The Regional Recreation Master Plan for the village of St Pierre-Jolys, RM of De Salaberry and all the communities in between, was unveiled Saturday afternoon at the St Pierre arena. And many residents came out to see what was being proposed could happen in the next five to ten years.

Matt Gowdar with Scatliff+Miller+Murray, the company that was hired as consultants for the village and the RM, says they worked very closely with both local governments, and presented the outcome of their conversations as recommendations to the council members and local residents.

Gowdar says they looked at how the RM and Village could collaborate, “to deliver the best recreation possible for their residents, especially given that there's so much that links and the connections between the two communities. People travel back and forth between the two of them. Maybe they live in one community, work in another community so it just made sense for the two of them to work together on this project.”

Gowdar says they have not only presented the possibilities of what’s available in sports, but also when it comes to heritage, the arts and culture.

He notes that what residents saw on Saturday was a draft of the Recreation Master Plan. “So, we've taken those really key points, and we've laid them out in a really easily understandable format, and we've got a survey that goes along with that. So basically, people can walk through, read the most important points, fill out the survey as they go and provide us with feedback that we can use to make some slight tweaks and changes to the draft before we present it to the councils for final adoption.”

Residents of the region look over the Regional Recreation Master Plan proposalResidents of the region look over the Regional Recreation Master Plan proposal

Gowdar says, their goal was to find ways to help the Village of St Pierre and the RM of De Salaberry complement each other, rather than compete against each other. “Then they can work together to create a recreation landscape that benefits them both. We did an initial survey of the community at the start of the project. We also talked with local stakeholders and recreation providers and then we sort of combined those insights with our expertise and knowledge to propose some new directions for the administration of recreation in the community.”

More than a bricks-and-mortar plan, Gowdar says the information they were presenting was more like a policy document.

“It's about setting new directions, and it's really about identifying those main areas that could be improved upon or where things aren't working for residents and looking at how they can be approached differently from an administrative perspective, and a policy perspective to achieve better results for the residents of both municipalities.”

Gowdar says what’s fundamental in moving forward with the plan is that the two councils be able to work together.

“I think we've encouraged that there's a lot more collaboration that needs to happen between the RM and the Village. When the RM and Village work together, they can really pool their resources and become more than the sum of their parts.”

He does note that the RM and Village are pursuing their own arena projects, independently. Again, with the goal being collaboration, not competition.

Gowdar adds that as consultants they can only provide recommendations that are really long-term goals such as work on the arena structures, the trails etc, won’t start for another 5-10 years.

“So, the implementation of this plan will be a real community effort and will involve the councilors. It will involve the administrative staff of both municipalities. It will involve their recreation organizations, so everyone sort of has a piece to play a part to play in the implementation of this plan."

“What we've given is kind of road map. We've identified the roles and responsibilities for a variety of different stakeholders, and then how that is implemented over the course of the next 10 to 20 years will be a shared endeavor.”

For residents interested in voicing their concerns or have comments on the Regional Recreation Master Plan, you are asked to fill out the survey, the results of this engagement will be looked at by the RM, the Village and the project team.

St Pierre councilMembers of St Pierre council - Suzanne Jolicoeur - Councillor (left), Raymond Maynard - Mayor, Maureen Sicotte - Councillor and Marc Proulx - Councillor (right). 

Below find images of the panels on display at the event on Saturday in St Pierre.