Dear residents of the Pontiac,
I am very excited for the unveiling of the light display on the Felix Gabriel Marchand Bridge next Friday, May 20th. Louis Harvey and Phare West deserve a lot of credit for this project as it would not have been possible if it were not for his creativity and hard work to obtain the grant money as well as the engagement of the lighting company. I would like to thank Louis and his team for creating a true spectacle that will be unique in Canada and will draw many visitors to our beautiful region. At our next council of mayors meeting, to be held next Wednesday, May 18th, we plan to recognize Mr. Harvey for his many accomplishments as well as for his recent award received at the Hommage Bénévolat-Québec Volunteer Awards. Mr. Harvey is a great example of how one community-minded person can really make a difference in our area.
As announced recently, Cyndy Phillips, the MRC Pontiac’s Director of Economic Development will be leaving her position as of May 27th. I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Cyndy for all of her hard work and dedication to her post throughout her tenure at the MRC. It has been a great experience working with Cyndy, and I would especially like to highlight her recent presentation of the MRC’s new vitalization framework which was recently approved by the MAMH and will be adopted by resolution at our council meeting next week. I would also like to congratulate Cyndy and her team for the release of the ‘‘Pontiac, 14 000 reasons’’ attraction video that was launched earlier this week. In my opinion, the team at the MRC who were involved in producing this video really hit the mark on what it is like to live in the Pontiac. I truly believe that everybody who sees it will want to come here! I want to wish Cyndy every success with her future endeavors, and I know that her heart and home will forever be in the Pontiac. The hiring process for Cyndy’s replacement has already begun, and a job posting for the new director can be found on the MRC website.
In terms of COVID-19, as of this Sunday, May 15th, mandatory masking will no longer be required in certain areas across Quebec. Those areas include the following: bars, restaurants, museums, shopping centres, cinemas, libraries, CEGEPS and universities, elementary and secondary schools, performance halls, sports centres, gyms, and grocery stores. Masks will still be required for public transportation (bus, train, etc.), in health-care facilities (hospitals, clinics, CLSCs) and in Senior’s residences & RPAs. I would like to remind everyone that even though masks are no longer a requirement, if you are immunocompromised or are feeling uncomfortable in public spaces you are encouraged to continue wearing one to protect yourself from a potential exposure. Despite cases having declined over the past weeks, there is still a risk for certain individuals to become seriously ill from COVID-19. I am asking everyone to remain vigilant and to continue avoiding contact with others if you are feeling sick. I would like to remind residents that the vaccination centre in Campbell’s Bay will remain open until December 31st. I am encouraging all those who are eligible for their fourth vaccination, to please book an appointment through the Clic-Santé platform.
The next public sitting of the Regional Council of Mayors will take place at the Bryson Lion’s Hall this coming Wednesday, May 18th at 6:30 p.m. All members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting, and will have an opportunity to participate in the public question period at the beginning of the sitting. The meeting will also be live streamed on the MRC Pontiac Facebook page, and questions can also be submitted electronically through the official form on the MRC website. The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, May 17th at 2 p.m.
Tomorrow, the Council of Mayors and I will be holding our annual Lac-à-l’épaule meeting in Otter Lake. The topic of discussion this year will be waste management. There will be discussion in detail ways to increase composting, the management of construction waste and other solutions for how we can reduce the amount of waste we are currently sending to the Lachute Landfill. We are also hoping to be considered as a willing host for an Energy from Waste facility for the Outaouais, and we will discuss some updates on that file as well.
I would also like to mention that we have an opportunity to open at least one forestry mill this year and one concern that was mentioned to me is that there won’t be workers from the Pontiac interested in applying. As we know forestry is in our hearts and in our blood, it built the Pontiac. We were put out of business in 2008 except for our amazing Pharand-Lefebvre Mill. Today, we have workers travelling to Ontario to work in mills. The Pontiac was always known for having the hardest working and best workers and I am asking you to remember that reputation. As more and more investors arrive in our region, we need people from the Pontiac to come forward and apply for these jobs. Let’s bring back our Pontiac community pride and fill all of those positions with people from our region. This is how we will revitalize, and improve quality of life and prosper economically. We can do it Pontiac! Thank you.