Dear residents of the Pontiac,
Recently, there have been a lot of changes at the MRC Pontiac that I would like to inform the public about. On November 4th, Bernard Roy made the personal decision to leave his position as Director General of the MRC. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bernard on behalf of the Council of Mayors for his years of hard work and dedication. We wish him every success for the future. Following his departure, Kim Lesage, the MRC’s Director of Engineering and Infrastructure, offered to step up as the Interim Director General until a full-time replacement for Bernard is found. This decision was made official by unanimous resolution during a special sitting of the Regional Council of Mayors held on the evening of Thursday, November 10th. Kim has really hit the ground running in the position so far, and the council are very thankful to have an employee who was willing to step forward and offer her services in order to provide stability for the MRC staff during this transitional time. On Monday, November 21st, Mr. Guillaume Boudreau, who was recently hired as the newest Director of Economic Development, will be starting his position at the MRC. This position has been vacant for approximately 6 months now, after the departure of Cyndy Phillips, and we are very thankful to have found a candidate who is so passionate and excited to work with our wonderful team of professionals in the economic development department. We look forward to welcoming Guillaume next week and will be introducing him publicly during our council meeting on Wednesday, November 23rd at 6:30 p.m. in the Elsie Gibbons Room at the MRC office. The meeting will also be livestreamed via our MRC Facebook Page. I encourage residents to please follow-along online or attend the meeting in person as November is a very important meeting due to the passing of our MRC budget and other important files.
I would also like to take this opportunity to inform the public that the unionized employees of the MRC have announced that they will be taking a strike-day on Wednesday, November 23rd. Due to the strike, the license bureau (SAAQ) will be closed, but the MRC office will remain open with limited services. We thank you for your patience during this time.
In terms of COVID-19, I was informed recently that the CISSSO made the decision to close the vaccination centre in Campbell’s Bay as the vaccine is now available at many local pharmacies as well as the local CLSCs. As COVID cases are currently on the rise, and a virus specifically affecting young children is at an all-time high, I encourage everyone to please be cautious by wearing a mask in crowded public spaces if you are vulnerable and to please stay at home if you are feeling unwell. I also encourage residents to book an appointment for their flu shot and their COVID booster shots if you have not done so already.
At the end of October, members of the Council of Mayors, MRC staff and some municipal DGs had the opportunity to have a tour of the Durham-York Energy Centre just outside of Toronto. The MRC Pontiac currently has a great opportunity to be an environmental leader in Quebec by potentially building this type of facility in our region. As we know, the Lachute landfill is expected to close in the next 10 years and the Pontiac, with its prime location on the boarder of Ontario, has a unique opportunity to provide a solution for municipal waste for the Outaouais and potentially the City of Ottawa and surrounding areas. Fortunately, COVANTA is a green technology that uses garbage as a resource to produce electricity and steam. Our Premier has announced the need to produce more electricity in Quebec and I believe this would be a wonderful chance for the Pontiac to step up to provide a solution. In addition, having this type of facility in our region would save the MRC Pontiac 1.7 million dollars by not having to truck our waste to Lachute and it would provide around 50 local jobs. I am proud to say that the MRC Pontiac has been a willing host since 2011, and I plan to start hosting town hall meetings in each municipality in the coming months to answer any questions residents may have about this project. More details will come about specific dates for these sessions in the coming weeks. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss this exciting project for our MRC.
Lastly, I’d like to formally invite residents to the First Annual MRC Pontiac Centraide Breakfast which will be held on Tuesday, November 22nd at the Lion’s Hall (Second Floor) in Shawville. The event will take place from 8 to 9 a.m. where a delicious breakfast will be provided. Tickets for the event are 25 dollars with all proceeds going to Centraide Outaouais. In the MRC Pontiac, Centraide helps organizations such as Bouffe Pontiac, the Centre Serge-Bélair, the Comptoir St-Pierre de Fort-Coulonge/Mansfield, le Jardin éducatif du Pontiac, the Pontaic Maisons des jeunes, the Pontiac Maison de la famille as well as the Fort-Coulonge/Mansfield Patro. If you wish to attend the event, I ask that you please RSVP by email at email@example.com or by phone at 819-647-8198. I look forward to seeing many of you there!