The MRC Pontiac is currently engaged in an Energy From Waste (EFW) project aimed at waste management. This initiative carries an approximate cost of $450 million, with $180 million expected from undisclosed private investors, and the remaining funds from various levels of government. The project is anticipated to generate about 50 positions.
It raises questions when considering the substantial investment, especially given that we generate just 5,000 tons of waste. To make the project financially viable, an additional 395,000 tons of waste would need to be imported from other regions of Quebec and Ontario; posing potential health risks to residents due to incineration’s impact on air, water, and land quality.
Taking into account a forthcoming MRC Pontiac composting program is anticipated to reduce waste volume by around 40%, bringing our total down to 3,000 tons, this prompts consideration of whether an incinerator is warranted for this amount of waste at such an expense and health risk.
Contrastingly, the former Jovalco sawmill was a significant source of employment engaging numerous individuals across the mill, forestry, and related industries. Its sale and dismantling through a brokerage firm resulted in a mere $1 million transaction. This resulted in a great financial and job loss to the MRC Pontiac taxpayers.
Applying common sense, it becomes evident that investing $1 million (MRC Pontiac) to create numerous jobs seems more prudent than allocating $450 million for only 50 positions and the health risk associated with an EFW.
The question arises: where has the common sense of our elected officials disappeared to?
Amy Taylor & Pat Goyette