“A disrespectful response” CISSSO addresses Pontiac citizens

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Allyson Beauregard

PONTIAC & MRC
PONTIAC  ­– After attending a Centre Intégré de la santé et des services sociaux de l’Outaouais Board of Directors meeting in Gatineau on January 26, Pontiac Voice members recently received a response to the questions they asked during the meeting – but not in the way they expected.

Allyson Beauregard

PONTIAC & MRC
PONTIAC  ­– After attending a Centre Intégré de la santé et des services sociaux de l’Outaouais Board of Directors meeting in Gatineau on January 26, Pontiac Voice members recently received a response to the questions they asked during the meeting – but not in the way they expected.
While each meeting attendant was asked to fill out a form with their questions as well as their contact information so they could each receive a response, the CISSSO responded to the group in one single email addressed to all of the
participants.
“[It demonstrates] a lack of respect for our group and Pontiac citizens,” said Maestro Joe, a Pontiac Voice acting committee member. “Only one of our numerous questions were answered: if they were not ready to reverse their
decision, could they allow a moratorium on the decision’s implementation. March 1 is quickly approaching and our group needs more time to carry on with our fight,” he added.
The CISSSO agreed to grant a one month moratorium. “We [believe] a one-month moratorium on the imposition of customer charges at the Pontiac Hospital will allow us to better explain the obligations of the CISSSO and respond to the concerns
of the population,” said the CISSSO’s response. However, Maestro Joe said a one month delay is not enough time for the group to address the National Assembly and file court actions.
In its message, CISSSO reiterated that the decision was made to comply with ministry guidelines requiring parking lot maintenance to be self-funded rather than being paid for using a facility’s operating budget. The CISSSO estimates the parking fees will generate about $53,000 in annual revenue to cover the maintenance of the parking lot and the depreciation of the equipment put in place. “Any surplus generated by this activity will be fully reinvested in the community through the Pontiac Foundation,” said the email.
For its next steps, Pontiac Voice will be meeting with the Pontiac’s government representatives; organizing a public meeting where all authorities will be invited; preparing a large-scale petition to present at the National Assembly; returning to CISSSO board meetings with more questions and larger representation; registering Pontiac Voice as a legal entity to allow them to proceed with legal action; and, if the CISSSO moves forward with their plans, preparing alternatives to offer free parking to boycott the paid parking.
Pontiac Voice is a citizen committee formed at the beginning of January. It currently has over 2,600 members.