Smooth sailing for mayors’ final MRC meeting


Allyson Beauregard

BRYSON – The MRC Pontiac’s Council of Mayors held their last monthly meeting before November’s municipal election, October 6 at the Bryson Lions Hall, lasting a little over an hour.
Bernard Roy, MRC director general, noted doors are now open at the MRC building for residents to meet with staff members.
Public input
Ron Woodstock, president of the Pontiac Legion, spoke about how the Legion’s war memorial monument has been resurrected at the MRC headquarters in Litchfield after it was put in storage for a few years when the building was renovated. It was recently installed on a new foundation, with flag poles on both sides, and the Legion is hoping to add benches in the future. A Remembrance Day and monument re-dedication ceremony will be held at the site on October 24 at 11 am.
Kim Lance Rivet from Campbell’s Bay described a problem she and about a dozen other Pontiac residents are facing with the Transcollines bus route to the city, which was changed in January 2021 to cater more to students. Rivet must now transfer to an STO bus in Aylmer, which will make her late for work in Ottawa and she arrives back too late to catch the Transcollines bus home in the evening.
Mayor Maurice Beauregard (Campbell’s Bay) added that some students don’t finish on time to catch the bus at night anymore either. Warden Jane Toller said she will reach out to Transcollines about the issue.
Funding and donations
Four development projects received a total of $165,334 through Component 2 of the provincial Regions and Rurality Fund (FRR), which the MRC manages: Auton-Homme Pontiac – $49,357 for renovations and
building improvements; Chapeau RA – $64,107 for a splash pad; Fondation Chutes Coulonge – electrical and plumbing improvements; and Groupe L’Ile-du-Grand-Calumet – construction of a monument honouring
their roots. The call for projects ended in mid-September.
Council approved a $15,000 contribution to an Outaouais-wide marketing
project, “Outaouais Stands Out’ in collaboration with the region’s other MRCs.
An additional $1,000, matched by the Outaouais’ other MRCs, was committed for a study on the effects of the pandemic, which the Gatineau Chamber of Commerce is overseeing. Both will be paid using funds the MRC receives through FRR Component 2 for 2022/23.
Using funding from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing for pandemic-related expenses, $60,000 will be used to create a technical support fund for local businesses and $7,000 to modify workspaces at the MRC headquarters to improve social distancing.
Other business
Since July 2021, the Ecole Nationale des pompiers du Quebec doesn’t translate the prevention and psychological impacts among firefighters training as well as training on the rules for flashing green lights in English, nor do they intend to due to the cost. These are both required parts of Firefighter 1 certification, so Council passed a resolution disagreeing with the decision and asking the Ecole to translate the courses. It will be sent to other Quebec MRCs for support as well as to Pontiac MNA Andre Fortin and the Ministry of Public Security. According to the 2016 census, 59.4% of the Pontiac’s population said their first language was English and 44% of that group was unilingual Anglophones.
Council expressed interest in the Sûreté du Quebec’s cadets program which could see two cadets (police officers in training) stationed in Campbell’s Bay. If approved, the $20,000 cost would require a $10,000 contribution from the MRC Pontiac.
The next Council of Mayors meeting, where the budget for 2021 will be adopted, will be held November 24.