Dear residents of the Pontiac,
I would like to start off by congratulating Lynne Cameron, Mayor of Portage-du-Fort, who was recently awarded the Méritas Award from the Fédération québécoise des municipalités (FQM) for more than 20 years of service as mayor in her municipality. On behalf of the Regional Council of Mayors, I would like to express a heartfelt congratulations to Lynne and her family for this prestigious recognition and want to highlight what a great pleasure it is for everyone around the mayor’s table to work with such a dedicated and passionate woman in municipal politics.
Secondly, I would like to recognize the recent accomplishments of Ms. Marie-Josée Corriveau, originally from the municipality of Litchfield, for her amazing performances and for winning first prize on TVA’s dance competition Révolution. The entire Pontiac is so proud of you and are especially proud of your commitment to always highlighting your Pontiac roots! We look forward to honouring M-J at a celebratory event to be held on January 21st at 7 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Fort-Coulonge. Everyone is welcome to join the event.
I am also very pleased to announce that the new MRC Pontiac Youth Council will be hosting its inaugural meeting on Monday, January 16th at 6: 30 p.m. in the Elsie Gibbons Room at the MRC office. We are delighted to have 22 interested council members for this term and we expect that this number could go up to at least 25. We are hoping to recruit a few other representatives from DWKS in Chapeau as well as ESSC in Mansfield. If anyone knows any students under the age of 16 in those areas who would be interested to sit on this very important council, I ask that you please encourage them to contact me directly at 819-647-8198.
As we are currently experiencing a significant winter storm across our region, I would like to encourage all Pontiac residents to avoid travel unless completely necessary. The MRC team are prepared to step in if needed if there is a power outage that lasts for an extended period of time.
In terms of forestry, I’d like to emphasize how very proud we are of the fact that after five years of working very hard to reopen at least one forestry mill in the Pontiac, we are delighted that Commonwealth Plywood in Rapides-des-Joachims will officially be opening its doors in January 2023. We are also anticipating and hoping that by the spring of 2023 the former JOVALCO mill in Litchfield will be opening its doors as well. These important milestones showcase some great progress for the Pontiac and sends a strong message to the rest of the province that the Pontiac is once again a strong player in forestry.
This past Wednesday evening, we held our last meeting of the Regional Council of 2022. During this meeting we passed a momentous resolution in order to approve 27 local projects under Component 4 of the Regions and Rurality Fund (FRR) – Support for Vitalization and Inter-Municipal Cooperation, which amounts to a total of $2 622 469.64 of approved funding. Thanks to the generous contribution of nearly 5 million dollars by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing to be spent on eligible vitalisation projects by the end of 2025, residents of the Pontiac can look forward to benefitting from several exciting projects aimed at improving their quality of life and access to services. A full list of the approved projects can be found on the MRC website at the following link: https://mrcpontiac.qc.ca/en/27-local-projects-approved-by-the-regional-council-of-mayors-through-the-regions-rurality-fund-frr-component-4/. We look forward to the second call for projects expected to launch in April 2023 for the second half of the vitalisation funds.
Lastly, on behalf of the Regional Council of Mayors and the MRC Pontiac staff, I would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy Christmas and a wonderful new year. We anticipate that 2023 will be a great year for the Pontiac with continued progress and exciting projects to come.