Friday, July 12, 2024
Letters to the Editor

Fairness for homeowners

Dear Editor,
We are writing to bring attention to a critical issue that has arisen in Alleyn and Cawood, one that could soon impact all communities within MRC Pontiac. This year, with our municipal tax bill, we received our notice of assessment showing a comparative factor of 3.7 meaning a staggering 370 per cent increase in house values. This was a shock since in 2025 the new triannial roll will be in effect for the municipality and this comparative factor is an indicator of the new evaluations. This shocking increase is not only unsustainable for our residents but is also likely to be mirrored in other MRC communities if we do not take action.
Upon receiving these notice of assessments, our community was outraged and spoke out to council. In response, we swiftly organized a dedicated taskforce composed of residents, the administration of the municipality, the mayor, and councillors to fight this unfair increase. We initiated a petition within Alleyn and Cawood, gathering over 275 signatures in just 11 days. This overwhelming support demonstrated our community’s unity and determination to challenge the unjust assessment process.
Our efforts have not gone unnoticed. At the last Council meeting on June 3, Jane Toller, Warden of MRC Pontiac, announced that the 370 per cent increase will not be applied to residential properties, and we would find out the new evaluations on Sept. 15. While this represents a significant victory, the fight is far from over. The underlying provincial assessment process remains deeply flawed, with the comparative factor failing to reflect the true value of homes in our communities.
We have secured the support of our local MNA, André Fortin, who is presenting our petition to the National Assembly. Once the petition is approved and posted online, we aim to gather thousands of signatures from all surrounding Quebec communities. This broader support is crucial as similar assessments could soon affect your communities.
We have also asked all mayors of MRC Pontiac to sign a letter to Minister Andrée Laforest, urging her to change this unfair and outdated process. We recognize that the government often pushes responsibility to municipalities, but when a policy is wrong, unfair, and outdated, it is the government’s duty to fix it. Our elected officials have the power to make meaningful changes, and we are holding them accountable to do just that.
We kindly call on all residents of MRC Pontiac to support our efforts. Join us in signing the petition, attending our upcoming town hall on June 22, and voice your concerns. The town hall in Alleyn and Cawood will feature information sessions, a Q&A period, and, of course, coffee and snacks. Please look out for the invitation and come meet your neighbours.
We are a small community, but we are mighty, and we will fight for fairness for all homeowners in the Pontiac. We may be far from Quebec City, but we are taxpayers and voters. The government needs to pay attention because we are voicing our outrage, and we demand a fair, just, and transparent property assessment process.
Thank you for your ongoing support. Together, we can achieve lasting change and fairness for all of Quebec.

Sidney Squitti and Guy Bergeron
Members of the taskforce and municipal councillors in Alleyn and Cawood

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