MRC-Pontiac: Lafontaine Islands, travel to Europe, democracy for mayors, tourism questions

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Arnaud de la Salle
(tr. AB)

CAMPBELL’S BAY – At the beginning of the regular Council of Mayors meeting, September 29, MRC Pontiac Warden and Mayor of Fort-Coulonge Raymond Durocher honoured Waltham’s ex-Mayor Garry Marchand, who passed away last month, with a moment of silence.
Afterwards came a

Arnaud de la Salle
(tr. AB)

CAMPBELL’S BAY – At the beginning of the regular Council of Mayors meeting, September 29, MRC Pontiac Warden and Mayor of Fort-Coulonge Raymond Durocher honoured Waltham’s ex-Mayor Garry Marchand, who passed away last month, with a moment of silence.
Afterwards came a
tribute to Elsie Gibbons, Québec’s first female mayor (Portage-du-Fort, 1953 – 1971),  by
the Congrès – Fédération québécoise des
municipalités.
Gaetan Boulanger asked the mayors to thoroughly research the Lafontaine Islands file before ruling
on the future of the
Ottawa River site; this
inter-provincial zone has been the subject of several
project requests.  Paula Armstrong asked if regulations concerning private forestry over-cutting would be removed. Mr. Durocher said the regulations would be modified, not deleted.
Lyse Roman described a senior’s information fair that will take place November 6 in Fort Coulonge at the high school, ESSC.
Since the MRC was restructured, the Council
of Mayors has become
“paper-free”, with all
documents distributed electronically. Durocher added that since the re-organization, the Council of Mayors’ meetings are not to be
used for questions and
discussions but rather for voting on resolutions
and proposing actions. Discussions, questions, and all preliminary work are for the Plenary Committee working sessions.
Several mayors objected to this change, including Ile-du-Grand-Calumet Mayor, Irene Nadeau. She believes this method is bureaucratic and that discussions should take place during Mayors’ meetings. Nadeau moved that no resolutions could
be passed concerning a
municipal file if the mayor affected was not present at the Plenary Committee meeting. This passed.
Sandra Murray, Mayor of Shawville, moved that the MRC request information from the CISSSO which would end the uncertainties faced by staff at the Pontiac Community Hospital in terms of schedule cuts. This was also passed.
Other highlights, in
addition to MRC Pontiac Director-General Remi Bertrand’s departure
for Europe to study
alternative technologies for the proposed Biomass Conversion Centre, was the announcement that the MRC building will hold the tourist information desk presently in the SADC building — once the new building is complete. There remain questions over the MRC’s staffing of this
service, and its funding.
The next public meeting is October 27.