MRC announces priorities for 2018

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Carl Hager

CAMPBELL’S BAY – Warden Jane Toller of the MRC Pontiac announced the eleven priorities arising from the input of the 18 mayors at the retreat on January 20th. The goal was to discuss issues and set regional development priorities for 2018. The list will guide the MRC’s actions and decisions to promote social and economic development this year.

Carl Hager

CAMPBELL’S BAY – Warden Jane Toller of the MRC Pontiac announced the eleven priorities arising from the input of the 18 mayors at the retreat on January 20th. The goal was to discuss issues and set regional development priorities for 2018. The list will guide the MRC’s actions and decisions to promote social and economic development this year.
Topping the list was internet and cellular coverage.
The remaining priorities were: increased forestry and agriculture operations, Pontiac pool, road infrastructure, French CEGEP and trades programs, increasecomposting and recycling, ATV trails network, tourism marketing, regional industrial park and small business creation/Main Street revitalization. These
priorities will be evaluated January 2019 although targets to be achieved were not identified at this meeting.
Ron Godin spoke on behalf of First Nations peoples saying wood should not be allowed to leave the Pontiac since it belongs to First Nations peoples, and there is no agreement with the government that allows the exodus of lumber to mills outside the MRC. He requested a resolution be passed to retain wood locally. Godin said that a petition will be circulating, and this may lead to the blockade of lumber transport trucks to prevent them from leaving the Pontiac. Toller asked that all activity be done peacefully.
The MRC granted $25,000 towards TransporAction Pontiac for the municipal share of 2018 operational expenses. The SADC has petitioned the federal government for more funding to provide better support to local businesses. Discussion occurred on the possible environmental impact of activities at the Industrial park. Mayor Larivière of Litchfield said everything was in order as Environment Québec has been monitoring activities. During the public session Deborah  Powell spoke about the MRC’s plan to open the Chats Falls area to private use. The issue will be formally voted on at the next meeting of the MRC.
Prior to the meeting, Louise Marie Beaudry said a peace prayer near the portrait of the ancestral leader of the Algonquin named Pontiac, which has been etched in the floor. Toller said that she is responding to the indigenous community who complained that people were walking on Chief Pontiac, and the area is now cordoned off as a sign of respect. A mural devoted to Pontiac and the history of
indigenous people will be installed adjacent to the area.