Mayors approve over $400,000 in grants

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Maryam Amini

MRC PONTIAC – The monthly Pontiac council of mayors (COM) was held at the MRC building, on October 19. Warden Jane Toller and the mayors began with tributes to Maurice Beauregard, late Mayor of Campbell’s Bay, who recently lost his battle with cancer.

A moment of silence was held to honour him and council invited everyone to visit the recently dedicated Maurice Beauregard Park.

In the presentation part of the meeting, Monique Deiber spoke about a plan to participate in a car rally in Morocco; she is trying to raise $36,000. “This race is only for women, and I want to carry the flag of the Pontiac….the values of the race are courage, perseverance, and surpassing ourselves. I want to show that regardless of age you can realize your dreams,” concluded Deiber, herself in her fifties.

General administration

Council approved a contract of $118,300 to TransporAction for year 2022. TransporAction operates bus transit and paratransit service in partnership with the MRC. Council also approved the request for a $100,000 annual grant from the Ministry of Transportation for the paratransit service, for years 2022, 2023, and 2024.

It was resolved that Sandra Armstrong, mayor of Mansfield, will participate in the l’Assemblé régionale de l’Outaouais (ARO) organized by the Conférence des Préfets de l’Outaouais (CPO) on November 17. Warden Toller will also take part in this assembly.

This ARO will gather 42 regional stakeholders, including wardens, elected officials, and community members from the region. Toller noted the discussions will be around solutions for waste management, proposals to address housing, education, and access to health care. Toller added that the assembly is helpful to the MRC and “there is support for us there”.

Economic development: FRR funding announced

Council resolved to support the financial request from Tourisme Outaouais for $13,000 per year, for five years, for promotion of the Outaouais touristic route “Les Chemins d’eau”. Currently, it highlights
14 Pontiac attractions and new locations are being developed.

The recommendations from the Regions and Rurality Fund (FRR), Stream 2, analysis committee were released to Council and accepted; these funds are for development projects within the Pontiac, based on specific criteria.

Approved projects went to: Les Amies du manoir St-Joseph – Improvement of the living environment of seniors – $70,000; Bouffe Pontiac – Garde ta Bouffe Froide – $17,331; Campbell’s Bay Golden Age Club – Accessibility Chair Lift – $4,876; Fort-Coulonge Golden Age Club – Building Renovations – $14,182; Le Patro – Aquatic Project – $30,353; Pontiac Lions
Club – Phase 1 Renovations – $35,072; Pontiac Community Players – Portable sound system – $11,542; James Shaw Villa – $32,800; Town of Bryson – Revitalization and beautification of living environments – $84,266; Municipality of Mansfield – Les grandes rencontres – Mansfield citizens in action – $13,286; and the Town of Otter Lake – Splash pad – $104,000.

The total amount granted was $417,708. For more details about the fund and approved projects see page 9.

Connexion Fibre Picanoc contract delayed

Connexion Fibre Picanoc (CFP) was created in 2005 by the MRC Pontiac and the MRC Vallée-de-la-Gatineau in partnership with the local school boards to connect municipalities, schools, libraries, and fire halls to fiber optic; the MRC owns two fibre optic internet lines, covering approximately 110 kms. The COM was asked to approve a last-minute 1-year, renewable contract with CFP, now a division of Xplornet, for the lease of 57 kms of the MRC’s line at the rate of $1,000 per km, per year. The contract would bring in $57,000 per year to the MRC and would ensure the ongoing maintenance of the line. At least one mayor dissented (in favour of a full sale of the line, to which the schoolboards are opposed) and so the COM declined to vote on the issue, deferring discussion to their next
plenary meeting.

Council learned about the Resilient Development Component of the Flood Resilience & Adaptation Program (PRAFI) and how it could be helpful for annual flooding along the Black River Road; they resolved to authorize Director General Bernard Roy to sign all useful and necessary documents.