Despite cuts, there is still plenty of activity CRÉO funds two Pontiac projects

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Laurent Robillard-Cardinal &
Allyson Beauregard

The CRÉO (Conférence régionale des élus de l’Outaouais, composed of mayors, MRC wardens, MNAs and regional managers) announced its 2014-2015 action plan August 25 with more than $2.5 million slotted for regional development in the Outaouais. 

Laurent Robillard-Cardinal &
Allyson Beauregard

The CRÉO (Conférence régionale des élus de l’Outaouais, composed of mayors, MRC wardens, MNAs and regional managers) announced its 2014-2015 action plan August 25 with more than $2.5 million slotted for regional development in the Outaouais. 
“This … confirms funding for projects, actions, and other development needs which the region identified as priorities,” said Paulette Lalande, CRÉO President. “CRÉO has had budget cuts and we were faced with difficult choices – almost $3 in funding requests for every dollar available.” In 2013, the CREO budget was slashed by 34%, forcing it to cut positions.
 In the new action plan, CRÉO allocated an    additional $174,770 for new projects as part of the regional development fund; they had already earmarked $691,750 for the same fund. Projects to be helped include one with the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec for “professional arts practice”, an administrative agreement with Outaouais Tourism, and an innovation hub and a FabLab at CÉGEP de l’Outaouais.
The Youth Table, the Table Jeunesse Outaouais (TJO),will get an extra $93,797 for new projects; total commitments for TJO now reach $889,592. The TJO’s major goals are to encourage youth participation in politics and in elections.
Over half million for
 forest projects
The Commission régionale sur les ressources naturelles et le territoire public de l’Outaouais (CRRNTO) manages a $693,653   budget with $668,606 available for new forestry projects. One is the identification of commercial and leisure sites on public land in West Quebec.
Public and adapted transport gets $220,761, and $1,889,272 was locked in to fight poverty in the MRCs and in Gatineau.
Pontiac to benefit
Seven projects to increase knowledge of the area’s heritage and to develop expertise in historical matters were funded, including the Pontiac Pacific Junction Trail (PPJ) and one from the Municipality of Pontiac.
The Trail was given $3,400 towards a $7,730 project to create a podcast for cell phones.
“A podcast is a series of audio, video, or text files that people can download on their cell phones. Once on the PPJ, they can read, listen to, or watch information related to the PPJ and the area’s history,” explained Emilie Chazelas, CDE Pontiac Cultural Agent. The Pontiac Historical Society will help the CDE with the content of the pod casts. 
According to Chazelas, the pod casts are easy to maintain, can be modified cheaply, and are more user-friendly than billboards, for those who have cell phones, as the information can be downloaded anywhere so everyone can access the content, although cell phone coverage is restricted in some areas.  The grant will pay for the mobile application. “This project is the first of its kind in the Outaouais,” added Chazelas.
The Municipality of Pontiac’s  $14,000 project, ‘Un municipalité et des citoyens engages’ was awarded $3,500 to highlight the municipality’s history. Benedikt Kuhn, the municipality’s Interim Director General, added, “The [project’s] focus will be on volunteers and community groups who have contributed to making life in the community better, be it the Lions Club or the Women’s Institute.” Kuhn explained that citizens will share documents and memorabilia, especially “recorded memories from seniors.”
The funding through CREO was matched by the CLD’s cultural fund, and the municipality will add another $3,000. 
“The projects under this agreement will allow countless treasures of the Outaouais region to be discovered and developed. They will help to preserve precious heritage,” said Minister of Culture Hélène David, also responsible for the protection of the French language. She did not include Chapeau’s St. Joseph’s Convent in her “countless treasures.”