Over $2M in grants awarded in the Pontiac

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The MRC Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l’Habitation (MAMH) held a press conference on March 9 regarding funding of projects in the Pontic. Terry Lafleur (left), André Fortin, Jane Toller and Robert Bussière made announcements on behalf of Andrée Laforest, Minister of Municipal Affairs.

Nikki Beuchler

MRC PONTIAC – On March 9, 2023, at the Lions Club Hall in Bryson, a public meeting was held to announce local projects that will benefit from an economic stimulus package. Several representatives from local businesses and municipalities were on hand to highlight their projects and how they intend to apply their funding.

The Mayors of the MRC Pontiac and the Vitalization Committee announced the grants. This funding is part of the Vitalization Agreement of the Regions and Rurality Fund signed with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MAMH), with a total of $2,623,469.64 awarded to MRC Pontiac.

“Our government considers it essential that MRCs have the financial levers necessary to stimulate the vitality of their region. This agreement will promote the entrepreneurial culture, and encourage economic development in the territory,” stated Robert Bussière, MNA for Gatineau.

Jane Toller, MRC Pontiac Warden, expressed appreciation for the economic boost: “These funds will promote the development of the Pontiac’s small and medium enterprises (SME). Our region is built on a strong entrepreneurial spirit as well as dedicated and creative citizens. I look forward to exciting projects that will come out of this initiative, and I believe it will have a great impact on the revitalization of Pontiac.”

Thierry Raimbault, MRC Environment Coordinator, was on hand to discuss plans to revamp vehicle access from the road and install amenities for the MRC building in Campbell’s Bay. “The plan is to develop public transportation – we are going to develop the site with future needs in mind,” he explained.

An electric bicycle charging station will be integrated into Raimbault’s plans. “This is going to give people the opportunity to rent an e-bike and explore the area.”

Another project involves the Marchand bridge in Mansfield-et-Pontefract. They will be installing lights that can be controlled with a mobile app that will allow users to control the lights for one minute.

Additional projects will be added in a forthcoming round of applications starting next month. Applications must come from a business, non-profit organization or government entity.

“The type of organization determines the percentage of funding available for your project,” explained Sabrina Ayres, Economic Development Officer for the MRC Pontiac. “A business will receive 50% funding, whereas a non-profit or government project will be funded at 90%.”

“This makes a really big difference,” confirmed Gema Villavicencio, owner of Pure Conscience Farms in Bristol; “We are going to expand our farm to accommodate 500 chickens, which requires a barn. It’s still a lot of money, but it really helps that we’re getting a grant for half of it – we can afford to grow our business.”

“I am proud of the projects approved in the first call and of our local communities that have mobilized to bring them to life,” summarized Toller. “I am convinced these projects will have a positive effect on the quality of life of our citizens, and will help attract new residents and businesses to our region.”

LIST OF APPROVED PROJECTS FOR THE PONTIAC:
1. Municipality of Fort-Coulonge – Construction of a pump track.
2. Municipality of Mansfield-et-Pontefract – Development and improvement of an outdoor rest area.
3. Municipality of Campbell’s Bay – Upgrades to a multi-purpose recreational site.
4. Municipality of Île-du-Grand-Calumet – Development and improvement of recreational tourism site facilities.
5. Municipality of Shawville – Development of Mill Dam Park as part of the municipality’s150th anniversary.
6. Municipality of Bryson – Improvement of tourist sites as part of the municipality’s150th anniversary.
7. Municipality of Otter Lake – Recreational Site Accessibility Improvements.
8. Municipality of Waltham – Recreational Site Development and Tourist signage upgrade.
9. Municipality of Bristol – Norway Bay Beach Facility Development and Upgrade.
10. Municipality of Sheenboro – Fort William Boat Launch Improvements.
11. Municipality of Isle-aux-Allumettes – Centennial Park Development.
12. Municipality of Chichester – Development and improvement of municipal park facilities.
13 Municipality of Alleyn-and-Cawood – Development and improvement of municipal park facilities.
14. Municipality of Rapides-des-Joachims – Development and improvement of municipal park facilities.
15. MRC Pontiac – Creation of a transportation hub, MRC Revitalization Strategy(Rues Principales and Dynamic Portal).
16 Le Patro de Fort-Coulonge/Mansfield – Renovation of the mini-putt.
17. Chapeau and District Lions Club – Canteen Upgrade.
18. Fédération UPA Outaouais-Laurentides – ALUS Outaouais Program in the Pontiac.
19. Pontiac Pool – Preparation of civil, structural, electrical and mechanical specificationsfor the complex.
20. Pontiac Educational Garden – Construction of a greenhouse.
21. Harrington Hall – Lighting upgrade.
22. Upper Pontiac Sports Complex – Upgrades to recreational infrastructure and complex facilities.
23. CRÉDETAO – Creation of an agricultural platform in the Pontiac.
24. Domaine de la Belle et le Gentleman – Establishment of a vineyard in Bristol.
25. Escapade Huskimo – Construction of a service stop at the Domaine, a