In 2018, seniors who need transportation for medical appointments will be left to fend for themselves everywhere in the province of Quebec

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For the Municipality of Pontiac this means:

  • 60 users affected

  • 1500 travels per year

It will be on the next municipal council agenda.


Cantley, Thursday June 29th, 2017 – The Des Collines Seniors’ Roundtable is shocked at the decision of the Ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité Durable et de l’Électrification des Transports du Québec to stop financing transportation provided by volunteers everywhere in the province of Quebec from 2018.

Volunteer community transportation services are not only an alternative to public transportation or taxi services, in regions where these services are not available, but are
above all a personalized method of accompaniment for medical appointments. Volunteer drivers pick up clients at their homes, take them to their appointment(s), wait for the client, and drive them back home. Often drivers help their clients get into wheelchairs, and help them to find their way around the medical institution. This presence allows the volunteer to develop a bond of trust with the client and therefore helps create a social security net for isolated people.

In rural Outaouais, four organisations provide volunteer community transportation services: Transcollines, TransporAction Pontiac, le Guichet unique des transports collectif et adapté de la Vallée-de-la-Gatineau and the Corporation des Transports Adapté et Collectif de Papineau. In total, annually, 40 000 trips are carried out in rural areas in the Outaouais.  In addition, public transportation and taxi services are extremely limited, if non-existent in the MRCs of the Outaouais, with the exception of des Collines-de-l’Outaouais. However, despite the existence of public transportation in des Collines-de-l’Outaouais, transportation by volunteers remains essential in its territory to address specific needs.

In its most recent “programme d’aide au développement du transport collectif “, the Ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité Durable et de l’Électrification des Transports du
Québec writes that: “ The year 2017 will be the last in which it will be allowed to use subsidies to cover a part of the travel expenses related to transportation provided by volunteers.”1 The fact of the matter is this decision will effectively lead to the closing of services in most of the affected organizations.

Carl Hager, volunteer for Transport’Action Pontiac and a member of Des Collines Seniors’ Roundtable’s board explains : “The clients of TransporAction Pontiac do not live on the major trunk line of the region, that is route 148. Often they live kilometres off this trunk line. Their needs can range from 6am surgeries at the major hospitals in Gatineau to late afternoon medical appointments. Most of our clients, being seniors, have mobility problems, difficulty with walking, and medical conditions in general. Making them get to wait at a standardized bus stop (even if they existed in our region!) is not a practical nor a hospitable option. In addition, because appointments can occur in all hours of the day, a “regular” bus service would be extremely inefficient and unprofitable.”

Marie-Pierre Drolet, director at Des Collines Seniors’ Roundtable is also worried : “We know that many geographically isolated seniors will not have access to essential medical treatments, because of a lack of transportation options to get there. Consequences will be tragic!”

Furthermore, Benoit Legros, planning manager at Transcollines explains: “In our opinion, this decision is based on two misunderstandings. Firstly, that there is unfair competition for taxi drivers when, in reality, with the low density of population here, taxi companies can’t be profitable. The proof of this fact is in the number of unclaimed taxi licenses. The second issue comes from a misunderstanding about what constitutes public transportation. For us, transportation by volunteers in their own cars is an alternative method to the individual driving themselves and consequently should be considered as a public transportation system. And yet they tell us that there’s an obligation to have fixed routes and schedules for public transportation. And yet even large cities are considering changing their services to be more flexible. In rural areas with really low population density, we need to be creative to reduce isolation in the communities.”

Consequently, Des Collines Seniors’ Roundtable is asking the Ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité Durable et de l’Électrification des Transports du Québec to reconsider its decision to stop funding this program, in order to take account of the rural and isolated context of its affected clientele which is particularly at-risk.

For further information :
Marie-Pierre Drolet
Director, Table autonome des aînés des Collines
tabledesaines@gmail.com
(819) 457-9191 ext 241

Carl Hager
Volunteer for TransporAction Pontiac and
Member of la Table autonome des aînés des Collines’ board
madeleine.hager@sympatico.ca
(819) 458-2991


1 « L’année 2017 sera la dernière où il sera permis d’utiliser les aides financières reçues afin de couvrir une partie des frais de déplacement liés au transport effectué par des bénévoles. »
Ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité Durable et de l’Électrification des Transports du Québec, « Programme d’aide au développement du transport collectif », p.13-15, Consulté sur internet le 28 juin 2017,
https://www.transports.gouv.qc.ca/fr/aide-finan/transport-collectif/Docu...

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

UPDATED: Quyon Community Centre

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●PUBLISHER'S NOTE: It was discovered after this update was published that the Municipality of Pontiac and the builder, Lalonde Cantin Construction (LCC), are locked in a dispute the full nature of which is unclear at this time. Despite multiple attempts to reach out to the Municipality, clarification of the causes of the dispute, as well as the dispute's influence on the completed project's delivery date or when the new community centre will open have not been forthcoming, and are therefore unknown. We continue to follow this story and we will bring you any updates as they become known.

Originally published on October 14th, 2018
under the headline
Work continues on Quyon Community Centre
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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by: 

Sheila McCrindle

There is an old saying among environmentalist “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”  This applies whenever solutions to environmental problems are being devised. Especially solutions involving human behaviour.  It means that just because a solution is not perfect does not mean it is not good.  Dealing with household organic waste is just such an example.

Free art classes: meet the teachers part 3

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by: 

Kate Aley


Get Art teacher Tanya McCormick, wearing some of her unique copper jewelry

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.

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.

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