Argenteuil, Papineau, and Prescott and Russell receive the 2020 Water Leader Award

We are pleased to present the award to a group that has shown truly remarkable cooperation towards the stewardship and protection of our river: the members of the Pacte d’Amitié.

National Capital Region – December 1st, 2020: Ottawa Riverkeeper is honoured to present the 2020 Water Leader Award to the Pacte d’Amitié, a union consisting of the MRC d’Argenteuil, MRC de Papineau and the United Counties of Prescott and Russell.

Having been won by the likes of Chief Water Commissioner for the Anishinabek Nation, Autumn Peltier, and shoreline cleanup powerhouse, Mission 100 Tonnes, the Water Leader Award recognizes the groups or individuals who are doing incredible work for the sake of the Ottawa River Watershed and water protection in general.

This year, we were pleased to present the award virtually at our Annual Public Meeting to a group that has shown truly remarkable cooperation towards the stewardship and protection of our river: the members of the Pacte d’Amitié.

The MRC d’Argenteuil, MRC de Papineau, and the United Counties of Prescott and Russell encompass more than 40 municipalities from both sides of the river. With the support of Ottawa Riverkeeper, they are taking the broad scale and cooperative view of water stewardship that we have long advocated for.

In a truly collaborative effort, a trio of the leaders of the Pacte d’Amitié came together to express their gratitude for the prestigious award. In Québec, Scott Pearce, the MRC d’Argenteuil Warden, shared some words about the importance of cooperation.

“Prescott-Russell, Papineau and us, we work together and we are incredibly proud of that. We are very thankful for this prize that provides us with the courage and energy to go even further.”

The MRC de Papineau Prefect, Benoit Lauzon, expressed his enthusiasm about accepting the Water Leader Award on behalf of his own community.

“I am personally overjoyed and pleased to share this honour with all of the citizens of MRC de Papineau.”

Across the provincial border in Ontario, Lauzon and Pearce’s counterpart, Stéphane Sarrazin, Warden-elect of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, also showed his appreciation. He remembered Ottawa mayor Jim Watson who received the award in 2016.

“We feel like there’s a continuity. You know, [the award is] coming on the eastern part of the river.”

Upon presenting the award, Elizabeth Logue, the Ottawa Riverkeeper, expressed that interjurisdictional collaboration is required to make significant environmental change.

“Partnering with Argenteuil, Papineau and Prescott-Russell to protect our Ottawa River, the great Kichi Sibi, is something we’re very proud to be working on. It’s about connecting different communities across the watershed to look at the health of the river.”

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