MRC meeting - Recycling electronics, - 911 service, citizens reject nuclear dump

Added: Wed, 09/27/2017 - 10:11pm
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Allyson Beauregard

CAMPBELL'S BAY – The 18 MRC Pontiac mayors met at the MRC office, September 19, for their monthly Council of Mayors meeting. The agenda included two presentations, the approval of a tender for phase three of the MRC building renovation, a resolution to change 911 service operators, requests and appeals to government agencies, among other things.
Denis Rozon from Bristol's Timberland Tours asked for the same financial support he received last year from the MRC (about $10,000) for his winter championship dog races, to be held in January 2018. Rozon explained that in order to attract top racers from around the world, prizes must be generous. Winston Sunstrum (L'Isle-aux-Allumettes) emphasized that the races are a huge event for the Pontiac and
suggested Rozon bring his request back to the MRC at budget time, which the Council supported.
A representative of the Quebec Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA) encouraged municipalities to install electronic waste stations at their dumps  to collect communications devices (TVs, computers, cell phones, printers, etc). EPRA, funded through eco-fees charged in stores, will provide the required bins and
coordinate pick-up at no charge; municipalities will  be compensated by the metric ton. Only Mansfield and L'Isle-aux-Allumettes are currently participating.
A contract was given to LCC & Associés Inc. to complete the renovation of the old part of the MRC building, for about $273,000. The funds will come from the MRC's budget, the FDT fund, and from funds transferred from the CLD when it closed. The renovation is expected to begin within a few weeks and take five weeks to complete.   
Public question period
Both Jim Coffey, owner of Esprit Rafting in Davidson, and Rick Bradshaw, a Sheenboro resident, addressed council regarding Canadian Nuclear Laboratories' proposed Near Surface Disposal Facility (NSDF). Coffey urged Council to take a clear stance on the issue rather than a “wait and see” approach. Bradshaw encouraged the mayors to thoroughly research the project and read both the Riverkeeper and Deep River submissions to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.
Warden Raymond Durocher stressed the MRC is following the file closely and will take an official stance and form an action plan once the details of the project have been thoroughly reviewed during a working session at the end of the month.
Changing 911 services
A resolution was passed to enter an agreement with the MRC-des-Collines to provide 911 services. Durocher said the switch from CLR, a Shawinigan based company who has provided the service for the last five years, is due
to proximity and to address issues such as language barriers and location errors.
“If we have an issue, we can call and maybe have an answer in 15 minutes rather than 15 days,” he said, noting it is also only a short drive to meet the operators face-to-face. “An emergency response service has to be close to the people it serves because we are playing with lives,” he added, noting there is no time for delays. The agreement will begin in January 2018.
Ministry appeals
Council will apply for up to $205,000 in funding through a Ministry of Public Security program for off-road intervention equipment and supplies.
They also requested the MRC have a say in the guidelines the Ministry of Natural Resources set up in February 2016 that no longer allow new leases to be issued on public land.
The mayors supported Temiscamingue in their appeal to the Ministry of Transport to restore funding to municipalities for winter snow plowing. When the MTQ transferred responsibility of municipal roads to municipalities in 1993, a fund was set in place to help offset the costs. As of 2016, winter snow plowing is no longer eligible for funding.
Council opposed the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks implementation of a $325 fee for permits to remove watercourse obstructions like beaver dams after downloading responsibility for management to municipalities. “It isn't right for us to have to pay for a permit to react to something that was made our responsibility,” said Regent Dugas, MRC Director of Territory.
The next Council of Mayors meeting will be held October 3.