Election 2017: Ricky Knox

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by: 

Kate Aley

Our next interview is with Ricky Knox, running for councilor of Ward 5.

Born, raised

 My mother came from Quyon, my father from Bristol. When I was eight, we moved from Ottawa to Quyon until I left home for school. My wife and I moved back to Municipality of Pontiac and have lived here for over 40 years.

Profession

Entrepreneur. I did a lot of the work for the NCC: small asset installation, such as bicycle path signage. I also built one-off prototypes for staircases for current Rideau Canal and designed the railings as part of renovation for Mackenzie King site.

Past council experience:

Ran for council twice previously.

What is the greatest challenge facing this municipality and your ward?

The first thing is ineffective people managing the Municipality of Pontiac. On council, a lot of […] people there are not necessarily fulfilling their obligations; there was a lack of participation over various terms.

Also there’s been a lot of talk about [developing] tourism. I struggle with that idea; I think it comes from federal and provincial [sources]… what would be a tourism destination? What is specifically that people would come here to see? We don’t have any actual destinations: we have Chats Falls, Gatineau Park and this nice river that we don’t have public access to --- these are old ideas that need to be paused.

Our destiny is ultimately forged by how we manage the urban sprawl. On the other end, we’re bound by this mountain and a lot of lakes but they are not accessible. I see our municipality as a gateway to other tourist destinations. And so the municipality is a through-zone; I don’t think we would capture this tourism, though I do see some things for agri-tourism or seasonal tourism.  We need to create a plan to accommodate that and all other things that come with growth coming outwards [from Gatineau], [such as] commercial activity. This ward can cater to that. We need to organise that, not discourage it, in such a manner that it meets everyone’s needs.

If elected, what is your first priority?

The first thing I look at every day, driving home, is this beautiful river. Its unfortunate so many of us live in such close proximity [yet] can’t really access it. There are no access points. Currently, you have to drive to Quyon or Aylmer, but there is some empty land that could be purchased.

But there are more immediate needs: the municipality’s current obligations. As soon as you walk in [as councilor], there a lot of things we are not really aware of; obligations, we need to learn [about] those. The next thing is to prepare for the budget: I would need to consult my constituents to know what to focus on. Too many times, in the last 20 years of council meetings, some have not brought forward their wants. It’s like a negotiation; if you don’t bring them forward, you snooze, you lose. I need to get to know all of the other representatives, to learn their wants and build a rapport so, going forward, we can all work in a constructive way.

What is going right in this area?

The current council has managed to put in place many of the senior level management [positions] of our municipality; new people [that] all come with professional backgrounds and university qualifications. We have people at the helm that can manage our municipality: it is growing in leaps and bounds. Now it takes different sorts of managers to deal with demands of the people. We have a much more capable administration and it is a big bonus for us.

Our political stars are in alignment for the immediate future; our Provincial and Federal representatives; one from the riding of Pontiac and from within Pontiac. That hasn’t been seen for a long time.

Why will you be a good representative for your ward?

I do have some political experience: I have been attending [council meetings] for last 20 years. I have worked as a volunteer for the CCU [urban planning committee] for a term. I don’t think council work is dull… I aspire to the challenges that [it] faces. I’m excited about the challenges and the solutions […] that not only I but others have.  I am goal-oriented. I am a worker; I have always worked a lot: 10 to 14 hour days were easy to do. I am not going there to sit on my laurels; I’m going there to work. I am not getting involved as a councilor without expecting to work; you need to think things through and come prepared.

 

 

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

Online Survey: Benefiting from Nature in the Pontiac

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Do you spend time outside enjoying nature?  If so, McGill University PhD student Dalal Hanna would love to hear from you in an anonymous online survey.  She is conducting a research project on the diverse ways people living in the regions of Bristol and Pontiac benefit from nature, and how they would ideally like to benefit from nature in the future. Dalal does this research because it generates information that can help society come up with improved ways to manage the diverse benefits we get from nature. The project seeks to improve knowledge and is purely academic.

The summarized and anonymous findings of the project will also be shared with your community in December 2018 at a gathering, and made available publicly online and to local land use planners.  

Sondage: profiter de la nature dans le Pontiac

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Est-ce que vous passez du temps à apprécier la nature ? Si oui, une étudiante au doctorat à l’Université McGill, Dalal Hanna, a un sondage web anonyme à vous proposer. Elle fait présentement de la recherche sur les diverses façons dont les gens des régions de Bristol et de Pontiac profitent de la nature, et comment ils aimeraient idéalement profiter de la nature dans le futur. Dalal fait cette recherche parce que ça génère de l’information qui peut aider la société à développer des meilleures façons de gérer l’environnent. Son projet cherche à améliorer les connaissances, et est purement académique.

Un sommaire anonyme des résultats sera partagé dans votre communauté en Décembre 2018, ainsi que disponible en ligne.

Si ce projet vous intéresse, s’il vous plait visitez le sondage en ligne ici :

https://surveys.mcgill.ca/ls/793997

Le sondage prend environ 30 minutes à compléter.

Si vous avez des questions, n’hésitez pas à contacter Dalal Hanna par courriel (dalal.hanna@mail.mcgill.ca). Vous pouvez aussi contacter son superviseur de doctorat, Elena Bennett (elena.bennett@mcgill.ca).

Merci énormément pour votre temps !

Early Morning Blaze Destroys Barn in Luskville

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by: 

Thomas Soulière


Pontiac2020.ca reader Nina Lépine-Forget alerted us to the fire and sent us this image of the blaze taken just before the arrival of firefighters to the scene
 

An early morning fire completely destroyed a barn on a farm located at 2002 route 148 (chemin Eardley) in the Luskville sector in the Municipality of Pontiac Monday.

Le tour des jardins et cadeaux du Pontiac

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Le tour des jardins et cadeaux du Pontiac est une visite auto-guidée de neuf jardins champêtres. L’accent porte sur les méthodes écologiques, les aménagements favorisant la biodiversité et les plantes indigènes. Des artisans du Pontiac seront sur place pour vous faire découvrir leur art, livres et cartes. Les jardiniers vous proposeront quant à eux, des légumes écologiques, des semences et des plantes, ainsi que des tisanes, paniers et différents produits de leur terroir.

Great gardens and gorgeous gifts on tour

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Pontiac Gardens and Gifts is a self-guided garden tour featuring nine country gardens in West Quebec’s beautiful Pontiac region. The focus is on organic techniques, wildlife-friendly designs and native plants. In addition, regional artists and artisans will sell their art, books and cards. Some gardens will be selling nursery stock and seeds, organic produce, herbal products and more.

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