According to information obtained by CHIP 101.9, the Quebec government’s intention to expand four protected wildlife areas in the Outaouais region, including Mount O’Brien in Alleyn-et-Cawood (Danford Lake), took several people by surprise, including the town council. Reached on Friday, the municipality said it was surprised by this announcement. The Director General of the Municipality, Isabelle Cardinal confirmed that she was not aware of this announcement, since Alleyn-et-Cawood has recently invested money for the installation of infrastructure in this area.
In an interview this morning with CHIP 101.9, Pontiac MNA André Fortin mentioned that he was not made aware of this announcement either. He added that the government should mainly focus their efforts on the protected areas of the Black, Dumoine and Coulonge Rivers, which have benefited from more consultation and consensus.
“On Friday the government announced a series of projects to protect some areas in, across the Outaouais and one of them was the Mount O’Brien. I’m going to be honest, I didn’t know much about this project. I knew the government was working on protected land and protected areas and usually when they come out with these news items it’s good news, because we do want to see much of our land protected. In this case however, it seems the municipality didn’t know about it, the environmental groups didn’t really know about it. The municipality had been investing significant sums to develop this area, and Alleyn-et-Cawood is not a municipality that can afford to throw money out the window. So, it’s a bit of a shock that the government didn’t even think to consult the municipality, and at the same time there are projects in our regions that have been accepted by the MRC, by the elected officials in the regions. The Black River, the Coulonge River, the Dumoine River protected area projects, those are the ones that have been worked on for years and the government hasn’t moved on those. So it’s unfortunate that it’s happening this way, I intend to get some answers from government on behalf of the taxpayers of Alleyn-et-Cawood who just lost out on significant sums. But protected area announcements like that should always be good news items and it’s a shame that the government didn’t do its homework on this one. It’s leaving a sour taste in a lot of people’s mouths.”
The full (French-language) interview with Fortin is available here.