MRC mayors meeting – Kim Lesage, new Director General

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Maryam Amini

MRC PONTIAC – The monthly meeting of the Council of Mayors (COM) was held Wednesday, February 15, at the MRC offices in Campbell’s Bay. Warden Jane Toller started the meeting by announcing Kim Lesage has been chosen as the MRC’s new Director General after serving as interim DG since last November. “It has been a long process and we did four interviews. I thank Kim for the skills she brings with her as an engineer and, now, as a manager.”

Lesage also thanked the Council for their trust, adding “We will continue to progress and vitalize the Pontiac together.” There will be a job posting for the engineer’s position, soon.

Toller also explained that she has started a municipal tour to talk about the Energy from Waste project. She encouraged residents to participate in these meetings.

TNO meeting

Council resolved to give Jason Durand, the director of the TNO, the authority to sign an agreement with local ZECs in order to enable taxpayers, outfitters and their TNO customers to cross through a ZEC without having to pay a fee.

Administration

The COM resolved to support the Observatoire de Développement régional de l’Outaouais (ODO), a space for sharing information, research and mobilization of knowledge and best practices on development in the region. The aim is to meet the information needs of all Outaouais’ MRCs.

They agreed to pay $9,169 to a contractor from a 2018 file with the Société d’Habitation du Québec (SHQ) because the contractor was never paid.

Economic development

Following a recommendation from the investment committee, the COM agreed to extend the completion of a Regional Council Grant, for a local business, until June 30, 2023.

The COM adopted the Tourism Vision 2030 strategic development plan and authorized the Economic Director Guillaume Boudreau to sign a maximum $10,000 contract with EKO Image Production for the production of a 30 minute show about nature and hiking trails in the Pontiac. The name of the program is Alexis le Randonneur : Plein air, randonnées et découvertes.

FRR funding surpluses and new funds

The mayors resolved to add three members to the steering committee related to the Fonds Régions et Ruralité (FRR) funding streams: Mayor of Mansfield, Sandra Armstrong; Economic Development Director, Guillaume Boudreau and Director General, Kim Lesage. –––– “MRC” p. 14. They are to ensure the implementation of the on-going agreement signed with the Ministère des Affaires Muninicipales et de l’Habitation (MAMH) on March 31, 2020 for the use of these funds.

There was a surplus of $189,399 left from the 2021 FRR, stream 2; it was resolved to launch a new call for structural development projects, starting March 17, 2023, with a deadline of April 18, 2023.

A new stream of funding under FFR 2023 for structural projects will be launched later this year, on August 15, 2023 with a deadline of September 28, 2023.

The Festivals & Major Events fund will be divided into two calls. The anticipated dates for launching the program are February 22, 2023, for events taking place between June 1 to December 31, 2023; deadline April 4, 2023. For events between January 1 and May 31, 2024, the call for projects will begin on September 26, 2023 with a deadline of November 7, 2023.

For more information on these funds contact the economic development office at the MRC.

Three annual reports were presented at the meeting: FRR 2020, PPJ 2022 and FDT (Fond de Développement du Territoire) 2019-2020. More information about them will be published in the next issue.

Public safety

The Council voiced their support for the municipality of L’Isle-Aux-Allumettes’ formal request to Hydro Quebec (HQ) for a public meeting that would discuss a formal plan, including timelines, to improve their infrastructure and create redundancy for hydro services in the Upper Pontiac area (Sheenboro, Chichester, L’Isle-aux-Allumettes, Waltham and Mansfield-Pontefract); improvements to communication with the residents as well as with the municipalities, before, during and after an event; and compensation for residents and municipalities who may have suffered unnecessary expenses, loss or damages due to the outages.

Potentially contaminated bio solids

The MRC supported a resolution from MRC Lotbinière concerning the control of bio solids in Quebec following reports that certain bio solids appear to be imported from the United States and could potentially be contaminated.