Dear residents of the Pontiac,
Today, Friday March 11th, is the National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of the COVID-19 Pandemic. To show our respect for those who lost their lives, we have lowered our flag at half-mast at the MRC office and we have encouraged our municipalities to do the same. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who have lost someone during this pandemic. I encourage all Pontiac residents to take some time today to remember those who have been lost and to reach out to your loved ones.
As of tomorrow, March 12th, the Province of Quebec will be lifting the use of the proof of vaccination in restaurants, bars, cinemas, and other venues. The capacity limits for private and public gatherings will also be lifted at the same time. I am relieved to see that after two years of this pandemic we are returning to some sense of normalcy, and I am hopeful that things will continue to improve. Despite the lifting of these measures, I am asking all residents to please continue to be mindful of our most vulnerable citizens who are still at risk of falling seriously ill of COVID-19. If you are feeling sick or showing symptoms, you should continue to avoid contact with others, especially with vulnerable citizens. Once again, I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to all Pontiac residents who have worked so hard to keep our cases low and keep our communities safe and healthy.
Earlier today, I attended the first preliminary meeting of our new Vitalization Committee at the MRC office. The Provincial government has allocated a significant fund of 5-million dollars which is to help improve vitality for the whole Pontiac with a special focus on the ten most devitalized municipalities which are as follows: Bristol, Otter Lake, Alleyn-et-Cawood, Campbell’s Bay, Waltham, Île-du-Grand-Calumet, Fort-Coulonge, Rapides-des-Joachims, Chichester, and Portage-du-Fort. I am very happy to be sitting on this exciting committee alongside the mayors of these municipalities. We look forward to working together to make important decisions for the future of the Pontiac that will hopefully result in revenue generating projects and improve the overall quality of life for our citizens.
I would like to remind everyone that the next public sitting of the TNO council and the Regional Council of Mayors is happening in person next Wednesday, March 16th at 6:30 p.m. at the Bryson Lion’s Hall. I encourage anyone who is interested in following along to either attend the meeting in person or to watch the livestream via the MRC Pontiac Facebook page. For anyone who wishes to address the council during our public question period, you can do so by showing up in person to ask your question or by using the form on the MRC website. The deadline for submissions through the online form is Tuesday, March 15th at noon. One of the issues that will be addressed during the meeting is our deep concern for the location of the nuclear waste storage at Chalk River. I will be speaking on behalf of the Pontiac at the CNL hearings in May. At the hearings, I will once again be requesting that the storage be located as far away from the Ottawa River as possible and I will also be expressing our concern that, as the MRC located closest to the facility, we were not consulted on this matter prior to their decision on the location.
I would like to remind citizens that the petition that was launched at our last council meeting in regards to improving cellular infrastructure in our region is available to sign until March 31, 2022. A copy of the petition can be found at the MRC office, as well as in various municipal offices and local businesses. For anyone interested in signing, I would encourage you to contact your municipality or the MRC directly to inquire. Once the petitions are collected, it will be given to our MP Ms. Sophie Chatel who will be presenting it at the House of Commons on our behalf.
I would also like to remind anyone who has not entered the MRC’s “14 000 reasons to choose the Pontiac” contest on social media to please visit the MRC’s Facebook or Instagram pages to leave a comment expressing their reasons for choosing to live in our beautiful and unique MRC. All details on this contest can be found at this link: https://bit.ly/concours-pontiac-facebook.
Last night I attended the production of “Steel Magnolias” by the Pontiac Community Players at the PHS High School and I want to express how fantastic it was! I was so happy to see the all-female cast charm the audience with their immense talent and I look forward to seeing more productions in the future.
Lastly, I would like to wish everyone in the Pontiac a wonderful weekend. Together Pontiac!