Crisis averted


We’re writing to address several biases and offer a more accurate perspective
following Louise Laroche’s letter, ‘Opportunity lost’, in the June 5 Journal.

Our residual waste is sent to Lachute’s landfill. In 2023, following council’s paid trip to York Durham’s incinerator, we asked our Regional Council whether they had also taken a research trip to the Lachute landfill. The response was “[we] can take a research trip [our]selves”, while they laughed around the table. Lachute landfill is an engineered landfill capable of capturing landfill gas, which can then be used for other applications. So in fact, we are sending our residual waste to a landfill site that is mitigating its effects on climate change.

Typically, local politics draws minimal interest. However, the fact that over 350 people attended the town hall meetings is a remarkable turnout, demonstrating a
significant surge of interest and engagement from the community.

There were definitely no “special officers”, or secret agents out to sabotage some great plan to save Pontiac from the clutches of poverty! Nobody was threatened or intimidated. Rather, concerned citizens from all walks of life, both affiliated and
non-affiliated, came together to petition their neighbours, distribute newspapers and newsletters, share concerns and engage in discussions with fellow community members and councils; things our warden wouldn’t permit.

A Pontiac incinerator wouldn’t have brought any economic or environmental benefits. While it may have been a solution for Ottawa, it would have significantly increased our disposal tonnage, hazardous waste and disposal fees. Moreover, it would’ve posed numerous health risks associated with burning garbage and plastics. Given Pontiac’s poor health status, as
indicated by CISSSO, it would be counterproductive to exacerbate the situation. It’s already challenging enough to deal with the impacts of Canadian Nuclear Laboratories; let’s not compound the issue.

The real ‘opportunity lost’ would be the regional compost program we lack due to the focus on incineration. We should advocate for transparent and accurate information, as
well as responsible decision-making, to avoid missing opportunities and to prevent disastrous outcomes.

Amy Taylor & Pat Goyette,
Pontiac Independent