Campbell’s Bay, June 16, 2015 – At the last MRC Pontiac Council meeting, Warden Raymond Durocher announced his development priorities for the County to the 18 mayors in attendance. The flagship projects he mentioned touch the four key economic sectors highlighted in the MRC’s strategic development plan, Vision Pontiac 2020: agriculture, forestry, commerce, and tourism.
Significant inroads have already been made in some projects. As an example, in the context of actions recommended in the Agricultural Zone Development Plan (PDZA), the Coopérative Houblon Pontiac recently received the financial commitment of several government bodies for the purchase of a premium pelletizer, which will give Pontiac a clear competitive advantage on the Eastern Canada and U.S. microbrewery markets.
In terms of forestry development, the MRC is working on a soon-to-be-revealed strategy for the utilisation of the forest biomass.
In other cases, “what we need to do is dust off some old files,” said Durocher.
The development of a national park on the Dumoine is an example of a file that should be revived; as is the penitentiary project, which was the subject of several headlines between 2007 and 2010. An exploratory paper presented in 2007 by the Québec Economic, Innovation, and Export Development Ministry (MDEIE), which raised the numerous advantages of building a federal prison in the Pontiac, is still feasible. The continued overcrowding problem in Québec and Canadian prisons may well serve as the catalyst that makes this project rise from its ashes.
Law 28 and MRC Pontiac Reorganisation
The recently adopted Law 28 makes Regional County Municipalities (MRC) responsible for their territory’s economic development. One of the steps in implementing Law 28 in the Pontiac was to take over the development files and set-up a multidisciplinary development team from the rural and economic development staff at the CDE. The heavily publicized CLD closure is also part of this reorganization which will make the SADC Pontiac the one-stop-shop for services to local entrepreneurs effective July 1st, 2015.
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