In her most recent message addressed to residents of the MRC Pontiac, Warden Jane Toller returns to the developments of the subjects that have received attention in recent weeks, notably on the forestry industry, waste management as well as COVID-19.
Here is the full message:
On behalf of the MRC Pontiac and the Council of Mayors, I would like to wish everyone a happy Canada Day! Even though, because of COVID-19, we cannot hold our usual large gatherings and events, I am sure everyone will take the time to remember that we are lucky to live in a country like Canada.
As an update for this week, I would like to highlight a few developments. Last week, I had the opportunity to meet the Minister of Forests, Pierre Dufour, as well as Mathieu Lacombe and André Fortin. The purpose of this meeting was to address the current forestry crisis with pulp and biomass. We know that there are currently no forest plants in western Outaouais, and we hope to change that. We are working on an exciting project called Davidson Energy. The project involves cogeneration, which is a solution for pulp and biomass that produces steam and electricity. In addition to this, there will be a white pine sawmill. My discussion with Minister Dufour was to stress that we need our supply guarantees (GA), that is to say our stumpage rights. Pierre Dufour told me that he liked the project and that he considered it ecocentric and sustainable, in particular the fact that there could be a greenhouse industry to receive the steam produced by cogeneration.
We organized a public rally for this project on Monday June 22 in Davidson. Many local politicians and important speakers were present, including André Fortin, Mayor Gilles Dionne, Mayor Gaston Allard and Pascal Dupuis, owner of the Valleyfield Cogeneration Plant, which works closely with Bruno St-Cyr, the vice- President of Davidson Sawmills. Hector “Junior” Soucie also addressed the crowd on behalf of the Forest Cooperative. In total, around 80 people were present, accompanied by local media. I intend to send a summary of this positive event to Minister Dufour, where we asked the provincial government to revive forestry in the Pontiac starting with Davidson Energy.
Another important event took place last Tuesday. I had the opportunity to make a presentation on behalf of the MRC Pontiac at the Conference of Prefects of the Outaouais (CPO). Polytechnique Montréal also made a presentation on waste management in the Outaouais. The intention of my presentation was to declare that the Pontiac is a host of goodwill and that we are interested in all potential technologies to find a sustainable solution for waste management. The Pontiac currently spends one million dollars a year on the transportation of waste in Lachute, QC. By introducing new technology, we could potentially save a lot of money, create local jobs, and become a “leader” in sustainable waste management in the National Capital Region. We will now begin phase 2 of this project, which will be the pre-feasibility study. Our goal is to have a solution and a plan in place by the end of this political term (November 2021).
On June 25, the provincial government announced the resumption of all physical activities, except festivals and major events, combat sports and summer camps with stays. Please continue to practice your social distance of 1.5 to 2 meters, and please wear a mask when you are in public spaces. We do not know when the second wave of the virus will hit the Outaouais, and we must remain vigilant and determined. We are fortunate that we have had no cases so far, and it is too early to start relaxing our preventive measures.
I wish you a week of health and safety. Pontiac together!