---Quebec invests $1.9 million for 11 development projects in the Outaouais
Quebec recently announced an investment of almost $2 million to support 11 development projects in the region. During a May 20 press conference, Quebec Minister for the Outaouais and Member the of National Assembly for Papineau Mathieu Lacombe explained that the funding is supported by the Regions and Rurality Fund (FRR) - Fonds regions et ruralités - a part of a large provincial stimulus program called Soutien au rayonnement des regions 2020-2021.
He stated that the projects are intended to address the Outaouais’ development needs and to support the provincial government’s dedication to keep communities thriving. Allocating $1,942,966 for the next three years, the projects supported by the fund will include the construction of a 111-metre active transportation bridge over the Gatineau river in Lac-Sainte-Marie ($500,000); a project to open a day centre and furnish Résidence Monarque in Montebello ($300,000); providing cross-country ski equipment for elementary and high school students in Gatineau and in MRC des Collines-de-l’Outaouais’ schools ($266,000); and helping Gatineau finish up a feasibility study focusing on waste treatment solutions in the Outaouais and the National Capital Region ($264,800).
The fund will also be used to help the Centre de recherche et de développement technologique Agricole de l’Outaouais (CRÉDETAO) establish a regional berry production centre specializing in group marketing, processing, training and research, and benefit local agricultural enterprises ($200,019); to support the Conseil Régional de l’environnement et du développement durable de l’Outaouais (CREDDO) in developing a strategy to implement circular economy projects in the region, aiming to accelerate the transition to a green economy ($120,000); and to host five Recyclart exhibitions in the region ($30,000).
Another $90,000 is going towards an e-commerce acceleration course for small and medium businesses, spearheaded by Export Outaouais; $89,455 will support an initiative to measure the efficacy of actions in place that may contribute to the region’s slow pace in many departments. These include health care, social services and education; $53,692 will be dedicated to devise a business plan for the development of the Outaouais’ own Maison Papillion Enfants et Familles palliative care facility for children; and $29,000 will help the municipality of L’Ange-Gardien to implement a development plan for its old Chamboisé recreational and tourism site.
Most of the projects are funded from 2020 to 2022 or 2023, while two are financed until 2024. Stating that each project could have been announced exclusively, considering their respective significance, Lacombe said he felt very proud about the government’s decision to finance the initiatives. “These are very important sums that will allow us to do very great things for residents,” Lacombe said in the press conference. Notably, the projects are meant to improve local health, education and social services, and economic development, to contribute to community development and strengthen relations between rural and urban areas, and to fight climate change by promoting sustainable development. Stating that the projects were chosen by elected officials and residents to address particular needs, he’s optimistic that they will have considerable positive impacts across the region. “These initiatives will have important socio-economic benefits for the Outaouais, especially during this difficult period due to the pandemic,” Lacombe said in a press release issued on the same date.
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing and Member of the National Assembly for Lac-Saint-Jean Andrée Laforest said the FRR is all about empowering rural municipalities in the province. “This fund gives elected officials the means to achieve their ambitions,” Laforest said in the press release. “This component allows them to contribute financially to the realization of structuring projects for their communities, and we can be proud of that.”
President of the Council of Outaouais Wardens (Conseil des Préfèts de l’Outaouais) and member of the FRR’s regional project selection committee Chantal Lamarche said the funding is crucial for the development of the region’s rural communities. “It supports various organizations in the pursuit of their missions,” Lamarche said in the press release. “It is an essential financial lever for the realization of mobilizing projects that will have significant benefits for all of the territories of the Outaouais.”