In an open letter titled “Commit yourself to the Pontiac!”, MRC Pontiac Warden Jane Toller asked that residents living full-time in the region to change their Ontario license plates for Quebec ones.
She states that the Pontiac region has a large population of seasonal residents from Ontario, some of whom are spending more than six months on this side of the river but have retained their Ontario health cards and license plates. She notes that paying taxes in Quebec contributes to the region’s schools and health care infrastructure.
The full text of the letter:
The Pontiac is being revitalized. We are enjoying a population boom, largely as a result of the pandemic. As noted recently in the Montreal Gazette, fifty per cent of residents from large urban centres prefer to leave and find homes surrounded by nature. That is what the Pontiac offers…magnificent pristine wilderness! We have 42% percent of the land in the Outaouais and only 3.6% of the population!
We border Ontario and have always enjoyed a good relationship through common roots and history, forestry and agriculture. Pontiac is bilingual, which is another draw for residents from Ontario. For generations we have a large number of seasonal residents from Ontario who pay property taxes which we appreciate.
It has been brought to my attention that we also have a growing number of residents who spend more than six months a year here and some have made the Pontiac their permanent residence. This is wonderful and we welcome these residents who support our local businesses and contribute in our communities! There is an issue which is challenging! They are retaining their Ontario license plates and health cards. This hurts the Pontiac as our municipalities do not receive funding for these residents and it impacts our schools and healthcare facilities.
This reality is growing and as the Warden of the MRC Pontiac I choose to address it and to encourage all of the people that this concerns to please understand that the Pontiac needs you to identify yourselves as Quebec residents.
We have chosen the Pontiac with its many benefits and we all want the Pontiac to succeed and thrive economically. Now is the time to commit yourselves in a visible way and take the necessary action to join the community one hundred percent! I thank you in advance for taking this step to support the Pontiac!
Warden MRC Pontiac