Financial aid to improve access to public land in the Outaouais

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OUTAOUAIS – On behalf of the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, Stéphanie Vallée, Minister responsible for the Outaouais, announced a $3 million investment in a program reimbursing part of road construction and maintenance costs to forestry companies.

OUTAOUAIS – On behalf of the Minister of Forests, Wildlife and Parks, Stéphanie Vallée, Minister responsible for the Outaouais, announced a $3 million investment in a program reimbursing part of road construction and maintenance costs to forestry companies.
"These roads allow access to public lands for a variety of purposes such as hunting, fishing and other vacation activities as well as for the forestry industry, all of which generate important income for the regions. These roads also enable the protection of forests and the public when, for example, emergency response is needed,” explained the government in a press release.
“We want to see forestry companies invest more in roads. They have the possibility to recoup up to 90% of their investment through this program, which would really help improve access for all users,” said Pontiac MNA André Fortin.
“For example, we’re going to organize a meeting with the Jim Lake Association, the forestry companies and the ministry to discuss what is needed to improve that road. The money goes to the forestry industry, but by working together, we can try to ensure that the priority roads get the attention they need. This is new money in a new program. We got some good work done through the bridge and culvert program, such as ensuring continued access to Bryson Lake, and that will continue. This program for road improvements through forestry companies
represents another tool to help maintain the strategic road network,” he continued.
The MRC Pontiac welcomed the funding announcement, but wants to have input into what roads receive attention. Since the money is to be allocated on the basis of forestry activity in the region, the Pontiac stands to lose out as there is less activity
here than in other parts of the Outaouais. The Mayors’ Council has asked the minister to ensure the Pontiac receives 40% of the funding, as the MRC Pontiac
represents 42.39% of the Outaouais’ public land.
The government also highlighted $1.5 million in funding that was available this year to regional organizations other than the forestry industry for the restoration of bridges and culverts on public territory roads. Part of this money comes through a federal-provincial agreement signed in 2015. The deadline for applications was June 10, 2016.            (DP)