Outaouais public libraries secure over $2 million in funding for community and cultural development
The Minister of Culture and Communications, Minister responsible for Youth, Mr. Mathieu Lacombe, recently announced a generous financial assistance package of over $2 million aimed at five autonomous public libraries in the Outaouais region. This funding, benefiting 20 service points, is aimed at the development of their documentary collections, ensuring improved access to a wealth of knowledge, culture, and information for the local communities.
The substantial financial assistance guarantees that communities in the region will have enhanced access to diversified learning resources and cultural materials. Lacombe confirmed the renewal of budgetary allocations for 2023-2024 and 2024-2025, solidifying ongoing support to these crucial civic centers. This substantial investment ensures that the City of Gatineau, with nearly $1.9 million allocated for its 11 service points, including the Bernard-Lonergan library, will continue to flourish as a beacon of knowledge and cultural exchange.
During his visit to the Bernard-Lonergan Library in the Buckingham sector, Minister Lacombe also disclosed additional financial aid of $110,000 from the Capital Assistance program. This additional fund is earmarked for the procurement of specialized equipment, designed to modernize infrastructure, enhance accessibility, and expand seating, while also establishing tranquil reading spaces and a family-friendly play area, leading to improvements in collaborative work and service provision.
Mr. Lacombe emphasized the crucial role autonomous public libraries play in the community, stating, “I am proud that our government is diligently ensuring the development of autonomous public libraries. By financing these establishments, all citizens of Outaouais will benefit. Free-standing public libraries are central places in our community. They play an essential role in education, information, entertainment and socialization. This funding ensures the quality and diversity of works offered to citizens and, thereby, promotes literacy in our communities.”
Mayor of the City of Gatineau, France Bélisle, and the municipal councilor for the district of Buckingham, Mr. Edmond Leclerc, also expressed their gratitude and excitement over this funding, acknowledging the positive impact it will have on the cultural and social vitality of the sector and the entire city. Leclerc commented, “Our libraries are gathering places that allow the entire community to develop thanks to their growing range of services. With this significant investment, the Bernard-Lonergan library in Buckingham will also become a privileged place of knowledge, with more welcoming spaces and modern furniture that will make citizens even more proud to frequent it! It is therefore with great pleasure that I chose to grant this project a sum of $40,000 from my discretionary budget as a municipal councilor in order to improve it.”
Photo caption: From left to right: Edmond Leclerc, municipal councilor for the district of Buckingham; France Bélisle, Mayor of Gatineau; Jean Lessard, Councilor for the District of la Rivière-Blanche; Isabelle N. Miron, Councilor for l'Orée-du-Parc; Mathieu Lévesque, Member of the National Assembly for Chapleau; and Robert Bussière, Member of the National Assembly for Gatineau, gather to commemorate the significant financial support granted to Outaouais public libraries.
Photo credit: Photo courtesy of City of Gatineau.