Regular meeting, October 7
October 7, 2019

Some decisions of the municipal council:

      Sale of goods
      The Municipality will be selling some articles that are no longer needed. Sales will be through competitive bidding. Watch for the announcement coming up soon on the La Pêche website and in Municipal Briefs.
       The following will be up for sale: 

      • 1990 Chevrolet CTV truck (reserve price $1,000)
      • Trash pump
      • Pump motor
      • Snowplow
      • 1989 International truck with box (reserve price $1,000)
      • Winch
      • Grader wing
      • Saw bench
      • Dock
      • 2008 Chevrolet Equinox (reserve price $500)
      • Shed
      • Tires (4)
      • Truck toolbox with accessories

      Upgrades to parks with playground equipment

      An assessment of La Pêche’s ten parks with playground equipment was made in 2018 and yielded a number of safety recommendations. One of the stated objectives of the 2019–2023 strategic plan is to improve community spaces that directly affect family quality of life. By-law 19-786 provides for $100,000 to upgrade parks with playground equipment.
      Council’s resolution awarded the contract for upgrading the ten parks with playground equipment up to a maximum of $40,000 including tax. Work is scheduled for fall 2019 and spring 2020.
      Upgrades have already been made to two parks: Monette Park in Duclos and Curé Bouchard Park in Lac-des-Loups. Demolition of the Duclos Community Centre, made necessary by the deterioration of the building, will be done shortly.

      Notice of motion filed: Draft By-law 19-797 amending By-law 18-761 regarding remuneration of elected officials and to authorize payment of additional compensation for certain positions

      In June 2017, the federal government passed Bill C-44 to implement certain provisions of the budget. The act changes the way the annual income of municipal elected officials is calculated. As of January 1, 2019, expense account payments to council members are counted as part of their annual taxable income by the federal government. The effect is to reduce their net income. This has led to many Québec municipalities to add a conditional pay readjustment clause to make up the difference so as to keep elected officials’ income the same as before.
      Council files a notice of motion to present a draft bylaw to that effect. Draft By-law 19-797 provides for a base pay increase of 21% of the expense account to which a municipal elected official is entitled. The gross increase for the entire 2019 year will be in the amount of $3,428 for the mayor and $1,142 for councillors. These amounts were provided for in the 2019 budget.
      No changes have been made on the provincial level to date, so for the moment expense accounts are exempt from provincial tax. Draft By-law 19-797, however, does include a provision to compensate if the province follows suit.
      The new bylaw will be retroactive to January 1, 2019, and will be voted on at a later session.

      Council approves implementation policy for local sustainability and environmental protection fund and supports the Citizens’ Universal Declaration of Climate Emergency

      The mayor mentioned Council’s desire to establish a local green fund for sustainable development and environmental protection in his presentation of the 2019 budget highlights. Council then passed By-law 19-781 to establish the green fund at the regular council meeting on January 7. La Pêche will use the fund to support innovative projects from the community and actions in areas such as fighting climate change, managing waste, protecting water, and caring for the soil. Green fund support for those efforts is a natural outgrowth of La Pêche’s 2019–2023 strategic plan, in which climate change is one of eight identified priority issues.
      An implementation policy is necessary to make the program work, however. Council’s resolution does just that. An application guide and form have also been produced to facilitate the project submission process.
      Council further emphasized its concern for protecting the environment with its resolution in support of the Citizens’ Universal Declaration of Climate Emergency. In ratifying the declaration, Council commits to continue pursuing its efforts and calls on the provincial and federal governments to take the necessary measures as well, including the provision of funding for local action.

      Council approves implementation policy for local fund for repair and maintenance of certain public roads in the Municipality of La Pêche

      On January 23, 2012, Council passed By-law 12-606 establishing a local fund for repair and maintenance of certain public roads in La Pêche. Council saw this as a good time to adopt an implementation policy for that fund, particularly as the 2019 report of the independent external auditor recommended that Council re-examine use of the fund to bring it in line with section 78.1 of the Municipal Powers Act. The passage in question states that, other than administration of the fund itself, the fund must be used for “(1) the repair and maintenance of all or part of the public roads on which substances on which duties are payable under section 78.2 are or could be transported” and “(2) work to compensate for inconveniences related to the transportation of those substances.” Given that there are many quarries and sand pits in La Pêche, at least 70% of the annual royalties they pay will be used for repairing and maintaining the roads they use for transportation of their products or on which the quarries and sand pits are situated (see the appendix to the policy). Council’s resolution approved the implementation policy for the local fund for repair and maintenance of certain public roads, as per the auditor’s recommendation.

      Acquisition of Commission scolaire des Portages-de-l’Outaouais’s surplus fibreoptic lines

      La Pêche is one of four (4) partners in the Commission scolaire des Portages-de-l’Outaouais (CSPO) and partners fibreoptic network, part of the Villes branchées du Québec program. CSPO is planning to get rid of the buildings housing Sainte-Thérèse elementary school in Lac-des-Loups and Saint-Joseph elementary school in Farrellton and expand the school in Cœur-des-Collines. CSPO however has six (6) unused fibreoptic lines connecting École secondaire des Lacs to Sainte-Thérèse school and six (6) more connecting École secondaire des Lacs to Saint-Joseph school. La Pêche sought to acquire the lines and an agreement was made to transfer them in view of possibly operating them. Council resolved to acquire four of the lines. Rapide-O-Web (the organization it set up in partnership with Val-des-Monts to provide high-speed Internet in the partner municipalities) is directed to use funds belonging to La Pêche for the acquisition. Council also has tasked Rapide-O-Web with assessing the lines and seeking Internet service providers.