Add a Q to the PPJ? ATV group hopes to gain access to bike trail

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Kate Aley

Since it's inception, the Pontiac Pacific Junction (PPJ) trail was a place bikes and hikers could travel with no fear of meeting another kind of vehicle, not even a horse. But now a group of Quad Clubs are asking for that to change.

A series of petitions have been placed at depanneurs across the MRC Pontiac - including some in the Municipality of Pontiac - asking residents to express approval of the proposal: could ATVs, Quads and other small motorized vehicles have access to the PPJ, as well as other municipal back roads?

Pat Amyotte is president of Quad Pontiac. He told Pontiac2020.ca that mayors of several municipalities in the MRC Pontiac had encouraged the Quad Club to bring the question to the public as a way of helping fund the upkeep of the PPJ.

"The Route Verte funding of the PPJ trail has ended," Amyotte said. "Previously they paid $80,000 for the trail, last year they paid nothing. The bike thing was a good thing, but unfortunately, it's not the right thing. Cyclists are not going to ride 90 km, it's too far. The trail does not connect to other [cycling] trails. A lot of people want to know what is going to happen to it. We [the Quad Club] have the tractors, the equipment. We are actually getting more brush-clearing equipment for our trails this year. The cost is $100,000 a year to look after [the trail] and I think we can do it. But we need to know [what people think]."

Amyotte raises the prospect of making the PPJ trail more profitable for businesses in the villages along its' length.

"It's a white elephant right now," he said. "It's not making the MRC or the businesses any money. Cyclists don't spend any money. A local business owner told me that they come in and ask to fill up their water bottles and use the toilet and that's all. Quad riders buy gas, buy food."

Amyotte does not want to block cyclists and hikers from the PPJ.

"We often meet bikers and walkers on our quad trails and we never yell at them to keep off," he said. "We pay for those trails but they can use them. Unfortunately the shelter at the lookout on Mt. Davidson in Fort Coulonge has been vandalized. We built and paid for that shelter. It's a nice area, a great view. Anyone can use it. We want to support and help develop our communities. People say that quads destroy everything but I think they don't know who ATV owners are or what we do."

Five Quad clubs are helping circulate the petition. There were 567 members last year, 600 the year before. The Quad Pontiac has a clubhouse in Vinton and owns three or four acres of land there. 

"We need to bring something to the Pontiac to help make money, we need to support the restaurants along the route," said Amyotte. "We are losing our gas stations in the Pontiac but maybe we could get a portable tank of fuel for quad travelers. If we don't do something with the [trail], we'll lose it. It's not that we don't like bikes, it's just that bikes don't want the track."

The petition is available at Depanneur Pontiac and soon Depanneur Luskville within the Municipality of Pontiac, as well as other depanneurs towards and within Aylmer.

Amyotte hopes to get as many signatures in approval of the proposal by the end of June. Find out more about the Quad Pontiac Club at pontiac.fqcq.qc.ca

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

Slippery story: the update

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Kate Aley

On Monday December 4, a serious accident was caused by some kind of slippery fluid being splashed all over the highway in Luskville. Many people commented on the unexpectedly deep puddles, the effort it took to stay on the road and the horrible stink of it. There was so much, a snow plow was called in to strip it off the road. What was that stuff? Where did it come from? I managed to find someone to talk to from the MTQ within two days. But as yet, my attempts to get information about this incident from the MRC des Collines police have been unproductive. 

Warming up for Christmas at the Santa Claus Parade

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Kate Aley

Once more the Quyon Lions' Club Santa Claus Parade, held Saturday December 9, was a great success. Warmly-dressed families lined the streets to enjoy the decorated floats, horses and of course, St. Nick himself. As the Beach Barn is conspicuously absent this year, the parade's normal route was reversed, with participants gathering at the Ste. Marie's Catholic church parking lot and walking down the hill to the intersection with Clarendon. From there, the parade continued to the Onslow Elementary School gym where hot food and drinks were served as kids lined up to speak to Santa about a few important matters.

Slippery sh*t: unidentified effluent causes accident

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Kate Aley

A serious single-vehicle roll-over was caused early morning on December 4 by a deep slick of some kind of waste matter spilled on Highway 148 near Parker Road in Luskville. Pools of what appeared to be septic waste or liquid animal manure were at least two or three meters in length and possibly 4 cm in depth, according to witnesses.

Christmas House Tour lights up the night

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Kate Aley

The houses on the Quyon Pastoral Charge Christmas House Tour warmly received 150 visitors this year. Five family homes in Quyon and Luskville were decorated to perfection to the appreciation of all. Above, the Draper homestead in Luskville.

Scheer in Pontiac: We shouldn’t let the politics of envy divide one group of Canadians against another

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Thomas Soulière

SHAWVILLE — The leader of the Conservative Party of Canada spent the first day of December visiting the federal riding of Pontiac with stops in Campbell’s Bay, Fort Coulonge and Shawville to speak to farmers, small business owners and voters about the CPC’s position on the Liberal government’s tax policy and to show the Conservative’s strong support of supply management.

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