CAMPBELL’S BAY – Over 125 people from different sectors of the Pontiac and Outaouais regions filled the RA Hall, November 16, for the 2018 Pontiac Forum on Social and Community Development, a joint effort of the Pontiac Community Development Corporation (CDCP) and the Table de Développement Social du Pontiac. Simultaneous translation was offered through funding from Heritage Canada.
Michel Vallières, CDC Pontiac Director General, presented a slideshow introducing the 22 member organizations. He explained that the Strategic Plan for Community and Social Development in the Pontiac was the result of work that began in October 2017, based on identified challenges the Pontiac has faced over a number of years. “The goal is now to implement the action plan collectively,” he said.
The five areas of the action plan were presented: Healthy Lifestyles – municipalities can play a leadership role; Education – value our schools and the role of our teachers; Community Life – promote community action; Housing – develop a shared vision of housing in the Pontiac; and Transportation and Economic Development – recognize the importance of community organizations in economic development. Partners, specific objectives and actions were identified for each area.
Guest speaker Denis Marion, mayor of Massueville, president of the Quebec Network of Healthy Cities and Towns, and vice-president of the Quebec National Institute for Public Health (INSPQ), spoke about the essential role municipal elected officials must play in ensuring good quality of life in their communities.
The promotion of healthy lifestyles was fundamental to this work, he said. When asked for suggestions on how to change set mentalities, Marion emphasized that communication and transparency are key to building the confidence needed to move forward.
In the afternoon, tribute was paid to Guylaine Marcil and Richard Grimard in recognition of their years of dedicated service to social and community development in the Pontiac. Michel Laporte and Kim Laroche spoke about the keys
to effective communication and cooperation within municipalities.
At the end of the day, participants were invited to fill out a form
indicating areas of interest for future meetings to work on the actions identified in the Plan.