Lac Pepin area zoning in the Ministry’s hands

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Allyson Beauregard

TNO – MRC Pontiac mayors voted, January 27, to return a file concerning the Lac Pepin area of the TNO to the Ministry of Natural Resources; the Council of Mayors is
asking the Ministry to reassess the current zoning which allows for ‘exclusive rights’ in the area. 

Allyson Beauregard

TNO – MRC Pontiac mayors voted, January 27, to return a file concerning the Lac Pepin area of the TNO to the Ministry of Natural Resources; the Council of Mayors is
asking the Ministry to reassess the current zoning which allows for ‘exclusive rights’ in the area. 
According to Regent Dugas, MRC Pontiac Director of Territory, the Ministry went through several steps to establish the area with exclusive rights for an un-named promoter back in the 1980’s, but the promoter backed out at that time. “The area was created administratively, but not operationally,” said Remi Bertrand, MRC Pontiac Director General.
“But times have changed,” said Dugas,
noting that conditions allowing exclusive rights zoning have also changed in the past 30 years. “We are asking the Ministry to look at the file again to see if the conditions for
exclusive rights are still met. We suspect they won’t be,” he continued.
According to Bertrand three of these zones
existed in Quebec; two were removed. “The
territory exists, but it
wasn’t allocated. The Ministry asked us what we want to do with it, but we are asking them to look at the file again, taking into account today’s reality.
We aren’t taking a stance right now,” he explained.   
The situation arose after a local outfitter asked the Ministry about the area’s current zoning, to use it as part of their operation; a MRC by-law bans exclusive rights in the area. The Ministry forwarded the file to the MRC mayors for input. “What we are doing is
asking the Ministry to reassess their rules and regulations and then we will tell you where we stand,” said Raymond Durocher, Warden and Mayor of Fort-Coulonge. “We can’t make a decision based on 30 year old data,” he stressed.
Several mayors indicated their opposition to exclusive rights in the questioned area. “There are local people already established there; we don’t want to see them out of a place to hunt or fish,” said William Stewart, Mayor of Campbell’s Bay. “I’m not against progress, but I am against exclusive rights,” added Doris Ranger, Mayor of Sheenboro. Mayor of Thorne, Terry Murdock, added to the discussion: “We’ve already lost outfitters in that region because of the roads, so why put anymore there?”
The Ministry is expected to review the file and return it to the Council for their input.