MRC meeting – 2022 financial statements adopted

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Maryam Amini

MRC PONTIAC – The MRC Pontiac’s Council of Mayors’ monthly meeting was held April 19 at the MRC headquarters in Litchfield where the 2022 audited financial statements for the MRC and TNO were presented and adopted; the audit was done by Simon Thibault of Axè CPE Inc.

TNO 2022 finances

According to the TNO’s 2022 financial report revenue was $970,911 while expenses were $932,403. The budget for the year had predicted revenue and expenses equalling $728,527. According to Annie Vallaincourt, the MRC’s accountant: “The budget versus reality was actually very close. The big difference came from grants received for road work. There’s a budget for road work, but we can’t predict which grants we will apply for and if the funds will be allocated. In the end, revenue for the roads was higher and so were the expenses,” she explained, adding, there was a $123,982 surplus for the year.

Council agreed to spend $167,000, in 2023, to maintain roads defined as priorities: chemin Rapides des Joachims, chemin Schyan, chemin Bois Franc/Jim, chemin Picanoc/Osborne, chemin Traverse Charette, chemin Traverse Manitou and chemin Rte 20.
MRC 2022 finances

The MRC’s 2022 financial statement was adopted with $9,689,387 in revenue and $9,713,454 in expenses, leaving an accounting loss of $24,067. The actual revenue generated in 2022 was approximately $1,000,000 more than was budgeted for the year. Vaillancourt explained that more than $73,000 came from fines or penalties issued by the Sûreté du Quebec for speeding and other road violations, adding, “The leases had a surplus of $347,994 for 2022 and interest revenue … has been considerably higher than usual due to the interest rates being higher.” There was also additional revenue received from grants. At year-end, the accumulated surplus was $1,139,348, which is in
line with the amount recommended at 15% of the budget, noted Vaillancourt.

Administration

Council will request financial support from the province to offset public transit cost increases due to higher gas prices, a shortage of manpower and inflation. The MRC is experiencing an aging population and an influx of residents, which increases demand for transportation. Council believes the cost of transportation needs to be better distributed among the various levels of decision-making.

The MRC will create a committee to look into establishing a federal hub in the Pontiac for federal employees, similar to what has been done in other regions; many Pontiac residents are employed by the Federal government.

Council indicated their support for Videotron Ltd. which intends to submit a funding application to the Canadian Radio, Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) to construct and upgrade the transmission network in the MRC Pontiac to allow fibre diversity for existing telecommunication infrastructures with an alternative fibre path.

Economic development

Council agreed that $1,000 be granted to the Pontiac Bursaries Fund, taken from the Regions and Rurality Fund (FRR), for a Pontiac student pursuing studies in a field related to hospitality, tourism, outdoor activities, or sports.

Council also resolved to create an MRC committee called the Renewable Energy Committee to examine the planning and development of renewable energy in the Pontiac. The committee will receive any related requests, analyze them and
present recommendations to Council.

Public safety

The MRC will ask the provincial government to quickly and significantly increase the budget allocated to developing proven and effective safety measures around Quebec schools following the tragic death of 7-year-old Maria Legenkivska in a hit-and-run on December 13, 2022 on her way to school. According to the Institut national de sante publique du Quebec, between the years 2017 – 2023, an estimated 81 children between the ages of 5 and 12 were injured by motor vehicles in general.

Management of territory

The MRC will organize the Tree and Forest Festival and a fundraising BBQ for Bouffe Pontiac again this year to coincide with May as Quebec’s tree and forest month.