Over $2.5 million for local projects across the Pontiac

Gatineau MNA Robert Bussière, giving remarks on behalf of the CAQ government.

Brett Thoms
Bryson March 9, 2023
Politicians, municipal leaders, business owners and community groups gathered last Thursday to officially announce the disbursement of over $2.5 million for the development of vitalization projects in the MRC Pontiac.
In total, 29 projects across the region received $2,623,469.64.
The announcement was held in the Bryson Lion’s Hall and was presided over by Pontiac MNA André Fortin, MRC Pontiac Warden Jane Toller and Gatineau MNA Robert Bussière, who represented the CAQ government in place of Minister of Municipal Affairs, Andrée Laforest who was originally scheduled to attend the event.
“I am extremely proud of the projects that have been approved in the first call for projects and of our local communities that have mobilized to bring them to life,” Warden Toller said. “I am convinced that these projects will have a very positive effect on the quality of life of our citizens and that they will help attract new residents and businesses to our region. We are very pleased to be making progress in our revitalization in the Pontiac, and we all look forward to seeing more and more projects come to fruition in the near future.”
The projects were approved by the MRC’s Vitalization Committee and funding comes by way of the Vitalization Agreement of the Regions and Rurality Fund signed with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
“We’re a government that was elected by the regions, and we don’t intend to forget that,” Bussière said on behalf of the CAQ. “And we intend to keep investing in regions. We know how important it is.”
Fortin focused his remarks on how much of the projects focused on improving infrastructure for children.
“I really have full and the utmost confidence in the ability of each and every one of you to see these projects through and to make them as great as possible for the people who come visit our region, for the people who live in our region and especially for our young ones who will benefit greatly,” Fortin said.
The announcement was attended by some of the recipients of the grant money, who were eager to showcase their projects.
One grant-receiving initiative was a project from the Centre de Recherche et Développement Technologique Agricole de l’Outaouais (CRÉDETAO), whose goal was to give aspiring farmers access to starting land to rent for a five-year period.
The program would give three to five small farmers access to plots of land in Bristol designated for animal agriculture. After five years they would be rotated out to give new farmers access to the land.
“This is really just phase one of the project,” Ana McBride of CRÉDETAO said. “We’re hoping to have a bit of an educational perspective on it as well, so possibly working with Heritage College and their students to be a bit more innovative in animal farming”.
Representatives from Alleyn-et-Cawood were at the event to outline the planned improvements for its 30-acre municipal park.
As of now the park has an NHL sized outdoor skating rink and is host to an annual summer camp, but with the grant money, they hope to expand on what the park can offer.
“We’re putting in flushing toilets, a baseball field, a soccer field, a tennis field and we’ll be finishing up our splash pad this summer,” Shelia Emon, the Coordinator of Special Projects for Alleyn-et-Cawood, said.
The improvements mark the first time the small municipality has received a grant for the park, according to Emon.
“We don’t have a lot of amenities in our municipality because we’re so small. But this is one that we’re very proud of and one we want to enhance,” Emon said.
The Director General of L’Isle-aux-Allumettes and Chichester was at the event to showcase the work they would be doing with the grants the two municipalities received.

One project is for the building of a new park in lower Chapeau and another was the expansion of the Chichester’s park.
Director General Alicia Jones explained that given the limited size of the grants, the park projects would take place over an extended period.
“There’s a lot of different elements here,” said Jones. “But we’re gonna start with one thing at a time.”
Thierry Raimbault, environment coordinator at the MRC Pontiac was also at the event to showcase a project to expand the region’s public transit infrastructure. The project will include the construction of a motor pool, a bus shelter and an electric car charging station at the MRC Pontiac offices in Campbell’s Bay.
“The goal is to facilitate people to take the bus by adding a new spot to leave the car and take the bus,” Raimbault said.
Another project featured at the event was Gem Villavicencio of Pure Conscience Farms in Bristol. She explained how the grant she received would be used for increasing the farm’s organic egg production capacity.
“Thank you to the MRC Pontiac for the funding. It’s really thanks to them and to their support that we are able to do this project,” Villavicencio said.
Another grant-receiving business present at the event was Escapade Huskimo, a dog sledding and lodge business in Otter Lake. The owners’, Caroline Desrosiers and Sylvain Drapeau, explained how the two grants they received would allow them to expand the services their business can offer to tourists both in the winter and summer.

List of all approved projects:

  1. Municipality of Fort-Coulonge - Construction of a pump track
  2. Municipality of Mansfield-et-Pontefract - Development and improvement of an outdoor rest area
  3. Municipality of Campbell’s Bay - Upgrades to a multi-purpose recreational site
  4. Municipality of Île-du-Grand-Calumet - Development and improvement of recreational tourism site facilities
  5. Municipality of Shawville - Development of Mill Dam Park as part of the municipality’s 150th anniversary
  6. Municipality of Bryson - Improvement of tourist sites as part of the municipality’s 150th anniversary
  7. Municipality of Otter Lake - Recreational Site Accessibility Improvements
  8. Municipality of Waltham - Recreational Site Development
  9. Municipality of of Waltham - Tourist signage upgrade
  10. Municipality of Bristol - Norway Bay Beach Facility Development and Upgrade
  11. Municipality of Sheenboro - Fort William Boat Launch Improvements
  12. Municipality of Isle-aux-Allumettes - Centennial Park Development
  13. Municipality of Chichester - Development and improvement of municipal park facilities
  14. Municipality of Alleyn-et-Cawood - Development and improvement of municipal park facilities
  15. Municipality of Rapides-des-Joachims - Development and improvement of municipal park facilities
  16. MRC Pontiac - Creation of a transportation hub
  17. MRC Pontiac - MRC Revitalization Strategy (Rues Principales and Dynamic Portal)
  18. Le Patro de Fort-Coulonge/Mansfield - Renovation of the mini-putt
  19. Chapeau and District Lions Club - Canteen Upgrade
  20. Fédération UPA Outaouais-Laurentides - ALUS Outaouais Program in the Pontiac
  21. Pontiac Pool - Preparation of civil, structural, electrical and mechanical

Otter Lake Mayor Terry Lafleur, Pontiac MNA André Fortin, MRC Pontiac Warden Jane Toller and Gatineau MNA Robert Bussière at the press conference announcing the funding of 29 revitalization projects across the MRC Pontiac.

Mayor of Alleyn-et-Cawood Carl Mayer, Shelia Emon, the Coordinator of Special Projects for and Director General Isabelle Cardinal presenting their proposed changes to the municipality’s park.

Alicia Jones and Chantal Lair of the municipalities of L’Isle-Aux-Allumettes and Chichester presenting the park projects for the two towns.


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