Think World Heritage, Pontiac


Talking about problems is easy, right?  So, what of the positives unfolding in our Pontiac lives, these summery days. Energy from Waste? Hmm … Radioactive dump at Chalk River? No sir!  Revived commuter railway line? Sure! …. New plywood mill? … Even resurfacing Highway 148 (considering it as our horizontal totem pole)?

Tourism is a good positive — environmentally clean (except for its reliance on autos); people-friendly; creates jobs (low pay, but with fewer stresses). Tourism beautifies a region, it improves services of benefit to residents, too (phone coverage, boat-launch ramps, highway surfaces);

it keeps our kids & their families nearby.  One big problem with tourism is that the development plan of every regional government in Canada seems to have tourism as its highest priority.

So tourism requires a lot more drilling down than we first expect. The consuming habits of our target market is essential to planning. Tourism also requires “selling” — a truism no one remembers to remember!  Selling tourism needs spending, big spending … the volume of spending we see only if government or big-corporations are paying our bills.

And that’s already happening — in many industries: petroleum, mining, farming, manufacturing (new vehicles! batteries!)  Our governments are already paying plenty to the private sector. Our municipalities forgive future taxes as a grant, province and feds dump money-cement in to shore up massive corporate networks. And we get jobs, dividends, pensions, salaries & bonuses … so …

What if the United Nations itself could be attracted to invest in the Pontiac? It has already invested in 13 “World Heritage Sites” — across Canada. Talk about attracting tourists!

The Pontiac/Outaouais might not seem as dramatic as some sites, but, for example, it compares well to “The Rideau Canal”, in both “natural” and “cultural” significance.   Most sites are famous for only one such significance. There’s a “Heritage Site” in Italy which charts ancient annual livestock migrations.

First, look at Pontiac as the edge where the Canadian Shield (the world’s great boreal forest: Geographical/Natural) meets the cleared agricultural geographies of central North America. Second, it contains communities and trading corridors (with infrastructure) for three significant Eastern Indigenous populations: Culture. Finally, Colonization, the penetration and settlement by North Europeans. Here’s a world-significant nexus of both geography and history!

Imagine bringing all those generations and cultural forces back to life for coming generations. My parents took us kids to Dinosaur National Park one summer. It was fascinating to all three of us. We still recall thinking,”Wow, all this! Right here?”

Thousands of visitors can think the same right here.