Election 2017: Garry Dagenais

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Kate Aley

Our next profile is with Garry Dagenais, running to become councilor for Ward 2.

Born, raised

Born and raised in Beechgrove.

Profession

Office manager at L&J Towing.

Previous experience on council

I was councilor for Ward 4 for 7 years, beginning 2008.

What is the greatest challenge facing the Municipality?

The lack of communication by council. There’s no harmonization in this municipality. Big time. It’s a problem that council creates, we don’t seem to have harmony on council and without that, trust me, you don’t go forward too fast. When I was council, I sat in the middle; I was the deciding vote for a lot of stuff. It’s not just this current council; there’s always been a division between the wards. We need good leadership, good councilors who are actually there for the right reasons. If you are going run for council, you have to run for the people; your personal agenda can’t be for your gain, it has to be for the municipality.

If elected, what is the first thing you would like to do?

Work on infrastracuture, including the water and sewers [...] and our roads: they need to be upgraded. My previous experience on council will help with finding funds. We still struggle with [Quyon's water] as it was never planned out right; the whole infrastructure was not planned. If we have a water break, [we] do not have shut-off valves for each street. If there’s a break, we need to shut down the whole town to fix it. It’s not a simple fix: the sewer lines are 50 years old, there has never been any major upgrade in all that time. A lot of the paved roads have not been maintained. But it goes hand in hand: are you going to spend a lot of money until you fix water and sewers? [We must] decide on the priorities.

What is going right in this area?

[We are] starting to work with the NCC and our officials, Andre Fortin and Will Amos. That has changed; we are starting to be able to work together to get a lot of improvements. We never seemed to get any progress, no matter who was there before; we seem to have better communication between our elected officials now. I think that we should be able to get more funding for the municipality so long as they understand what we need. Priorities need to be made clear [to them]. Even with the MRC (des Collines), [there was] a lack of communication the long term, especially on Schema and getting stuff done for our municipality. That has been improving.

Why did you decide to run for council again?

My passion. Simple. It’s my community, I believe in it. We can develop this [place] but need the right people with passion who are willing to put time into it.  I ran for council the first time as I had always volunteered in the municipality and I figured I could make better changes by running for council. My record stands on what I did as councilor. It was me that got the gym at the school (Notre Dame de la Joie) and I bought the land for the expansion of the school. I made sure we bought the property; if you didn’t buy it back then you wouldn’t have it now. We got the lagoon system figured out; it took less than six months from when I got in. We bought the land from Hydro Quebec for $1. A lot of things are simple if you put your mind to it. I was one of the first councilors to start putting money into Parks and Recreations. The municipality started to pay to help look after them. We didn’t have any parks in the municipality at that time: just the Eardley Recreation Association. It was pretty well run and paid for by volunteers. The other six parks and skating rinks I did when I was there too.

For me there has never been a border, an issue between the wards. I have family all over [the area]. For me, this municipality has always been one municipality.

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

The beginning of everything: "Origins" watercolour show opens

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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