Year in Review – June

Community Rally against Bill 96
About 20 or so concerned citizens gathered on the corner of Hwy 148 and Centre Street to rally against the passing of Bill 96 by the CAQ.
Organizer and concerned citizen Doreen Lloyd said as an anglophone living in Shawville, a predominantly anglophone town, she feels this bill is being pushed on her.
Lloyd and other members of the community held up signs that read Bill 96 with a slash across it and one that read “No to Bill 96, we will not stop until we get what our rights are.”

Trees

Dedicated to celebrating the month of the trees and forests the MRC Pontiac staff were giving out free trees to community members, as a part of the Tree and Forest Festival.
The staff set up shop in the parking lot of the MRC and gave away trees that were donated by the Ministry of Forests, Wildlife, and Parks.
Although it was raining the department of territory and environment, who organized the event set up tents to welcome community members. They were also barbecuing, and all the proceeds from the barbecue were donated to Bouffe Pontiac, said Jason Durand, Director of Land Use Planning and Environment.

Conserative leadership race comes to the Pontiac
The federal Conservative Party leadership candidate Leslyn Lewis visited the Pontiac at the Church of Faith, Praise and Prayer in Campbell’s Bay on a campaign stop.
Lewis, who is an MP representing Haldimand—Norfolk in Ontario, is known for her social conservative stances. She came in third place during the 2020 conservative leadership race that was ultimately won by Erin O’Toole.
The event had between 30 and 40 people in attendance.

Toller clashes with CNSC and CNL
The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) held its public hearing on whether to grant the construction licence for the proposed near surface disposal facility (NSDF) at Chalk River all last week at the Best Western in Pembroke, ON.
Warden of the MRC Pontiac, Jane Toller, spoke out against the proposed site during her intervention in the process, which provoked a tense back and forth between herself and the staff representing CNL and the CNSC present at the meeting.
“We are unilaterally against the near surface disposal facility proposed by CNL,” said Toller during her opening remarks, referencing the resolution passed in December requesting the mound to move further away from the river. “CNL failed to consult the mayors and the Warden of Pontiac County on the NSDF on whether we agree with the concept and its location near the river at the beginning of the project.”

Dr. Shahabi comes to Shawville
Originally from Iran, and raised in the city of Tehran, Dr. Payman Shahabi, the Lotus Medical Clinic’s newest family doctor joined the team here in Shawville.
What he brings is expertise in working with the elderly community, and he believes he can be a great asset to the region, he said.
“I think that because during my residency in the north of Quebec, I had many elderly people as my patients. I have good experience working and managing the older people who are vulnerable,” said Shahabi.

First ever pride event held in the Pontiac
The inaugural LGBTQ pride event was held in the Pontiac on Saturday at Le Patro in Fort-Coulonge.
The event, which was hosted by Pontiac Pride, was titled the Youth and Community Pride festival.
During the event, attendees participated in a youth consultation, got their faces painted, saw performances by both drag queens and drag kings, participated in the painting of a mural and got to use the splash pad and waterslide at Le Patro.
“It’s really a message to our youth to tell them that they belong, that we see them, we celebrate them and that it gets better,” said Michèle Gagnon, member of the Pontiac Pride committee, about the meaning of the event. “We can make our communities better by doing things like this and letting the world see all our colours. It’s so great to have so much support from the community and to be able to do something like this.”

New archaeology project announced in the MoP
The Friends of Chat Falls, a heritage and environmental conservation group based in the Municipality of Pontiac (MoP), has announced that they have received financial support from the MRC des Collines and others to start the work on a long-term archeology project in the area.
Called the Archéo-Pontiac project, the first stage will focus itself on preliminary work, namely mapping out sites where future digs will take place.

MoP fire chief resigns
Municipality of Pontiac fire chief Kevin Mansey handed in his resignation on Monday afternoon, ending his 16-year career with the fire department.
Mansey joined the brigade in 2006. After rising to the rank of captain he was made chief early in 2020.
On receiving news of his resignation, THE EQUITY reached out to Mr. Mansey who confirmed he would be leaving the department in July but provided no explanation for his departure.
Mansey’s exit comes amid complaints levied by current and former firefighters regarding the council’s management of the department.

