Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor – February 7, 2024

Our Pontiac Haven

Dear Editor
CNL has recently been given the green light to go ahead with its radioactive waste mound upriver from us, while the MRC Pontiac’s Council approved spending $120,000 for Deloitte to create a business plan that supports a 400,000 ton garbage burning facility.
How does either fit with the following narrative?
Quote from the Pontiac MRC website:
“The Pontiac is a haven for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers. From hiking, hunting and camping in lush forests to fishing and boating in tranquil waters, the area provides ample opportunities to connect with nature and escape the hustle and bustle of urban life.”
The truth is, neither fits the quote . . . but too many politicians simply don’t want to bite the hand that feeds them, so to speak.
In allowing these projects, various government regulations are made to be followed with allowable exposure limits etc., as a means to protect citizens and the environment. Problem is, they don’t prevent ‘bad deals’, mechanical failures, accidents, mismanagement and/or exposures above the recommended limits.
We, as taxpayers, residents of the region and probable victims of any potential hazard, have “a right to a healthy environment and to its protection, and to the protection of the living species inhabiting it . . .” as quoted from the Environmental Quality Act.
Despite this, CNL’s project seemed destined to move forward due to its current operations, against the wishes of citizens, First Nations groups and regional resolutions of opposition, while Warden Toller holds steadfast to her Waste-to-Energy project, which by the way is still in the ‘dream phase’, with unknown investors committing dimes compared to what the project will actually cost.
The proposed incinerator in the Pontiac would be more than double the size of York-Durham’s $300 million facility, with both regions paying increased shares above the original expected amounts. With highly specialized parts, equipment, and inflation, could anyone accurately predict the cost of building a 400,000 ton waste burning facility?
Dubbed the “Wild West of the Outaouais region” where thousands of square kilometers remain untouched by civilization, various outdoor activities are enjoyed by 14,764 residents, as well as many visitors who come to escape the urban bustle.
Bearing in mind that this burning project has the capacity to literally go up in flames, with an earnest capability to bankrupt the poorest region in Quebec and/or create a health-ecological catastrophe, are the risks worth it?
Citizens deserve honest, unbiased and informative consultations from a Council that value their input. A Council who has fully researched the pros-cons of the project. A council who can explain why they chose to jeopardize “lush forests” and “tranquil waters” for 50 highly specialized jobs.
What is our Pontiac “haven” worth to you? Reach out to your mayors.

Amy Taylor, Chapeau, QC
Pat Goyette, Fort Coulonge, QC

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