Pontiac news: Mayors vote in favor of spending on business plan for trash incinerator

Mayors in Quebec’s Pontiac Region have voted to press forward to create a business plan for a proposed waste-to-energy incineration site.

The vote took place at a special meeting Wednesday, which saw 12 of 18 mayors vote in favor of spending $120,000 on a business plan that would be paid to Deloitte.

“You can’t have 100 per cent support on a project like this, you just can’t,” said MRC Pontiac Warden Jane Toller, who has been a long-time supporter of the project.

“We won’t have 100 per cent of people in the Pontiac behind it. As long as it’s what the majority want, I think we’re going in the right direction.”

The proposal would see an incineration plant built somewhere in the region at a cost of roughly $450 million, paid for by multiple levels of government.

To be sustainable, the site would need to process 400,000 tons of garbage each year. Currently the Pontiac only produces 5,000 tons a year.

The region has not secured sources of waste from other areas as of yet, stating it is working on due diligence first.

Toller plans to approach surrounding areas like Pembroke, Renfrew County, and Ottawa in the hopes of having their garbage shipped to the Pontiac.

“We are very interested in the fact that the final report will be coming to the council in Ottawa on Nov. 9,” said Toller. “They know that we are embarking on a business plan. It will be up to them whether they decide to include us as a long-term option.”

Wednesday’s meeting also heard opposition to the plan voiced.

Litchfield mayor Colleen Lariviere was one of six mayors to vote against the project.

“They don’t like the idea of ​​bringing in 400,000 tons of garbage into the Pontiac,” she told CTV News.

“If we have 5,000 tons of garbage in the Pontiac and we get rid of 40 per cent of that through composting, it doesn’t leave us a whole lot of garbage to deal with. Why don’t we look at that avenue?”

Representatives of the group ‘Friends of the Pontiac’ also attended the meeting to stand against the plan.

“My concern is that garbage incineration is not safe, it’s never been proven to be safe,” said Pontiac resident Remo Pasteris.

“If it’s such a good idea, why aren’t the other municipalities jumping on? Why isn’t Ottawa building one? Why isn’t Gatineau building one?”

Pontiac resident Christine Anderson says she has helped gather more than 500 signatures of residents towards the construction of an incineration site.

“There’s so many better options, so many other alternatives,” said Anderson. “This is probably plan Z.”

Toller says the business plan from Deloitte is expected back by the end of November.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *