Election 2017: Ricky Knox

Categories: 

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

The beginning of everything: "Origins" watercolour show opens

Categories: 

by: 

Kate Aley

You are invited to an extraordinarily moving exhibition of new work by renowned Luskville painter, Ruby Ewen.

Entirely painted in watercolour, the pieces immerse the viewer into multiple magical realms of creationism, imagination and classic myth.

Show runs: Friday, June 22 (opening event, 6 -- 8 p.m.) to July 22, 2018

Site: Stone School Gallery, 28 Mill St., Portage du Fort.

Cooking meets trucking at new restaurant

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by: 

Kate Aley

After two years of extensive renovations, Au Coin du Camionneur, also known as Trucker's Corner, opened in Luskville on Sunday June 17. 

Owners Benoit Galipeau and Robert Bergeron have completely reconfigured the building at the corner of the Eardley-Masham Road and Highway 148. New lighting, comfortable seating and large windows that open onto a breezy patio create an inviting ambience.

Building a new future for Pontiac with slaughterhouse project

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by: 

Kate Aley

After five years of planning, construction has now started on the Les Abattoir les Viandes du Pontiac. Set on five acres on the outskirts of Shawville, the slaughterhouse is the brainchild of Quyon entrepreneur Alain Lauzon and three partners, Sofian Elktrousie, Ibrama Diagne and promoter Gilles Langlois.

“We are aiming to be open by end of October,” said Lauzon last week, as he watched forms being set for more concrete to be poured.

Turtle S.O.S.: Save Our Shells!

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Trouble in paradise.

It's June and that means those crazy turtles are once again roaming dirt side roads and busy highways alike; intent on finding mates, water and good nesting places as they have always done, paying no mind to the deadly wheels zooming past. I stop for a lot of turtles at this time of the year and so far we have all lived to fight another day. However I have never seen a turtle stuck in the bone-dry and baking-hot rink at the Luskville Community Centre before. Bad turtle terrain for sure.

Open letter to the Municipality of Pontiac recognizing the work of our municipal firefighters

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by: 

Sandra Barber

To whom it may concern:

Re: Recognition of volunteer Firefighters

While sitting at our dining table enjoying our first coffee of the day on Sunday, May 20 at 6 a.m., my husband and I both heard a very loud “thunk” and wondered what the heck it was. Curiosity motivated my husband to investigate further; he checked our basement, nothing amiss. Checked the living room located on a lower level, noticed a man sitting outside on the guard rail.

Kickin' it: Pontiac youth get into soccer

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by: 

Kate Aley

Some might say that young people are glued to their screens all day and all night. But that's harder to say when so many bright young people are running, kicking, playing and laughing in Luskville every Monday evening.
Community soccer classes started up on Tuesday, May 1st at the Luskville Recreational Park. The two- to four year-olds play in the softball field. The older group, aged five and up, play on the soccer field to the north.

How do rural communities comply with Quebec's Organic Strategy?

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by: 

Kevin Brady

Current Situation:

The Québec residual materials management strategy includes a progressive reduction and an eventual a 'ban' of organic material from municipal landfills by 2020. Municipalities that comply with the policy are eligible for funding to help offset the costs. As with the Municipality of Pontiac, many municipalities have chosen to pass resolutions to initiate door-to-door collection, with costs paid for by the residents.

Get ready, get set, get out: disaster preparedness in a bag

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by: 

Kate Aley

Remember this?

As the Pontiac watches epic levels of flooding in both New Brunswick and B.C. and considers our own possible return to inundation, it's time to let paranoia rear its helpful head and get ready to get out of the house. The concept behind having a so-called Go Bag is to have ready everything you might need to survive, out-of-doors, for about 72 hours... until help arrives or the zombies get you.

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