New walking group gets community moving

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by: 

Kate Aley

Countless medical studies have proven that regular exercise is vital for health and mobility. Now Pontiac has one more opportunity to get up and go. Pontiac Walks (PW) is a new initiative created by the Groupe de ​Médecine Familiale (GMF) based in Shawville to encourage people to take regular walks.

Above, RN Katie Taylor is laced up and ready to hit the pavement.

Registered Nurse Katie Taylor is the facilitator for the Quyon area. She explained that walking is a terrific form of activity, especially for those with long-term health issues.

 “We tend to follow people with chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes,” she said. “It’s a gentle exercise [for] these people who see huge physical benefits. They have better sleep, better glucose, their good cholesterol improves.”

 Taylor explained that current Health Canada recommendations call for a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week.  

“Ideally we encourage people to get started [walking] three times a week and we’re hoping that everyone will take the initiative to walk a bit more on their own,” she continued. “We’ve had a good response only three weeks in.”

The PW sessions are an easy circuit lasting 30 minutes. “We typically go up to Onslow [Elementary School] and back, but last week we went down around the river,” Taylor explained. “If it is dry, we can walk around the track at the Fair Grounds, depending on the circumstances. We are not hitting [a particular number of] kilometers or making marks at this point. If there is a good response, we will potentially create two groups walking at different speeds.”

PW will continue until to September this year and then be evaluated according to public response. Taylor hopes the project will become annual activity and start again in 2018 as soon as the sidewalks are clear. “We’ll evaluate if it has had a positive influence, and then decide over the winter what the programming will be for the next year.”

Taylor noted that participants often start to feel invested in the group, so the activity also becomes a way of community building.

“The people who come just walk in a group, just talk about the weather, about people’s plants,” she said. “It’s a form of socialization so it’s working on two levels. Plus there’s an added incentive because it is a social gathering so there can be a kind of accountability.”

Taylor said the RNs facilitating the walks feel it is an effective time for them to be out of the office and still have an impact on health.

“One nurse is monitoring blood sugars before and after the walk and is able to see a positive influence on blood sugar levels even in that short period of time,” she remarked. “It’s something we can do here; it’s just a finger-prick. It can become a weekly health check-up; people can also be weighed each time if they’d like.”

Although the walks are operated from CLSCs, the project is a GMF initiative, not of the Pontiac CISSSO.

This year there are four PW locations, currently limited to places where nurses are available. Walks also take place in Fort Coulonge at Thursdays at 10 a.m., Shawville on Wednesday at 9 a.m., and Otter Lake on Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

Participants in this area are encouraged to come to the Quyon CLSC on Clarendon St. (opposite Gavans’ Hotel) and register, in order to receive an evaluation form. All ages are welcome. Walkers should bring a hat, sunscreen, water and wear good shoes.

“Literally people can just come on Thursday at 9 a.m.,” Taylor said. “Just turn up and we’ll go from there.”

For more information on Pontiac Walks, call the Quyon CLSC at 819 458 2848.

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

The beginning of everything: "Origins" watercolour show opens

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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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