47pm
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About 30 users of the PPJ trail attended May’s MRC meeting to emphasize why allowing motorized vehicles on the trail would be a “huge step backwards”.

Allyson Beauregard

CAMPBELL’S BAY – The monthly Council of Mayors meeting was held at the MRC headquarters, May 15. The meeting began with a round of applause for Gabriel Lance, MRC assistant director general, who is retiring from the MRC after nearly a decade.
Over 30 people attended to show their support for the maintained use of the PPJ as a cyclist and pedestrian trail. Lynne Lavery from Green-PPJ-Verte explained the many reasons motorized vehicles shouldn’t be permitted on the trail and why “multi-use” isn’t feasible (see letter on page 5). Jim Coffey advised council that the Pontiac is “sitting on potentially touristic gold” and said the trail was developed before the region had the tools to properly promote it.
The group asked that the discussion about ATVs on the trail end, or for some of their members to be given a seat on the newly formed “multi-use committee”. Warden Jane Toller explained it is a mayor-only committee, that they have listened to multiple views, and it’s now time to “let the committee do their
work”. The committee will return to the MRC with recommendations.
Council resolved to contribute $85,000 from the TNO Fund for phase three of the improvement of the Jim’s Lake Road, which represents about 10% of the $992,000 to be invested this year. The remainder will be government funded.
Partnerships will be formed with TNO ZECs to do work on Osborne Road, Rapides-des-Joachims Road, Dumoine Road and the Osborne Lake Bridge where the MRC will provide up to 50% of the funds needed.
The MRC will begin negotiations with MAPAQ to possibly form a sectorial agreement for agriculture, which existed in the past, to fund related
projects.
Council will ask the provincial government to provide recommendations and guidance on cannabis use so the MRC can move forward with its own bylaw.
Council agreed to increase the threshold for public call to tenders from $25,000 to $101,100, a power municipalities were given in January 2018. The bylaw includes measures to favor the rotation of potential contracting parties, to prevent conflict of interest or intimidation, influence peddling or corruption, etc.
A variety of resolutions related to the flood were passed: to establish a local Ministry of Public Security (MPS) office; to host further bilingual MPS meetings; to coordinate flood waste collection; to divide a donation received from a local resident between four of the region’s Lions Clubs to distribute to flood victims; to invite Pontiac MNA André Fortin and Pontiac MP Will Amos to the next MRC meeting to discuss strategies to address the 2017 and 2019 floods as well as future  floods; for political leaders from both Québec and Ontario to work together concerning future management of the river to ensure the voices of smaller communities are heard; and for an independent audit of the condition of the dam system as well as a plan of action for future management. The MRC supported Mansfield’s resolution for an independent inquiry into the river management system.
The next Council of Mayors meeting will be held June 19.