Mayors cancel EFW project

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Mayors lay waste to EFW project

Bonnie James

Local Journalism Initiative

MRC PONTIAC – The MRC Pontiac’s Council of Mayors’ monthly meeting was held May 15 at the MRC headquarters in Litchfield.

Question period
It was another full house with approximately 40 citizens in attendance. A variety of questions were raised about the EFW as well as other topics.

The questions started with Otter Lake Councillor Jennifer Quaile sharing the results of the Friends of the Pontiac’s petition against the EFW project. The group collected 3,255 signatures, 73% originating from the Pontiac, 13% from neighbouring communities, and the remainder throughout Quebec and the rest of Canada. Four more residents asked questions and expressed concerns about the project.

The focus then shifted with an Alleyn-et-Cawood resident asking for an update on planned roadwork throughout the Pontiac. MRC Warden

Jane Toller highlighted the work planned for Front St. in Campbell’s Bay and Rapides-des-Joachims Mayor Lucie Rivet Paquette explained the planned bridge repair for the main crossing to Ontario in her municipality. The project will cost $1.2 million and will take 6-8 weeks to complete over the summer.

Angela Giroux, also of Alleyn-et-Cawood, was next to speak, imploring the mayors to work together to address recent hikes in property evaluations throughout the MRC.

A  group of nine former employees of l’Abattoir Les Viandes du Pontiac were in attendance to ask if the MRC would hire them back now that the MRC owns the slaughterhouse. Director General Kim Lesage replied that the proper licensing still needed to be obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture before reopening and took down the names and telephone numbers of the group in attendance.

Energy-from-Waste
Litchfield Mayor Colleen Larivière presented the resolution to bring an end to the EFW project. The resolution called for the Warden and MRC staff to immediately cease all activities in relation to the project, that no funding from the MRC budget or any type of grant or program be allocated to the project, and for the MRC Waste Committee and MRC staff responsible for residual materials to focus their efforts on aspiring to zero waste as outlined in the objectives of the 2023 – 2030 Waste Management Plan (PGMR). It also called for the MRC to continue working with the other Outaouais MRCs and the City of Gatineau to find the best regional solution for residual waste.

The resolution passed unanimously.

Organizational chart
Council approved two changes to the MRC’s organizational chart: the position of Director of Economic Development has been eliminated and the department will now report to the Assistant Director General, a position that is currently vacant, but posted. The second change was the promotion of Tim Ferrigan from Property Assessment Manager to Director of the same department.

The next Council of Mayors meeting will be held June 19.