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Highlights 2News

Year in Review – January and February 2023

Over the next few weeks we we will reviewing events that affected us here in the Pontiac, in THE EQUITY’S 2023 Year in Review

January

Fire at bus garage
A fire at the Autobus La Salle Garage left one school bus beyond repair, and damaged three of the four bus bays. No one was injured in the fire.

Clarendon native studies stroke impacts
Tyler Cluff, originally from Clarendon, spoke with THE EQUITY about his new work co-leading a research group in Calgary that studies how different people recover from strokes. His group works with people a week after a stroke, designing tests to try to understand impairments and why many individuals do not recover and regain full mobility after their stroke.

Québec solidaire member tours Pontiac
Vincent Marissal, MNA for the riding of Rosemont in Montreal and Québec solidaire’s healthcare critic in the National Assembly, visited the CLSC in Mansfield and Pontefract, the Pontiac Hospital and the CLSC in Quyon as a part of a province-wide fact finding tour. His biggest takeaway was that Ontario was drawing away Pontiac’s healthcare workers, and that conditions causing Quebec nurses to leave needed to be addressed.

Portage mayor celebrates 20 years
Lynn Cameron was recognized for her 20 years of service as Portage du Fort mayor, as well as for the nine years she served as a councillor prior to that.
Cameron was awarded a plaque from the Fédération québécoise des municipalités at a December Council of Mayors meeting.
“It was humbling,” she said at the time. “I’m not really one for the spotlight but it did mean a lot to me.”

Young figure skater wins award
Zoé Lafontaine, 12, a skater with the Shawville Figure Skating Club, won the Coup de Coeur award for the MRC Pontiac at the Excellence sportive Outaouais gala that was hosted in Gatineau before the holidays.
“When I see her [on the ice] she’s like a whole new person,” Lafontaine’s mother Annick Lance said at the time. “I’m like ‘wow she looks like a young lady.’”

Local dancer celebrated for big win
Marie-Josée Corriveau and her dance partner, Jason Morel, were celebrated at an event in Fort Coulonge for winning season four of the TV dance competition show Révolution.
MRC Pontiac warden Jane Toller awarded Corriveau with the Pontiac Paddle of Accomplishment, which Toller announced as “the highest honour that a person from the Pontiac can have.”
In her thank you speech, Corriveau, a Litchfield native, thanked her sister Natacha Corriveau, for being her teacher since the beginning.

Ski Pontiac moves to Astra Estates
The volunteer-based organization Ski Pontiac announced it would be moving its headquarters and trail network from its original location at Pine Lodge down the road to the Astra Estates golf course after its relationship with Pine Lodge dissolved.
“It provides us with a brand new place. They have several kilometres of trails that we’re going to be able to groom and we’ll also be able to offer snowshoe trails,” said Ariane Cloutier, president of Ski Pontiac.

AutonHomme opens new headquarters
Social service organization AutonHomme Pontiac opened its new service centre at 128 Front Street in Campbell’s Bay.
The organization works to support men in the region struggling with challenges including mental health, addictions, and family issues. AuntonHomme also offers temporary housing for any person (man, woman, family) struggling with homelessness and helps them find permanent housing.
Executive director Tyler Ladouceur said the new office space would allow the organization to expand the services it offers.

Mona MacKechnie recognized for her service
Long-time Quyon community leader Mona MacKechnie was honoured with the Canadian Platinum Jubilee Pin, an award given to notable citizens created to mark the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign.
Her daughter Donna cited Mona’s work as a charter member of the Quyon Lionettes, her initiative to create the Quyon Ladies Ball League, and her work with the Quyon United church as just some of the many ways her mother has contributed to her community over the decades.

February

New conservation areas
Ducks Unlimited Canada, a not-for-profit group dedicated to conserving, restoring and managing wetlands, announced it purchased more than 80 hectares of wetlands in the MRC Pontiac, on Calumet Island and Allumettes Island. A press release describing the purchase described the properties’ locations on the Ottawa River as “a high-priority area for the conservation of waterfowl and their habitats.”
The press release noted the properties would remain open to the public for the purpose of wildlife observation and hiking.

Over 1,100 homes lose power
An equipment failure at the Waltham hydro station on the Black River caused over 1,100 Pontiac households to lose power for as long as 30 hours as temperatures dipped as low as -35 degrees.
The outage left many residents in municipalities of Allumettes Island, Chichester, Sheenboro and Waltham without heat or means of communication when some of the residential phone lines went down in areas with no cellular network.
“In very cool weather like that the use of electricity during peak periods puts lots of pressure on the grid because so many of our clients heat their homes with electricity,” said Anna Rozanova, communications advisor for Hydro Québec at the time.

Bryson celebrates 150
A cold snap didn’t prevent Bryson from kicking off its 150-year anniversary celebrations with Winterfest. The weekend event included an outdoor hockey tournament, husky dog sledding, a mobile arcade, a variety of entertainment including performances from a clown, a circus artist, and a comedian, a spaghetti supper, and a community breakfast.
4-H teen wins third in essay competition
Reese Rusenstrom received $5,000 for winning third prize for an essay she submitted to the Build Your Herd 50K For The Future essay competition held by Bohrson Marketing services. To enter, she had to write about who her role model was and how they inspired her to be successful.
She chose two people, Jackie MacGregor and Fawn Jackson, both of whom had acted as mentors for her throughout her 4-H time.
After being selected as one of eight finalists, she traveled to Edmonton with her father for a final interview.

Fire at B’nai Brith
Two fires erupted overnight on Feb. 12 at Camp B’nai Brith, a Jewish summer camp near Quyon. Firefighters were called to the camp at 4:30 a.m. As they were battling the first fire, a second broke out in a neighbouring building. The water treatment facility and a storage unit were damaged. Nobody was injured. A press release from the MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais police said they were investigating the fires as a case of suspected arson.

Shawville kicks off 150 celebrations
The Fish Findlay Classic Community Winter Carnival was held in Shawville to launch the town’s 150-year anniversary celebrations. The event included sledding, a bonfire, and free hotdogs and hot chocolate.

Comedy fundraiser for farmer’s market
Over 180 people registered to watch four comedians at the Harrington Hall in Chapeau. The event was organized by Marché de Chapeau and the Upper Pontiac Agricultural Society to raise money for a new farmer’s market building in Chapeau. Marché de Chapeau started hosting farmer’s markets in 2021 on the former Chapeau fairgrounds and hopes to set up a permanent structure.

Pontiac Youth Council returns
The MRC Pontiac Youth Council met for its first official sitting and swearing in ceremony on Feb. 13 at the MRC office in Campbell’s Bay. Several mayors attended the event as well as MRC staff and parents. The council was set to meet once a month to discuss issues of importance to regional youth, including the expansion of public transportation, improved accessibility to mental health resources, development of physical activity facilities, better employment opportunities for youth and improved infrastructure for individuals with disabilities.

Valentine’s Dance
The Otter Lake 50 Plus Club hosted its annual Valentine dinner and dance at the Raymond Johnston Centre on Feb. 18. Event tickets sold out over a month in advance. The 160 or so attendees filled the dance floor with a sea of red, jiving to classic country and rock tunes all evening long.