Baking for Ukraine
Since the War in Ukraine began in February, many families have been impacted and communities here in the Pontiac have come together to send aid, pictured above.
Sophie (Lisowski) Ringrose, a resident of the Pontiac, has heard about the effects of the war as she has family members in Poland who are witnessing it. Many of Ringrose’s family live in the border city of Przemysl, one of the main border crossings between Ukraine and Poland. Hearing about her family in Poland assisting refugees for the past five months with humanitarian organizations, Ringrose and her friend Marilyn Amyotte along with many of their friends decided to raise money to send more support.

Maxime Bernier comes to the Pontiac
The leader of the People’s Party of Canada, Maxime Bernier, was at Brauwerk Hoffman Brewery last Wednesday.
Bernier, the former MP of the riding of Beauce and cabinet minister in the Harper government, formed the party in 2018 after his unsuccessful bid to be leader of the Canadian Conservative Party in 2017.
Bernier sat down with THE EQUITY for an interview before he gave a speech to about 50 people gathered at the venue.
“Our goal is to build the organization, find candidates and be sure that people understand what we want to do as a party,” said Bernier. “This party has been built on four principles: individual freedom, personal responsibility, respect and fairness.”

Lyn Theatre reopens
The Lyn Cinema in Fort-Coulonge officially reopened June 9 after being closed since 2014.
Jane Toller, warden of the MRC Pontiac announced she had purchased the theatre earlier in the year.
Toller dedicated the opening ceremony of the theatre to the Doyle family, who owned and operated the theatre since 1953.
“The Lyn Theatre was a major part of the Doyle family for most of our lives,” said Frank Doyle in his speech during the opening. “From its beginnings in 1953, we lived and worked in the theatre well into our adulthood. We swept the floors, placed the candy bars, put up posters, changed the lettering on the marquee and projected the films.”

Class of 2022 Dr. Wilbert Keon School
A graduation ceremony was held for the 14 graduates of Dr. Wilbert Keon School in Chapeau on June 25.
The event started with a dinner followed by speeches and an award economy.
The principal of Dr. Wilbert Keon, Neil Fleming, said that the in-person graduation was a great chance to reclaim traditions put on hold by the pandemic.
“Through the last two years the pandemic [the students] performed under that added stress with hybrid courses and all of the teachers out and they stepped up to the plate,” said Fleming. “They revealed a capacity not only to do school but to be responsible for themselves and I think that’s going to carry them far.”

Biodiversity reserve announced for Coulonge and Black Rivers
The government of Quebec announced plans to create a biodiversity reserve around the Coulonge and Black rivers, along with the announcement of nine other protected areas across the province.
The proposed area will be 820 square kilometres and will bar heavy industry like forestry or mining activity in their vicinity, and therefore prevent pollution from compromising the river basins. However, the protected area will still allow rafting, hiking and other outdoor activities to take place.
The actual design and parameters of the protected area are still to be determined after consultation led in part by the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), Conseil régional de l’environnement et du développement durable de l’Outaouais (CREDDO), and the Quebec Government.

André Fortin announces reelection bid
Pontiac MNA André Fortin officially launched his campaign to be reelected to the National Assembly on the morning of June 27 at the Quyon Community Centre.
The event was attended by about 200 residents for the riding of Pontiac.
Notably politicians from around the region were present to support his candidature. These include Pontiac MP Sophie Chatel, Hull–Aylmer MP Greg Fergus, MNA for Westmount–Saint-Louis Jennifer Maccarone, Warden of the MRC Pontiac Jane Toller, Warden of the MRC des Collines Marc Carrière and the mayors of the Municipality of Pontiac, L’Isle-aux-Allumettes, Bristol, Shawville, Bryson, Fort-Coulonge, Mansfield-et-Pontefract, Alleyn-et-Cawood, Chichester, Sheenboro and Litchfield.

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