MRC PONTIAC AND
PONTIAC – The PPJ Cyclopark will receive over $400,000 in upgrades over the next two years due to a joint investment from the federal and provincial governments and the MRC Pontiac. Together, the federal and provincial governments will contribute $291,678 to cover 66.6% of the work while the MRC will kick in the remainder. Pontiac MP William Amos made the announcement on April 13 via a ZOOM conference.
According to Warden Jane Toller, the work will involve stone dust re-surfacing and ditching over sections of the trail, including finishing work between Shawville and Campbell’s Bay, started in 2020. The project will promote healthy lifestyles, improve quality of life and bring economic benefits to the MRC, she added.
“It’s important for residents, visitors and those who may want to come live here…The pandemic has demonstrated the importance for our rural communities to have access to quality sports and recreation infrastructure that will improve quality of life,” said Pontiac MP William Amos, emphasizing the increased popularity of cycling tourism in the Outaouais region due to the pandemic.
“It’s a type of tourism that’s accelerating across the world, generating significant returns because when people go on cycling trips, they tend to stay in a region for longer periods of time,” he explained.
In addition to this funding, the MRC Pontiac will continue to invest at least $125,000 per year in the PPJ’s maintenance, which Route Verte matches. “We will look at possibly increasing our commitment in the next budget. It was with this funding that we could leverage the other important funds,” said Toller.
“This is fabulous news … there are many things we could do to promote healthy living while exploring the area [and its many offers],” said Judy Blake, a member of the Friends of Cyclopark PPJ group. She also asked for updates on the work of the MRC’s PPJ Committee and the possibility of allowing ATVs to use the PPJ.
Toller explained that mayors were encouraged to look for alternate routes. “For some people, [ATVs] are the best way to get outdoors, but there are some parts of the PPJ that will always be too narrow for combined use. We are very close to completing an alternative plan that involves federation trails, municipal roads and in some cases, close to Highway 148. There’s one missing link right now that’s going to be worked on,” explained Toller.
The Government of Québec is investing $145,839 through the Programme d’aide financière aux infrastructures récréatives et sportives, while
the Government of Canada is investing $145,839 through the Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Program.