Sunday, July 14, 2024
Editorials

Greater promise

One of the perks of a job in journalism is having the opportunity to report the good news of what is going on in your area. In the Pontiac, there are many such stories, a few of which have found their way into this week’s Equity.
One is the concerted effort by the MacLachlan family, the PCH Foundation and CISSSO to expand the pool of nurses able to work in local healthcare facilities. It comes at a time when the need is acute, with 60 nursing vacancies in the Pontiac.
Part of the challenge is the need in bilingual west Quebec to hire nurses able to speak both English and French, which greatly reduces the pool of qualified candidates compared to almost everywhere else in the province where being unilingually French is sufficient. The other part is the salary differential between Quebec and Ontario, believed to be in the range of $20,000 per year.
The made-in-Pontiac effort to provide bursaries to students wanting to study nursing is creative and generous. It is also heartening to see senior people at CISSSO pressing the Quebec health minister to accord special status to the Outaouais, in light of our bilingualism and proximity to Ontario, that would enable us to match salaries offered to nurses here with those offered across the river.
Another example of people making great things happen here was the fantastic musical production put on at Pontiac High School this past Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Twenty enormously talented students, benefiting from the clearly inspired guidance of their teachers, sang, danced and rapped their hearts out to packed houses for every performance. Portraying a well-chosen story of a minority community’s struggle for survival against all kinds of odds, surely intended to resonate with Pontiac audiences, the production presented an opportunity for young people to develop their performance chops and, perhaps more importantly, their confidence in the amazing things that a group of people working together can achieve.
André Fortin’s presentation of a National Assembly award to Chris Judd was an inspired moved by our home-grown representative in Quebec City to one of this county’s most beloved elders who, according to many of our readers, is the author of the best part of this newspaper’s weekly offerings.
And finally, the fully transparent and truly public meeting of Pontiac mayors on Monday morning was a breath of fresh air and a good day for local democracy. The question recently came up as to whether mayors ought to be able to part with their municipal councils on issues of county-wide concern that come up at the MRC table. If Monday morning’s meeting of mayors was any indication, mayors are choosing to abide by the wishes of their municipal councils and the populations they represent and, at the same time, do what they think is best for the Pontiac as a whole. On the incinerator issue, at least, it seems clear that what is good for municipalities is also good for the county.
There are some awesome people doing amazing things in the Pontiac. People working hard, with ingenuity, creativity and generosity. Addressing the real challenges we face with practical, do-able strategies. Giving local talent a chance to blossom, creating greater promise down the road.
We are rich. There are better times ahead. And for now, we have much of which to be proud.

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