Highlights of Council Decisions
Regular Meeting held on November 27, 2019 at 6:30 p.m.
2020 BUDGET: A Balanced Budget Focused on Economic Development
MRC Pontiac Council adopted a budget of $8.16 million for 2020, which is an increase of $2.11 million over the 2019 budget. The increase will have no impact on taxpayers since most of it comes from the new fiscal pact 2020-2024 entered into between the Government of Quebec and the municipalities in October. More than a million dollars of the additional funds will go to economic development, in a fund called “Regional and Rural Fund”.
The municipal share remains at $0.14 per $100 of assessment.
New hours at the MRC
Effective January 1, 2020, MRC Pontiac offices will be closed between 12 noon and 1:00 p.m. These new hours only apply to the MRC’s reception desk and do not affect the SAAQ License Bureau schedule, which remains as follows: Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m., except for Wednesday when the SAAQ office opens at 9:30 a.m.
Danielle Belec to act as interim communications officer
The MRC has entered into an agreement with Danielle Belec to cover the position of Strategic Communications Advisor, which has been vacant since Jérémi Vaillancourt’s departure in October.
Having held this position until her retirement in 2018, Ms. Belec is well acquainted with MRC Pontiac issues and has agreed to cover the position on a part time basis until a new candidate is hired.
The MRC is requesting a moratorium on new timber allocation
The MRC Pontiac is requesting of Mr. Pierre Dufour, Minister of Wildlife, Forests and Parks, that he imposes a moratorium on any new request for volume allocation from mills located outside the Pontiac, and to reserve a volume of wood for projects under development in the Pontiac.
More than 40% of wood volumes available from the Outaouais’ public forest come from the Pontiac. Since the Litchfield hardwood pulp mill closed in 2008, these volumes were set aside primarily for mills located outside the Pontiac territory. However, since recent mill closures, part of the resource is no longer harvested, while the Pontiac has several interesting projects under development which will require a large volume of wood.
The MRC is asking the Government of Quebec to guarantee the payment of a debt due to Pontiac wood producers
The MRC Pontiac is requesting that the Government of Quebec guarantees the payment of a debt that the Fortress mill owes to Pontiac’s private wood producers.
Given the difficult economic situation currently affecting the entire forest industry, the amount owed is significant enough to jeopardize the viability of Pontiac wood producers. The MRC is therefore asking the government to guarantee that the debt will be paid out of the $8M loan that was approved to save the Fortress mill.
The MRC reiterates the importance of an independent inquiry into flooding
Six months after the devastating flood of 2019, the Pontiac population is still in the dark as to the real causes of the 2017-2019 spring flooding, despite the MRC’s many requests for studies, including the September request for an independent commission of inquiry (C.M. 2019-09-15).
Given that a good understanding of causes is essential to flood prevention, and considering the importance of implementing anticipatory plans to prepare for any future eventuality, Council has resolved to reissue its request for an independent inquiry, and again implores the political powers that be to carry out an urgent review of the situation.
The MRC invests $50,000 in Villa James Shaw
Having committed to investing $50,000 in the Villa James Shaw project, MRC Council decided to withdraw these funds from the Territories Development Fund (FDT) 2015-2020. This investment reflects the importance of a retirement home for the Pontiac community.
Donations and sponsorships / Major Events
- Country Festival, 2020 Edition: $2,812.50
- George Bryson Cultural House, Christmas Market 2019: $500
- Pingouins Snowmobile Club, Trail Maintenance: $500