Dear residents of the Pontiac,
As of today, July 15th, the CISSSO reports that there are no active cases of COVID-19 in the RLS Pontiac. I am so happy to know that our case numbers have gone down and that a large number of our residents, around 61% to be exact, have received their first vaccine. For anyone who has yet to be vaccinated or is trying to book an appointment for their second dose, I strongly encourage you to book your appointment online or by calling 1-877-644-4545. It is great to see that the restrictions are relaxing as we improve, get vaccinated and move forward from COVID-19. I am very happy to know that we are returning to a sense of normalcy in the Pontiac, including the return of the Shawville Fair and many other local activities. We can all be very proud of our region for keeping our cases low and for protecting each other. For anyone who is hesitant or has questions about the vaccine, I suggest that you speak with your family doctor or talk to a health professional at your local clinic. If we can all stay well informed on how to keep this virus at bay, then we should be able to enjoy a healthy and safe summer in the Pontiac.
As I mentioned in my last message, there will be no public council meeting of the Regional Council of Mayors for the month of July as it is the holiday period. Our next public meeting will be held on August 18th at 6:30 p.m. A form will be available on the MRC website on August 9th for anyone who wishes to submit a question to council in advance of the meeting.
Recently, we received some good news about several funding announcements for our MRC and its programs. The first of which was a grant of $125,000 received through the Assistance Program for Active Transportation Infrastructure for the Route Verte/Cycloparc PPJ. The second announcement was an investment of $300,000 under the Rénovation Québec (PRQ) and RénoRégion (PRR) programs, of which the maximum grant per applicant is $12,000. The application form can be found on our website at the link. This week, we also received word from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) about a grant of $12,100 for a feasibility study on the management of organic materials in each municipality. It was also announced under the newly created Financial Assistance Program for Municipal Buildings (PRABAM) that $5,100,799 will help municipalities with populations of less than 5,000 in the Outaouais region to improve their municipal and community infrastructure. The MRC Pontiac will receive a total of $1,463,225 for projects in 17 of our municipalities. It is very exciting to see many projects going forward despite the setbacks we’ve faced from COVID-19. It is truly inspiring and gives me great hope for the future of our beautiful region.
Finally, I’d like to remind everyone that since last week, the offices of the MRC Pontiac have officially reopened to the public during the regular office hours of 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The MRC staff are returning to the office on a gradual schedule throughout the months of July and August. Please note that staff can be reached by email or phone during our regular hours. You can visit our website to find a directory of our team. It is still strongly encouraged that you call or email ahead of time before planning a visit to the office. I’d like to thank you all for your patience during this transition period.
I once again would like to thank you all for your hard work and determination throughout this pandemic time. I hope that you have a chance to enjoy a magnificent summer with your friends and family. Stay safe, and please continue to keep the health of the Pontiac in your thoughts and prayers. Together Pontiac!