Quebec finance minister visits the Pontiac

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The Quebec Minister of Finance, Carlos Leitao, visited the Pontiac to speak with members of the Pontiac Chamber of Commerce, guests, and elected officials. Pictured from left, Fort-Coulonge Mayor and Warden Raymond Durocher, Mireille Allary, PCC President, Leitao, and MNA André Fortin.



The Quebec Minister of Finance, Carlos Leitao, visited the Pontiac to speak with members of the Pontiac Chamber of Commerce, guests, and elected officials. Pictured from left, Fort-Coulonge Mayor and Warden Raymond Durocher, Mireille Allary, PCC President, Leitao, and MNA André Fortin.

Deborah Powell

BRISTOL – Carlos Leitao, Quebec Minister of Finance, spoke to a gathering of Pontiac Chamber of Commerce members, guests, and elected officials who accepted an invitation from Pontiac MNA André Fortin to attend the afternoon event, June 19, at the Jack Graham Hall.
While local media was asked not to take notes or record the meeting itself where the Minister concentrated on explaining the government’s efforts to
balance budgets, there was an opportunity to speak with him afterwards. Leitao spoke about the improved cooperation between Ontario and Quebec; when questioned about the barriers to trade between the provinces, he admitted there were a lot of regulations. “We will start a process of looking at why all those regulations are there,” he said.
Leitao explained his visit was the result of a request from Fortin, who asked that he come and see the reality of the area, as well as a
government attempt to get ‘closer to people’. He recognized that when looked at as a whole, the Outaouais looks fine, but that the story is different when examined at the MRC level.
While Leitao had nothing new to offer the Pontiac beyond what is already available to “devitalized” areas, he did underline that three ministries, Finance, Economy and Forests, are working together to improve the forestry
industry situation. When questioned about the possibility of transferring government offices to the regions, the Minister said that while decentralization was being seriously examined, it would only happen if it contributed to reducing costs.
“It was good to hear him explain things. He was very good at getting his message across,” said Litchfield Mayor, Colleen Larivière, who felt important issues, such as continuing internet access problems, were raised during the question period. 
The Minister promised to return to the Pontiac well before the next election to touch base again.