• Stephanie O’Hanley

Eleven projects to benefit under new community development fund


PHOTO BY STEPHANIE O'HANLEY

Vaudreuil MNA Marie-Claude Nichols (left) congratulates the MRC Vaudreuil-Soulanges for its new community development fund during a press conference held at the MRC's headquarters on Monday June 5 along with Soulanges MNA Lucie Charlebois, who is also the Minister for Rehabilitation, Youth Protection, Public Health and Healthy Living and the Minister responsible for the Montérégie region.

Soulanges MNA Lucie Charlebois, Vaudreuil MNA Marie-Claude Nichols, and Jean A. Lalonde, prefect of the MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, announced the very first projects selected for funding under a new regional community development fund at a press conference held at MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges headquarters Monday, June 5.

The MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges is made up of 23 municipalities and is one of 87 regional county municipalities (MRCs) across Quebec. The idea of the fund came about following changes created by Law 28, which gave MRCs full jurisdiction over local and regional development in their territories, said Lalonde, who in addition to being the MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges’ prefect, is mayor of Très-Saint-Rédempteur.

“The goal of creating a community development fund is to create a ‘one-stop shop’ for funding applications,” said Lalonde, who explained that eligible applicants now only need to fill out one form. “...With the creation of this fund, (project) promoters are eligible to receive funding from different envelopes without having to fill out several forms,” he said.

Last October the MRC-VS and the CLD Vaudreuil-Soulanges, the local economic development agency, unveiled the new community development fund, calling for proposals from the region’s non-profit organizations, co-ops, and municipalities. The funding for the projects came by earmarking $181,629 of the $800,000 the MRC received through the Quebec government’s new territorial development fund.

Lalonde said while many MRCs are questioning their role in social development, the MRC de Vaudreuil-Soulanges is “reaffirming its necessity by investing in these projects,” noting project proponents deserve to have all the tools they need to realize their projects.

Nichols applauded the collective effort the MRC, CLD and provincial government representatives all made in setting up the new fund. “It’s always a pleasure to work with you for the benefit of our population. Congratulations to the MRC for this great initiative and congratulations to the organizations for your good work and projects.”

“These projects in Vaudreuil and in Soulanges aim to improve the quality of life of citizens of our MRC by encouraging the dynamism of the region,” said Charlebois, who in addition to being the MNA for Soulanges is also the Minister for Rehabilitation, Youth Protection, Public Health and Healthy Living and the minister responsible for the Montérégie region.

She said the MRC’s decision to create a community development fund demonstrates the importance of people working together for Vaudreuil-Soulanges. “When we work together as a team, the whole population benefits,” Charlebois said, noting at the National Assembly in Quebec City, the Vaudreuil-Soulanges region “is the envy of plenty of people.”

Eleven community-building projects touching on everything from food to youth to community television and bike-sharing were selected among 20 project proposals for 2017-2018.

They include:

  • The Hudson Food Collective’s Hudson Heartbeet Community Farm, which in addition to providing organic vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs, is offering educational opportunities to learn about organic farming, a social reinsertion program, community events and celebrations.

  • Chantons ensemble by the Comité d'Action Local de Vaudreuil-Soulanges (CALVS) aims to help allophone parents and their children learn French via storytelling workshops.

  • A Town of Pincourt project aimed at youth at risk of dropping out of the École secondaire du Chêne-Bleu. Projet vert de la persévérance gives youth a taste of entrepreneurship through gardening and aquaculture projects.

  • Maisons des jeunes in Rigaud and Vaudreuil are teaming up for Les jeunes C.R.A.C.S, a project geared at engaging and educating adolescents to help them become critical thinkers and active citizens.

  • The CAB L’Actuel will hold a Salon du bénévolat et engagement communautaire to educate people about volunteerism and encourage people to get involved with volunteering.

  • On the heels of its successful bike-sharing project between Vaudreuil-Dorion cultural venues, The Zèbre Rouge plans to expand its Vélo-Cité service across Vaudreuil-Dorion.

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