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

Work continues on Quyon Community Centre

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by: 

Kate Aley

Everyone is watching the beautiful new Quyon Community Centre nearing completion with equal amounts of impatience and excitement. Final touch-ups on paint and drywall were being done as of last week, including finishing the stairs to the Mezzanine level.

Perfect waste management

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Sheila McCrindle

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Free art classes: meet the teachers part 3

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by: 

Kate Aley

Believe it or not, all of us have a naturally creative streak and these free art classes, hosted by the Municipality of Pontiac, are the perfect opportunity to dig into it. Next in our roster of Get Art teachers is Tanya McCormick who will be teaching on Saturday, October 27th at the Luskville Community Centre.

She's presenting flexible, intense alcohol-based inks swirled onto a crazy plastic kind of surface called Yupo paper. It's quite the art form!

Free art classes: meet the teachers part 2

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by: 

Kate Aley

Get Art, the travelling art school based in the Pontiac, is fortunate to be able to offer all-ages classes again this year. Thanks to funding from the Municipality of Pontiac, the four classes across our three communities are absolutely free of charge for residents. 

Today we meet Luskville's Chantal Dahan who will be teaching printmaking in Breckenridge on Saturday, October 20th.

Free art classes for the municipality: meet the teachers

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by: 

Kate Aley


Thanks to the generosty of the Municipality of Pontiac, four art classes are being offered to our community, absolutely free of charge. Details of the classes can be found in your fall activities bulletin, delivered in your mail box last week. Pontiac2020.ca interviewed the four teachers to find out more about the classes and the artists.

A Tale of Two Approaches

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by: 

Sheila McCrindle and Kevin Brady

See Also: When you live in a place without curbs, does it make sense to have ‘curbside’ collection of compost?

The MRC des Collines de Gatineau is comprised of 7 municipalities. The smallest Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette is small enough to be exempt from complying with the Provincial Residuals Strategy. The two most densely populated, Cantley and Chelsea, have respectively 83 and 60 people per square kilometre. These two municipalities also have the highest median household income by a considerable margin.

When you live in a place without curbs, does it make sense to have ‘curbside’ collection of compost?

Categories: 

by: 

Sheila McCrindle and Kevin Brady


Image: Wikimedia Commons

The Québec residual materials management strategy includes a progressive reduction and eventually a “ban” of organic material from municipal landfills by 2020.  Municipalities who comply with the policy are eligible for funding to help offset the costs.   The Municipality of Pontiac has responded by passing a resolution to initiate door to door collection with costs paid for by the residents. 

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