MRC Pontiac Extraordinary Meeting
Two resolutions on Serge Newberry’s Conflict of interest in the National Park Committee
Article published on 3 October 2019
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Yesterday, the Regional Council of Mayors of the MRC Pontiac held an extraordinary general meeting to deal with the perceived conflict of interest recently reported on by the CHIP 101.9 newsroom. In the interest of Conflict, the Mayor of the municipality of l’Île-du-Grand-Calumet failed to report owning two small islands locate near the proposed National Park Project site; the Iles Lafontaine, while being one of the two mayors sitting on the MRC Pontiac’s National Park Committee. The Mayors of the MRC Pontiac voted on, and approved, two resolutions on Mayor Serge Newberry’s perceived conflict of interest.

In the Non-official Translation of the MRC Pontiac Resolutions, it was said that: ’’Whereas the MRC Pontiac Warden and the Council of mayors had no knowledge that the Mayor of l’Île-du-Grand-Calumet owned two islands which were part of the proposed national park plan; Whereas the MRC Pontiac Warden and the Council of mayors have concerns about a perceived conflict of interest revealed through the media recently:’’

As a result, the MRC has resolved to create a new MRC committee focused on creating a national park within the Pontiac, to name the members of this committee, to determine which islands will compose the national park and to define the clear mandate for the committee. The MRC has also resolved that the Warden divulge this perceived conflict of interest to the Commission municipale du Québec (CMQ) .

During the media debrief, the Warden of the MRC Jane Toller explained why these two resolutions were decided among the Mayors.

In an interview following the extraordinary meeting, the Mayor of l’Île-du-Grand-Calumet, Serge Newberry, reacted to the resolutions:

It should be noted that the former members of the MRC Pontiac’s National Park committee are: the Mayor of Campbell’s Bay Maurice Beauregard; the mayor of l’Île-du-Grand-Calumet Serge Newberry; a Municipal Councillor of the municipality of l’Île-du-Grand-Calumet Alice Meilleur Pieschke; the MRC Pontiac Civil Engineer Kim Lesage; the Wilderness Tours President Joe Kowalski; and Ottawa Valley Tourist Association Director Alastair Baird. After the meeting, CHIP 101.9 also spoke to another Committee members, the Mayor of Campbell’s Bay Maurice Beauregard, who said though the committee is dissolving he remains optimistic about the project.

RESOLUTIONS
(on-official translation)
Whereas the MRC council supported the principle of the project (C.M. 2018-09-23) of a national park at the Îles Lafontaine;
Whereas the MRC council named a mayor (C.M. 2018-08-13) on the “organisational committee” and made available a human resource, namely the engineer (C.M. 2018-09-23);
Whereas current members of the committee include: Serge Newberry, mayor of Île-du-Grand-Calumet; Alice Pieschky, Île-du-Grand-Calumet Councillor; Maurice Beauregard, mayor of Campbell’s Bay; Kim Lesage, MRC engineer; Allister Baird, Renfrew County manager of economic development; and Mr. Jos. Kowalski, business person and land owner;
Whereas the MRC Pontiac Warden and the Council of mayors had no knowledge that the Mayor of l’Île-du-Grand-Calumet owned two islands which were part of the proposed national park plan;
Whereas the MRC Pontiac Warden and the Council of mayors have concerns about a perceived conflict of interest revealed through the media recently;
Whereas the MRC has the opportunity to clarify the structure and mandate of this committee.
Consequently,
It is proposed by and resolved that the MRC:
- Create a new MRC committee focused on creating a national park within the Pontiac;
- Name the members of this committee;
- Determine which islands will compose the national park;
- Define the clear mandate for the committee.

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