The Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board (ORRPB) wants to improve its communications with the public, therefore simplify the public’s understanding of the Planning Board’s role in the management of the waterways, as expressed by a member of the Secretariat of the ORRPB, Manon Lalonde.
Pontiac residents, and the surrounding area, who were eager to learn about the management of the waterways, were invited to two open house information sessions in the Pontiac, organized by Hydro-Québec and ORRPB in l’Île-du-Grand-Calumet and Campbell’s Bay. During the 2017 and 2019 floods, Pontiac citizens expressed their concerns regarding the involvement of Hydro-Québec and the Planning board in the management of the Hydro dams. (http://chipfm.com/Concerned-citizens-raise-questions-about-the-management-of-the-Hydro-dams-that?lang=en).
Monday and Tuesday, in a expo-like format, Pontiac residents were invited to visit the booths that were set up on site; representing the various organizations involved in the management of the waterways including: hydrometeorology; environment; water management; hydropower; reservoirs; facility management, and security of dams. The ministère de l’Environnement and Ottawa Power Generation (OPG) were also present for the open house sessions in the Pontiac.
Although a few people were surprised by the format of the event, the public seemed satisfied to be able to ask their questions directly to the specialists and discuss the issues that concern them, as explained by a resident of the municipality of Sheenboro, Pierre Contant.
For a resident of the Aylmer sector of the City of Gatineau, Rob Godman, the format of the meeting was “excellent” because it allowed the public to have a “one-to-one conversation” with experts to “get answers” to their questions.
A total of about 85 people attended the open houses in the MRC Pontiac.