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$200,000 in additional funding for abattoir

Pontiac MNA André Fortin was on hand to announce an additional $200,000 in funding for the Abattoir les Viandes du Pontiac. From left: Clarendon councillor Rick Younge, Shawville Mayor Sandra Murray, abattoir co-owner Gilles Langlois, Gabriel Macron, abattoir co-owner Alain Lauzon, Fortin, Clarendon Mayor John Armstrong and Clarendon councillor Phillip Elliott are all smiles at the announcement.

CHRIS LOWREY
SHAWVILLE Aug. 1, 2018
The Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has given an additional $200,000 grant for Abattoir les Viandes du Pontiac in Shawville.
The Abattoir, which got $736,200 in provincial funding in February, aims to open Nov. 1.
The total cost of the project is pegged at $3.4 million, which remains unchanged. The extra $200,000 is a grant instead of a loan and the goal is to ease the abattoir’s debt commitments and make it easier to get the operation up and running.
The hope is that the grant will help the abattoir attain profitability sooner, which will then make it easier for the owners to expand the operation.
“This will help to compensate for certain loans,” said Alain Lauzon, one of the business partners who hails from Quyon. “The $200,000 could help us [expand] faster.”
Pontiac MNA André Fortin made the announcement and said that the facility will go a long way to help the community.

He said that not only will the abattoir help the local community by employing at least 10 people, it will also help farmers by cutting down on their transportation costs to have their animals taken to slaughterhouses in Ontario.
The abattoir was financed through several avenues. The business owners themselves put up $875,000 of their own money, got a loan of $828,625 from the Business Development Bank of Canada and Caisse Desjardins, another $828,625 loan from Caisse Desjardins, a no interest loan of $700,000 from BDC and Caisse Desjardins, a contribution of $83,875 from the MRC Pontiac and an $83,875 contribution from the SADC.
To start off, the facility will be slaughtering animals two days per week. It can accommodate four heads of beef per hour on a regular day for a total of 64 head per week.
The owners of the facility are hopeful that they can begin to expand the business in short order.
Lauzon said that the facility will be easy to expand.
“It’s built like Lego,” Lauzon said. “The reason we have five acres here is for the eventual expansion.”
For his part, Fortin said that since the group has been meticulous with their business plan, it makes it easier for the government to contribute funding.
“They have a solid business plan and they’re following it to a T,” Fortin said. “It’s a big risk they take as investors.”
According to Gilles Langlois, another investor and the general contractor for the building with GPL Construction, the group is on schedule to meet their opening date.
Lauzon, who has been pursuing this project for years, became emotional when he began speaking about it. He said that he has shouldered immense stress levels getting this project off the ground while also working his other job.
But if this project can deliver, both Lauzon and Fortin will be smiling from ear to ear.
“I’ll be the happiest man in the world if the meat we produce is marked Pontiac [at the supermarket],” Lauzon said.
“I’d challenge you on that,” Fortin quipped back.