Monday, July 22, 2024
Highlights 2News

The Year in Review

November

Thorne addresses concerns over joint fire departments
The Municipality of Thorne hosted an information session to address increasing concern from residents over the amalgamation of the Thorne and Otter Lake fire departments that occurred nearly three years ago. Lack of firefighters was the main reason the amalgamation was needed, according to MRC Pontiac.

Pontiac’s rec hockey program returns
The MRC Pontiac’s recreational hockey program returned after a two-year hiatus caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s open to anybody that can put on a pair of skates,” said Darcy Findlay, who is running this year’s program and also teaches physical education at Pontiac High School.
Mayors approve proposal for incinerator business plan
A proposal to develop a business plan for a garbage incinerator project in MRC Pontiac was approved by MRC Pontiac mayors. In a 12-to-6 vote, the Council of Mayors passed a motion authorizing consulting firm Deloitte to proceed with the implementation of its proposal under a contract for $120,000.

Teachers hit the picket line
Teachers across the Pontiac took to the picket lines to strike for better working conditions and higher wages. Teachers from Dr. S. E. McDowell Elementary School and the Pontiac Continuing Education Centre were just a handful of those who walked off the job in the region. They spent the morning walking up and down Shawville’s Centre Street between the elementary school and Highway 148. The strike caused local disruptions in schools with the Hauts-Bois-de-l’Outaouais school service centre and the Western Quebec School Board.

SQ report increase in impaired driving
The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) released its annual report on police activities in the MRC Pontiac, which saw a notable increase in impaired driving charges, from 38 instances in 2021/22 to 56 in 2022/23. The report contains statistics related to vehicle collisions, crime and municipal violations within the 18 municipalities of the MRC Pontiac between Apr. 1, 2022, and Mar. 31, 2023.

Quyon fire destroys house
A fire destroyed the house at 27 Saint John Street in Quyon. One resident that escaped the blaze was believed to have suffered burns requiring hospitalization. The other resident, who was not home when the fire broke out, returned soon afterward, according to witnesses. Though the house was completely ablaze, quick response by neighbours living immediately next door helped save their own house from catching fire.

New mayor for Rapides-des-Joachims
The Municipality of Rapides-des-Joachims named Lucie Rivet Paquette as its new mayor. She was the only candidate who submitted her name for the position to replace deceased mayor Doug Rousselle, and so was acclaimed to the position. While she was born in Shawville and raised in Fort Coulonge, in her teens Rivet Paquette moved to Rapides-des-Joachims, where she got married and has lived ever since.

Temporary residents evicted over flea infestation
Four residents who had been living in AutonHomme Pontiac’s temporary housing facility at the Shawville motel for months received eviction notices giving them six days to vacate the building. Tyler Ladouceur, director of the organization, said a flea infestation at the motel had made it impossible to keep extending the term of the people living there, and that their residency at the motel was never meant to be long-term, anyways.

A (Ladies’) Night to remember
Dozens of women shared food, wine, and plenty of laughter at Marché Bristol Market’s first ladies’ night event. The nearly sold-out charity fundraiser, hosted at Bristol’s Jack Graham Community Center, featured a vendors market, a silent auction, a buffet, bingo, and door prizes. “We chose the Ladies’ Night theme because there was nothing like it in Bristol and the ladies of the Pontiac deserve a night out,” said Marché Bristol Market’s president Emily Reid.

Pontiac public service workers on strike
About 300 healthcare workers employed by CISSSO including cleaners, technicians, and personal support staff stood outside the Pontiac Hospital for three days on strike. They were among the 570,000 educators, healthcare and social service workers on strike across the province in November, demanding higher wages and better working conditions.

December

CISSSO user committee return to Pontiac
Residents and users of CISSSO health and social service facilities in the Pontiac region regained a committee of people dedicated to representing their rights and needs to institutional authorities. After six years without one, a new user committee was established to ensure proper living conditions for people living in long term care and advocate, more generally, for better health services in the region.

Firefighting training for Coulonge students
A firefighter training certification program was introduced for high school students at École secondaire Sieur-de-Coulonge (ESSC). The program is being offered as an elective course, to be taken over the span of two academic years. According to instructor Martin Bertrand, the training opportunity is “a brand new program from a brand new initiative from the province,” made possible by a collaboration between the MRC Pontiac, local fire departments and the enthusiasm of ESSC students.

Dragons win in team’s first Shawville game
The Outaouais Dragons U15 AA hockey team defeated opponents Outaouais Bisons 4-1 at a packed Shawville Arena. The Dragons AA team, made up of some of the best U15 players in the Western Outaouais region, includes four former Pontiac Lions players; Taytum Thompson, Pierce Rusenstrom, Colton Hines and Tristan Queale. “It was a good game right till the end, they battled hard, it was a really good team effort,” said head coach Tim Thompson of Shawville.

Choir director celebrates 50 years
A special musical community celebration honoured Cheryl Campbell for her 50 years as director of the Shawville United Church choir.
Unprecedented demand for Bouffe Pontiac
The demand for food from local food bank Bouffe Pontiac was up in 2023, while monetary donations to the organization were down from previous years. “Every year, the need is greatest in November and December,” said Kim Laroche, who has been director of the organization since 2018. “This year, I’m finding that it’s greater than it has been in all the other years,” she said, citing rising grocery prices due to inflation as the primary reason for the increase in demand.

New bistro opens in Campbell’s Bay
Lisa Boisvert opened Méli Mélo Bistro on Front Street in Campbell’s Bay, offering a new space for young people to make their own, as well as healthy and affordable menu items.

Fortin celebrated at annual MNA holiday breakfast
Pontiac MNA André Fortin reconnected with constituents after a busy parliamentary session at his annual MNA holiday breakfast, which was hosted at the Mickey Creek Golf Club in Vinton. Fortin was applauded for being awarded Parliamentarian of the Year Award in the National Assembly.

Until next year. Thanks for reading the Year in Review

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