MRC PONTIAC – On April 9, the federal government announced the recipients of a special funding envelope from Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (DEC) through the Winter Tourism Initiative to buy modern and high-quality equipment designed to improve and prepare trails for the post-COVID-19 recovery.
Of the over $760,000 awarded in the Pontiac federal riding, Les Pingouins Snowmobile Club will receive $196,055 to buy a new groomer for its 540 km of trails. The Club has more than 400 members and is supported by four employees and 30 volunteers who operate four groomers.
The Club Quad du Pontiac will also receive $177,677 to buy a groomer to maintain the 365 kilometers of trails under its jurisdiction. Club Quad has nearly 500 members, four employees and 12 volunteers who currently operate two sets of equipment for trail maintenance.
Across the entire Outaouais region, close to $1.4 million was awarded to ten cross-country ski, snowmobile and ATV clubs. In the context of a global pandemic, several of these activities have been impacted, in particular by the temporary absence of international tourists. Outdoor activities, however, have allowed people in the Outaouais region to be active, maintain mental health, and enjoy Canadian nature.
According to Pontiac MP William Amos, the investments will help improve and prepare outdoor tourism infrastructure for the post-COVID-19 recovery.
“Whether it’s to support cross-country skiing, snowmobiling or quad biking, these activities represent popular channels for both international and local tourists! And let’s not forget that those who participate in these winter activities are quite often, in their own way, ambassadors for our beautiful region,” he said.
According to Amos’ office, this is a one-time program that’s not expected to return anytime soon. A similar one was offered in 2017 (it funded the snowmobile bridge
in Portage-du-Fort), but ATV clubs weren’t eligible, which is new this time around.