We have to participate!

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As two people who regularly use the PPJ for both walking and cycling, we were very distressed and discouraged to hear that the MRC Pontiac, and some of the mayors are working to destroy what has had so much invested into it, to
create a haven for people who want to roar around on motorized vehicles.
What a regressive step this will be, if the MRC committee, which is now

As two people who regularly use the PPJ for both walking and cycling, we were very distressed and discouraged to hear that the MRC Pontiac, and some of the mayors are working to destroy what has had so much invested into it, to
create a haven for people who want to roar around on motorized vehicles.
What a regressive step this will be, if the MRC committee, which is now
working to push ahead the plan to allow ATVs onto the PPJ trail, succeeds.  Make no mistake:  they may be “studying” possibilities, but it is clear what they desire:  to take the PPJ away from the current users and give it to ATV drivers. All the investments that have gone into creating and maintaining this asset, which is now part of over 5,000 km of trails throughout the province of Quebec, making it part of the Route Verte, will be lost.
It is also very interesting to note that in the last issue of the Journal there were two very telling, and quite disparate scenarios described: first, on page14, in French, the Mansfield municipal council endorsed this committee’s work: (PPJ: les conseillers ont signifié  leur accord à la formation d’un comité….pour étudier la possibilité de permettre aux VTTs de partager la piste cyclable avec les cyclistes et les autres utilsateurs). Then, on page 35, in English, the council report from Bristol where “a number of ratepayers complained of noise, dust,
disrespect for property, and dangerous driving by ATV operators.” As Allyson Beauregard stated in her editorial, on the same topic, “one bad apple could have very serious consequences.” 
Please, let’s not let the PPJ go the way that the Chutes Coulonge went, when the MRC sold all the rights to a company for a mere $300,000, when with some
foresight and commitment they could’ve drafted a long term deal to share profits that would have supported the Chutes in its work. Are we going to give away  another beautiful natural asset , one that is recognized as “one of the 10 best cycle paths for families” (www.out-there.com/bkp_pq01.htm#Pontiac%20Cycloparc%20PPJ and www.wixxmag.ca/articles/les-10-plus-belles-pistes-cyclables-du-quebec-a-parcourir-en-famille) and lose all the investments made, just to extend a trail network for users who already have many other trails to use. Let those users work to develop more trails, and leave the PPJ alone!
We hope the MRC will look ahead, and not just for a quick solution to please some loud voices. And, we hope Warden Durocher will stand by his commitment to save the trail. Mr Fortin and Mr Amos should also speak up and join in the fight to save the PPJ for families, seniors, cyclists and all the other originally intended users. 

France Lamarche and Lynne Lavery
SHAWVILLE