Dear residents of the Pontiac,
On behalf of the MRC staff and the Council of Mayors, I would like extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Mr. Sylvain Bégin. He was known to us as the long-time Director General of Rapides-des-Joachims and more recently of L’Île-du-Grand-Calumet. His positive energy in so many different aspects of Pontiac life will be greatly missed.
In regards to COVID-19, although the Outaouais is now at Level 3 (Orange) on the alert system, we are still very fortunate to have had so few incidents. We recently had one person, who is now in isolation, come forward on social media with a confirmed case. Thankfully the rest of their family have since tested negative. I am confident that we can keep the situation under control, but everyone must continue to do their best to wear a mask and keep 2-metres distance where necessary. I’d like to remind you that indoor and outdoor private gatherings are now limited to a maximum of 6 people or 2 families. At restaurants, only 6 people are permitted to sit at a table together. At indoor and outdoor public events, there is a maximum of 25 people permitted.
Earlier this week, I attended a meeting with the Conférence des Préfets de l’Outaouais (CPO) where we presented two resolutions that were both passed unanimously. The first resolution was to ask the Minister of the Environment to approve new legislation that would allow waste from Ontario to be accepted in Quebec, this would greatly help us in our efforts to move forward with the Energy from Waste project in the MRC Pontiac. The other resolution was to ask that the Pontiac have a pilot project to equalize the starting pay of nurses to those in Ontario. The other Wardens all agreed, because they don’t have any of their health departments currently closed, that the Pontiac is in a dire and urgent situation at our local hospital and that a pilot project is necessary. I am working with Mathieu Lacombe, Minister of Families and Minister of the Outaouais, and André Fortin, our Pontiac MNA, to move forward with this initiative. Our goal for the MRC/CISSSO committee is to meet our promise of reopening the obstetrics unit by January 1st, 2021, and, in my opinion, the only way that we are going to achieve this goal is to match the Ontario salary for nurses.
As many of you are aware, the MRC is currently hosting a series of public consultations across the region to hear your thoughts on both the Draft Strategic Vision Statement for the Land-Use Plan as well as the Vision 2030 development plan. Even though we cannot gather in large groups, the feedback and discussions that we’ve had thus far have been very helpful. We look forward to seeing you at the next five meetings in Alleyn-et-Cawood, Fort-Coulonge, Shawville, Mansfield-et-Pontefract and Rapides-des-Joachims. You can find the dates, times and locations listed on the MRC website.
This weekend kicks off the start of Culture Month in the Pontiac! I encourage everyone to attend the drive-in movie events happening in several municipalities throughout the month. These events are a creative way for us to celebrate culture in the Pontiac from the safety of our own vehicles. You can find the dates and locations of all culture events on the MRC’s website or Facebook page.
I’d like to wish everyone a healthy and safe weekend, you can continue to look for daily updates on my Warden Jane Toller Facebook page or listen to my weekly addresses on CHIP FM radio.