MRC meeting Kitigan Zibi partners with MRC to protect biodiversity

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Bonnie James

MRC PONTIAC – The MRC Pontiac’s Council of Mayors’ monthly meeting was held June 21 at the MRC headquarters in Litchfield. Warden Jane Toller emphasized the fire ban, asking mayors to ensure fire ban signs are up. She acknowledged the frustration of campers and cottagers, but said risks can’t be taken.

Justin Bertrand, guidance counsellor at École Secondaire Sieur-de-Coulonge, told the mayors of a partnership between Quebec’s Ministry of Culture and Communications and Fort-Coulonge to offer free summer workshops for youth (12 – 18 years) as part of a youth mental health initiative promoting mentorship and cultural exchange.

Administration

Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation is partnering with MRCs to protect biodiversity. The collaborative project seeks to identify the state of biodiversity in the Outaouais, raise public awareness of the importance of protecting nature, work with the province to achieve United Nations COP-15 targets, and make suggestions to help achieve these targets in the Outaouais.

Council supported the request of Cégep de l’Outaouais to become a recognized institution under the Parcours Student Mobility Grants program. This would give students living more than 60 km away from the campus the opportunity to receive $7,500 annually towards housing closer to campus.

Economic Development

$5,000 from the Regions and Rurality Fund – Stream 2 (FRR) will be used to pay the Conseil regional de l’environnement et du développement durable de l’Outaouais (CREDDO) for expert advice regarding the creation of guidelines and priorities concerning solar energy development.

Pontiac Tourism has been offered a grant from Google for $10,000 worth of free advertising monthly but their website must be updated. Council will pay for the $6,050 update using FRR – Stream Two funds.

The MRC has received a $16,000 grant from Tourism Outaouais to complete the trail signage project at Rocher-a-l’Oiseau.

A committee was formed to analyze the business plan for the Energy from Waste project: Jane Toller, Alain Gagnon, Corey Spence, Lynne Cameron, Guillaume Boudreau, and a CREDDO representative.

Public Safety

Julien Gagnon, MRC public safety coordinator, said there are currently no fires in the TNO and all travel restrictions have been lifted, but a fire ban remains in place.

An amendment was made to last month’s resolution requesting that the speed limit on Highway 148 through Waltham village be lowered to 70 km/h; they’re now asking that it be lowered to 60 km/h.

Management of territory

Council requested that while repaving Route 301 North near Otter Lake, the Ministry of Transport also pave the shoulders to help develop cycle tourism and encourage residents to use active transportation.

Council will spend $124,674 from the Fonds de mise en valeur du territoire to improve road access to Lac de la Loutre. The roads to be constructed and repaired will serve both resort development and logging operations. Durand said the investment will be repaid by the stumpage fee, logging operations, and rental fees from the resort.

Youth Council

The MRC’s Youth Council has asked Council to make a request on their behalf to the MTQ to install a flashing-light stop sign at the crosswalk on Highway 301 North, providing access to Pontiac High School in Shawville. They say vehicles are travelling quickly and not stopping for pedestrians at this crossing.