Wednesday, October 4, 2023
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The Year in Review – April

Mayor of MoP proposes resolution supporting
MRC Pontiac resolution on Chalk River dump site.
Mayor Roger Larose of the Municipality of Pontiac (MoP) says he is concerned about the proposed near-surface dump site for low-level radioactive waste at Chalk River.
In an interview with THE EQUITY, Larose said he would propose a resolution at Tuesday’s MoP council meeting in support of the MRC Pontiac’s resolution on the Chalk River site, which was passed last December.
The MRC’s resolution called for the dump site proposed by Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL) to be moved as far away from the Ottawa River as possible.

Student bursary to address health professional shortage
The Connexions Resource Centre offered a bursary program in partnership with McGill University and funded by Health Canada.
The Health and Social Services Community Leadership Bursary Program is meant to incentivize full-time, bilingual students in health-related studies to seek employment in their home region after graduation.
For underserved regions like the Outaouais, this program could help retain talented health professionals within their communities.

House fire along Hwy 148
A single-story home in Bryson went up in flames early Sunday morning.
The Bryson, Grand Calumet and Portage du Fort Fire Departments were called to a fire at 444 Hwy 148 at 7:49 a.m.
The Campbell’s Bay Litchfield Fire Department were also called to the scene.
Chief Shawn Bowie said that the home suffers mostly from smoke damage and that the structure was left mostly intact.
The fire departments were able to control the fire after 40 minutes and left the scene at approximately 11:15 a.m.

Brutal fire consumes Quyon home
A brutal house fire took place in Quyon last Saturday, pictured left.
Several residents called 911 to report a fire that was spreading from a residential garage.
The occupants were able to escape before the fire consumed the residence. No one was injured in the fire.
The garage and the home were both consumed by the fire, with a total of $200,000 lost in damages.

Gatineau SWAT intervenes in Bristol arrest
On April 21, the Gatineau Police’s SWAT unit arrested a man after an alleged assault took place at his Bristol residence.
The night before, at approximately 10:30 p.m., the Sûreté du Québec were notified of an alleged assault at a home on Chem. Bristol View, following a domestic dispute.
The 41-year-old suspect refused to communicate with police.
The next morning, the Sûreté du Québec sent the Gatineau Police’s SWAT unit to the property. The suspect was arrested around noon.

Lyn Theatre to reopen
Warden Jane Toller announced on April 4 that she is the new owner of the Lyn Cinema in Fort-Coulonge, pictured above.
Toller described her purchase of the theatre as a personal investment and said that no public grant money went towards the purchase.
“I am committed to the revitalization of the Pontiac as a businessperson and also as the warden,” said Toller. “We have a lot of infrastructure that’s closed and the easiest thing to do is to reopen it.”

Two arrested in Clarendon for drug trafficking
On April 15, Sûreté du Québec seized multiple drugs at a residence on Hwy 148.
After a search of the residence, the police seized 75 methamphetamine tablets, approximately 30 grams of cocaine, approximately 260 grams of cannabis, more than five grams of cannabis wax, about ten grams of hashish, about 20 grams of psychedelic mushrooms, about 170 prescription pills, and more than $19,000 as well as various other items related to drug trafficking, according to their press release.
In addition to the drug bust, the police arrested two suspects for alleged drug trafficking, A 32-year-old man and 58-year-old woman.

Hooley returns
The first Hooley since the start of the pandemic was held at the Shawville Anglican Hall on Friday evening. The event was organized by Chris Judd and his wife Jeannie Judd.
Hooley is an Irish word for kitchen party and is a chance for musicians to gather and play together in front of a live audience.
The Hooley was attended by about ten musicians ranging from 12 to 85 years old.

Residence Meilleur gets a break over disputed $30,000
The Council of Mayors voted 15 to three at the April 20 public MRC meeting to rescind a resolution requesting Residence Meilleur to repay a $30,000 grant, which was originally passed on March 27, 2020. The vote came after a long debate, which saw arguments over proper procedure, conflict of interest rules and the legality of the move.
Residence Meilleur is a not-for-profit retirement residence in L’Isle aux Allumettes. It was named in honour of late notable resident Fred Meilleur.
As THE EQUITY reported previously, the dispute over the $30,000, which was part of a total $180,000 Residence Meilleur received from the MRC starting in 2016, originally seemed to hinge on whether the money was an overpayment of a $150,000 grant agreed to in the 2016-2017 FDT (Fonds de développement des territoires) budget, and would therefore need to be paid back, or if it was a separate grant from the 2015-2016 FDT budget, and therefore legitimate. However, the perimeters of the debate shifted by the end.
Donald Gagnon, mayor of Chichester, started things off by introducing a resolution asking that the request for repayment to be rescinded. The resolution stated that the $30,000 and the $150,000 grants were from separate FDT budget years, and Residence Meilleur communicated the existence of both grants to the Societe d’habitation in order to obtain approval for the project. Furthermore, the resolution stated that Residence Meilleur provided documentation to council that they were told that the $30,000 grant was legitimate by the MRC.
However, before Gagnon’s resolution was voted on, Sandra Armstrong, mayor of Mansfield et Pontefract, introduced a counter resolution to defer the vote on rescinding the payment until the council could be advised by lawyers on the legality of the move.
“Last week I talked to a lawyer, and there seems to be red flags in this file,” said Armstrong, explaining why she thought the vote should be deferred.
This caused Cory Spence, mayor of Ile-aux-Allumettes, to interject with a point of order to dispute that Gagnon’s resolution should be voted on first, as it had been introduced first. Colleen Larivière, mayor of Litchfield, supported Spence’s move.
Warden Jane Toller stated that the deferral vote should go first, as whether or not it passed would determine if the original resolution would still be applicable.
However, the deferral vote failed, with 12 mayors voting against the resolution and six voting for it.
In the end two amendments proposed by Mayor Maurice Beauregard of Campbell’s Bay and Mayor Spence were added to Gagnon’s original motion, which stated the MRC council only voted to give Residence Meilleur three grants, which amounted to $30,000 plus $60,000 plus $60,000 for a total of $150,000, but given the mistakes made by the MRC , the overpaid $30,000 would come out of the MRC’s surplus (which is made up of the revenue shares provided by each municipality).
The final vote was 15 voting in favour of the amended motion to three voting against it. Mayor Sandra Armstrong of Mansfield-et-Pontefract, Mayor Christine Francoeur of Fort-Coulonge and Mayor Lynne Cameron of Portage-du-Fort voted against the resolution.

The year in review continues next week.

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