MRC PONTIAC – The region’s strategic plan, which has been in the works for the past two years, involving eleven public consultation sessions, an online survey and 34 individual submissions, was adopted and came into force on June 16, 2021.
The official vision statement that guided the development plan acknowledges nine themes and asks four questions for each: where are we now; where are we going if nothing is done; where do we want to go; and how do we achieve what we want. Themes were: quality living environments and local services, sustainable mobility, cultural land planning, climate change, biodiversity and species at risk, safety and resilience, agriculture and agritourism, tourism development, entrepreneurship and innovation, and forest and wood processing.
Jane Toller, warden and Chair of the Advisory Committee, commented on how the statement will revitalize the Pontiac, bring jobs and improve quality of life for residents and newcomers. She said residents reside in a territory rich in resources and “well situated across the river from Ontario…This Strategic Vision Statement will lay the groundwork to realize our potential.”
Strategic Vision Statement
By 2040, the Pontiac will be welcoming towards new people moving to the territory, local services will be maintained and new businesses will open, more opportunities will be available for youth, villages will be dynamic and promote socialization, there will be more cultural, community, sports, and recreational opportunities, and individuals will have better overall health. A public transit system will be in place, people will have more transportation options available, and active mobility infrastructure will be more developed. Cultural heritage will be better protected and enhanced.
By 2040, the Pontiac will have contributed to climate change mitigation and adaptation, and will have protected biodiversity, species at risk, wildlife and plant habitats, wetlands and natural areas. Measures will be put forward in order to reduce the vulnerability of communities to natural and human-induced constraints.
By 2040, agriculture, tourism, entrepreneurship, and the forest will continue to be key sectors for the Pontiac. Alternative agriculture, agrifood processing, agritourism, gourmet tourism, local purchasing, and short food circuits
will be further developed. Tourism attractions, accommodations and new trails for outdoor activities will be developed. Businesses and organizations will be innovative, diversified, and creative in responding to major recruitment and retention challenges. The reliability, coverage, and performance of Internet, landline phone, cell phone, and hydroelectric connections will be significantly improved. Forest uses will be more varied, forest equipment will be cutting-edge and renewed, and new wood processing projects will advance.
2030 Strategic Development Plan
The plan actualizes the vision statement, and contains a long list of action items that will focus the MRC’s efforts in the next ten years.
“Two working committees composed of elected officials, MRC staff, and representatives from the education, health and forestry sectors, were established to take part in the reflection process and to analyse the results of the public
consultation sessions. A number of meetings were also held with the Regional Council of Mayors, including an analysis exercise in collaboration with the Observatoire du développement de l’Outaouais (ODO). Mathias Péloquin of Visages Régionaux, a territorial marketing and community development firm that was hired to help with the plan, guided the working sessions; the objective was to provide a detailed portrait of the MRC’s situation in terms of strengths, weaknesses, threats, and potential opportunities,” said the MRC in a press release.
Sectors targeted in the plan, accompanied by specific actions items
were: tourism, culture and heritage, economic growth, agriculture, socio-community development, the environment, and forestry. The full report is available at https://www.mrcpontiac.qc.ca/en/the-mrc-pontiac-unveil-their-vision-2030-strategic-development-plan/.