Into the new year !

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With this issue, the Pontiac Journal begins its 2015 publishing year.  Twenty-nine years ago I penned the first editorial for the Pontiac’s first

With this issue, the Pontiac Journal begins its 2015 publishing year.  Twenty-nine years ago I penned the first editorial for the Pontiac’s first
bilingual, free-distribution newspaper, a novel concept at the time, but one which has been embraced by Pontiac’s open arms.  The Journal’s nine thousand plus copies, every issue, have become a positive tool for our region – full of informative and substantive news.
Faces at the Journal have changed, but our commitment to the entire Pontiac, French- and English-speaking alike, has only grown stronger.  Our English-
language editor Allyson Belanger (from Vinton) will return with our next
edition, return with her baby, Prestyn, a bright and happy little guy.  Allyson has demonstrated her grasp of our area and our neighbours with their hopes, problems, and ambitions.
Her fellow editor, Arnaud de la Salle (from Quyon), in charge of the French-language news (we are serious in our support of bilingualism!) has found his footing and brings his sharp intellect, creativity, and humanity to each
edition. He also brings a life experience which includes large parts of the world to our corner of Quebec and Canada. 
While Allyson was off, Lynne Lavery (of Shawville) stepped up to the plate and took on the editor’s tasks. Lynne, my life partner, has also been the general manager and
financial officer of the Journal and the Bulletin d’Aylmer and the West Quebec Post. Her editorial work has been exemplary, especially for someone for whom journalism was an interest, not a vocation. She has pulled the team
together – all the interests of journalists, stringers, advertising salespersons, graphic design, reception and public relations,
circulation and deliveries, all these team mates with different skills and goals. Nothing short of remarkable, has been Lynne’s
contribution in this transition period; all of us owe her a magnificent thank-you!
Our news has not all been uplifting; we have
suffered a serious loss with the declining health of Gabrielle Bertrand (from Davidson). “Gaby” is how she is known from Otter Lake to Campbell’s Bay and west to Fort Coulonge / Mansfield – her territory.  Gaby will continue in our hearts, every day, as we move forward, now without her steady help and her
stoical optimism.  All of our team and all of our readers offer Gaby’s family the greatest respect during this hard time, in particular to her daughter, Dana (from Fort Coulonge), who
handles multiple responsibilities for the Journal
from reception and front-
desk details to invoicing, circulation, classifieds, and
advertising sales.
However, we do have good news, excellent news, with which to enter this new year. Katharine Fletcher has agreed to write an
environmental column for the Journal, our first.  Katharine is well known; she is likely Pontiac’s best known journalist, having her work in the Ottawa Citizen as well as many other national publications. Her books on Gatineau Park and Ottawa continue to receive excellent reviews.
Katharine’s writing
is well-crafted, well-researched, and always
germane to our daily lives here in the Pontiac. Besides her sterling credentials, what attracts me most is
her general topic: our environment.  The word “our” is crucial.  She and our readers are concerned with the front-page issues of our times — global warming, habitat loss, greenhouse gas emissions — for these are the challenges we all face in hoping to continue our
residence upon this earth.
Katharine also has the wide-angle vision of
“environment” which will inform her columns; these are the questions and the developments which affect all of us, although they are often considered perhaps too complicated to deal with, when we might deal with more mundane issues like the loss of farmland or
forest depletion. Her skill at following the threads of more subtle questions and attitudes, will lead us to a greater understanding of “environment”, the notion that we are all part of this, all in this together, and all living by the grace of one big unity, our universe.
Her first column is in this issue on page 8.  Welcome aboard, Katharine!
Let’s roll up our sleeves, Pontiac! We already have the best local newspaper – now let’s make 2015 a
great year for our whole community.