MRC buys slaughterhouse


MRC Pontiac acquires Abattoir les Viandes du Pontiac in Shawville

Tashi Farmilo

Local Journalism Initiative

SHAWVILLE – In a significant move to support local agriculture, the MRC Pontiac has confirmed the successful acquisition of Abattoir les Viandes du Pontiac, located at 65 Route 148 in Shawville. The purchase, which costs $1.6 million, includes the building, equipment, tools, cold room, and office furniture. The funding for this acquisition is drawn from components 3 and 4 of the Fonds régions et ruralité (FRR).

The decision to acquire the abattoir was solidified during a special meeting on March 13, where the Council of Mayors passed a resolution authorizing the MRC Pontiac to submit an offer to purchase all company lots. This strategic move ensures the continued operation of the slaughterhouse, a vital infrastructure for local agricultural producers.

Kim Lesage, Director General of the MRC Pontiac, emphasised the importance of maintaining the slaughterhouse’s operations in the region. “The MRC’s number one priority was to keep the slaughterhouse operating in the Pontiac, because we know how crucial this infrastructure is for our agricultural producers,” Lesage stated. “As soon as we heard the news that the company’s assets were up for sale, we mobilized our agricultural, economic, and government partners to see what options were available to us to maintain this service in the Pontiac.”

The MRC Pontiac plans to resell specialised machinery to a group of local farmers once they have incorporated as a cooperative. The Pontiac Farmers’ Group expressed gratitude for the MRC’s support. “We are grateful for the MRC’s contribution and support of Pontiac’s agricultural producers and agri-food businesses,” the group commented. “We’re convinced that maintaining the slaughterhouse’s activities will help reinforce the strong spirit of collaboration between local producers and agricultural processors.”

The retention of the slaughterhouse is also crucial for the success of the AgriSaveur project, an initiative led by the MRC Pontiac to provide farmers and processors with advanced equipment and processing space. This project aims to ensure that farm-to-plate products are 100% sourced from the Pontiac. Jane Toller, Warden of the MRC Pontiac, highlighted the positive impact of the acquisition on the AgriSaveur project. “This is excellent news, in line with our vision of developing our agri-food sector and building the AgriSaveur brand,” Toller said. “I’d like to thank all our partners and the MRC team for the work they’ve done to keep the abattoir operating in the Pontiac.”

The next steps for the MRC include meeting with all involved parties to establish a timetable for restarting the abattoir. This involves assessing the conditions for resuming operations, obtaining necessary permits and authorizations from MAPAQ, and setting up governance, operations

management, and recruitment structures for specialized employees. The aim is to resume abattoir operations in the near future, ensuring continued support for Pontiac’s

agricultural community.