MRC meeting launches call for development projects

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Maryam Amini

MRC PONTIAC – The Pontiac Council of Mayors’ monthly meeting was held March 15 at the MRC headquarters in Litchfield. Warden Jane Toller was absent, so pro-warden Sandra Armstrong took over.

Administration

Kim Lesage, MRC director, will sign for the ratification of collective agreement 2022-2026 between the MRC and le syndicat de la function publique et para-publique du Quebec. They reached an agreement late last year after negotiating salary and working conditions of the union’s employees.

Council supported a resolution moved by MRC de La Vallée-de-la-Gatineau asking the Ministry of Health and Social Services to increase resources allocated to pre-hospitalization services in the Outaouais (tests, scans, etc.).

Another resolution was passed regarding recent power outages in the Upper Pontiac on February 4 and 5; some residents were without power for more than 36 hours during extremely cold temperatures. Since Hydro-Quebec has earmarked $5 billion for infrastructure improvement and the estimated cost of building an electrical substation is $100 million, Council resolved to ask Hydro to set aside $100 million in its next budget to build one in Waltham.

Economic development

The MRC signed an agreement for the Fonds de régions et ruralité (FRR) stream 2 (support for local and regional development) with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, requiring them to adopt an annual budget for the funds. In 2023, $1,546,805 was allocated to the MRC, and will be spent as follows: pre-engaged projects, $720 649 (46.59%); agreements, $73,000 (4.72%); regional management $140,000 (9.05%); and projects to be engaged $613,155 (40.48%).

The MRC launched a call for development projects under FRR stream 2: $189, 339 is available to local organisations to implement sustainable development projects to improve citizens’ quality of life. Non-profit organisations, cooperatives, band councils of aboriginal communities and municipalities interested in applying can contact the MRC’s economic development department to schedule an appointment. The deadline for applications is noon on April 18, 2023. More information is available on the MRC’s website: https://www.mrcpontiac.qc.ca/en/programs/regions-and-rurality-fund-rrf/growth-generating-projects/Infrastructure

Council authorized Lesage to sign an agreement with the Ministry of Transportation and Sustainable Mobility regarding financing for the Véloce III project. It supports the development, improvement and maintenance of active transportation infrastructure to promote this type of travel (PPJ), encourage sustainable tourism, improve the road balance, contribute to healthy lifestyles and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The cost of the Véloce project is estimated at $200,000. The MRC is applying for $100,000 in financial assistance from the Ministry.

Management of territory

Council authorized Lesage to sign documents to continue the pilot project for recovering agricultural plastics in the MRC Pontiac, which began in 2021 using funding from Desjardins. As a result of this project, 27 agricultural producers received a plastic press to compact plastics on-site at their farms and 36 bales of plastic (about 15 tons) were recycled. For smaller plastic users, drop-off points for bulk collection are in development(Shawville/Clarendon and Isle-aux-allumettes).