A new Chair and Vice-Chair were elected at the Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA)’s Annual Meeting, held on January 18, 2024, at the RRCA Administration Office at Gray’s Creek Conservation Area.
Bryan McGillis, Mayor of the Township of South Stormont, was acclaimed as the new Chair and Jacques Massie, Councillor at Large for the Township of North Glengarry, was acclaimed as Vice-Chair.
“I have been a strong believer in the RRCA’s community-led, watershed-based approach to natural resource management throughout the years,” said Chair Bryan McGillis, who previously served as RRCA Chair in 2020 and 2021 and has served a combined total of 16 years on the RRCA’s Board of Directors, including five years as Vice-Chair. “Thank you once again for trusting me in this position, I look forward to working with all of you and with our great staff.”
McGillis has served his community of South Stormont since his first election to council in 1988. He is well-respected for his attentiveness and action-oriented championing of residents’ needs. His experience, local knowledge, and passion for community improvement are strong assets to the RRCA.
McGillis takes over the position of Chair from South Glengarry Deputy Mayor, Martin Lang.
“Martin provided solid guidance at the RRCA during the past two years,” said McGillis, commending the past Chair’s leadership through various changes brought about by the province’s amendments to the Conservation Authorities Act. “We were very glad to have him there.”
Vice-Chair Jacques Massie has been on the RRCA board for the last four years.
“I look forward to continuing to support our communities’ resilience and sustainability as Vice-Chair,” said Jacques Massie. “I’d also like to thank our professional staff, especially under the leadership of General Manager Richard Pilon.”
The RRCA’s eight-member Board of Directors consists of representatives from its five member municipalities: the City of Cornwall and the Townships of South Glengarry, North Glengarry, South Stormont, and North Stormont. The Board oversees the conservation authority’s budget, programs, and services.
Since 1963, the RRCA has been protecting people, property, and the environment through provincially mandated and RRCA Board mandated programs and services.
“Under the Board’s leadership, the RRCA offers essential watershed-based environmental services to the community in ways that balance the protection of our environment and natural resources with human and economic needs,” said RRCA’s General Manager, Richard Pilon. “These include supporting safe and sustainable development, protecting municipal drinking water at the source, conserving environmentally significant land, fostering landowner stewardship, and providing recreational opportunities.”
This RRCA celebrated 60 years of conservation last year and is looking forward to its planned initiatives for 2024. On February 3, from 10 am to 2 pm the RRCA is co-hosting a World Wetlands Day public event with the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne at Cooper Marsh Conservation Area. On March 27, a “lunch and learn” agricultural stewardship workshop for local farmers is being offered in Long Sault. RRCA staff are also gearing up to begin planting 56,000 trees throughout Cornwall and surrounding area of SDG this spring. The RRCA’s marina at Gray’s Creek Conservation Area is set to open on April 29, and the campground at Charlottenburgh Park on May 17. The RRCA’s annual Raisin River Canoe Race is set for April 13 this year.
Residents are encouraged to sign up to the RRCA’s monthly newsletter at rrca.on.ca to stay up to date on RRCA news, event, and initiatives, such as its annual Tree Giveaway.