MRC bids on slaughterhouse

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(Photo: Abattoir les Viandes du Pontiac)

MRC places bid to save slaughterhouse

Bonnie James
Local Journalism Initiative

MRC PONTIAC – On March 15, the MRC placed a bid to purchase the assets including the building, equipment, machinery, and five lots, of Abattoir les Viandes du Pontiac. The slaughterhouse is in the process of filing for bankruptcy and the assets were up for sale.

MRC Communications Advisor Francis Beausoleil said the bid was made in an effort to keep the slaughterhouse in the Pontiac. Warden Jane Toller and Director General Kim Lesage both stressed that the move was in support of Pontiac agriculture.

Funds for the bid came from the third and fourth streams of the Regions and Rurality Fund (FRR) after a special sitting of the Council of Mayors held March 13 to authorize use of the funds. The resolution stated that the financing was aimed at maintaining the slaughterhouse’s activities on the territory.

MRC Economic Development Commissioner for Agriculture, Shanna Armstrong, and DG Kim Lesage held several meetings leading up to the bid with the Agrisaveur Committee, Warden Toller, the SADC, UPA, MAMH, MAPAQ, CDROL, local agronomist Roger St-Cyr, MRC lawyers, and key Pontiac agricultural producers to evaluate how the Agrisaveur agri-food processing project could be incorporated with the slaughterhouse.

Lesage said that a market study was still underway to determine how the Agrisaveur project could best meet the needs of local producers, but the imminent sale of the slaughterhouse has forced the MRC and stakeholders to speed up the process and consider what could be done to avoid losing the important facility.

On March 20, Lesage said that she hadn’t yet received any information regarding the MRC’s bid from the firm responsible for the sale, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, other than that it could take some time because of the number of stakeholders involved in the situation. “On that end, we don’t know what’s going on and they couldn’t give us a timeframe to expect an answer.” she said.

Lesage also mentioned while the MRC had placed the bid, if successful, the MRC will not be involved in the slaughterhouse operations and the exact configuration is still to be determined.