Canaan Connexion ~ Columns 

Every week in the

~ Past Columns ~
By Patrick Meikle
With pics his page may be slow loading ! )

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Oct. 10, 2003  #66 - Annual confusion, road hoses, and election humdrum
Oct. 3, 2003  #65 - Elections and deadlines... timing is everything!
Sept 26, 2003  #64 - Election picaresque, road warriors, fall clean-up
Sept. 19, 2003  #63 - Church anniversary, great bus service
Sept. 12, 2003  #62 - Everyday life - sightings on a typical morning walk
Sept. 5, 2003  #61 - Telltale signs keep us informed and tattle on others
August 29, 2003  #60 - Back to school means back to normal
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August 22, 2003  #59 - Blackouts. We have the power to conserve
August 15, 2003  #58 - Memorials and random acts of kindness
August 8, 2003  #57- Summer – from silly to serious
August 1, 2003  #56- Life's detours, welcomes and tributes
July 25, 2003  #55- Youth, berries, strollercise and country fair
July 18, 2003  #54- Cumberland condolences, pooches, Rockland deals
July 11, 2003  #53- Summer stormed... who kept informed?
July 4, 2003  #52- Morlen Reynolds - An Angel Without Wings
June 27, 2003  #51- Congratulations, frogs, turtles and berries
June 20, 2003  #50- A growl, a howl and afoul
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June 13, 2003   #49- Clean up follow up, ‘n wild turkeys
June 6, 2003   #48- Aren't you glad you don't live in Kanata
May 30, 2003   #47 - Hogs on hold, plagues ‘n pests, museum a must
May 23, 2003   #46 - We lose one of our own
  (NOTE: We will be updating missing columns as time permits! -pwm)
January 24, 2003   #29 - Good neighbours deserve our respect
August 2, 2002   #18 - Stupidity -vs- Ignorance? There is a difference
July 19, 2002   #17 - Dog days of summer - Part II
July 12, 2002   #16 - Dog days of summer
July 5, 2002   #15 - Blue Jay - Forest Hill!
Is it time to revive our community group?
June 14, 2002   #14 - More on spring clean-up, be a good neighbour
 May 31, 2002   #13 - Spring Clean-up, back to the land
 May 17, 2002   #12 - Neighbourly news, local happenings
 May 3, 2002   #11 - Spring, summer, spring mourning
 Apr. 19, 2002   #10 - Rogues, rumours and road refuse
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 Apr. 5, 2002   #9 - Canaan, communications and computers
 Mar. 22, 2002   #8 - Spring, skies and creeks rise
 Mar. 8, 2002   #7 - Road-hogs (More on Canaan 'n hog farm)
 Feb. 22, 2002  #6 - Canaan Olympics (moguls, slaloms, aerials)

Feb. 8, 2002

#5 - Hog - wash!

Jan. 18, 2002

#4 - Year out, year in

Dec. 14, 2001

#3 - Winter awareness

Nov. 30, 2001

#2 - Signs of the time

Nov. 9, 2001-

#1 - The purpose of the column

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#66 - Annual confusion, road hoses, and election humdrum
Don't know whether it's the season or the full moon but there's lots of confusion in the air. The geese head south at night, then back north in the evenings; sports fans are wondering whether to switch loyalties or channels, from baseball, to football, to soccer, to hockey; Indian Summer is tempting boaters to one more cruise, and we're all befuddled by election talk on all levels. And don't forget next week, garbage pick up will be one day late because of the long weekend.
Wilhaven road counts
More Clarence-Rockland residents than ever are taking to the back roads to their western work destinations because of the heavy traffic along 174. Trying to get on at Canaan would be a joke if it wasn't for the fact that it's a serious accident waiting to happen.
Someone on Wilhaven has evidently complained about the traffic, or speed, because two sets of "road hoses" have been stretched across the road near the east end Beckett's Creek to emasure one or the other. Our Ottawa traffic contact tells us that they are making some speed sign adjustments, but we'll have to wait until next time to find out the reason for the hoses.
Now that our provincial member has the power of government on his side, perhaps it is time to push for a four-lane highway between Orleans and Clarence-Rockland. Over to you, J-M?
Hey! Sign off or sign on
The provincial elections are old news so it's time for the contestants to remove their signs and make way for the municipal elections coming up
in November. Canaan residents on the Clarence-Rockland side of the border (Ward 5) will have two contestants in Phillipe Saumure and Kyle Cyr, who has already started the race with signs posted around Forest Hill and Blue Jay Ridge. Cyr is also the first municipal candidate to send his information to the C.C. Web site.
833... is we is, or is we ain't?

Many of us on the eastern side of Canaan Road have been blessed with the 833 prefix in our telephone numbers. So, everyone thinks we live in Cumberland (Ottawa). As a result, when we first moved out here, our mail was often sent to the Cumberland post office... even to Cardinal Crescent in Gloucester.
Now, the Ottawa mayor's election staff apparently think we live in Ottawa because some of us are being e-mailed to join in and support Bob Chiarelli's election bid! Let's let them keep thinking that. We can always attend the kick-off events and get in on the free food. Not a bad idea now that my partner is off holidaying in Europe. I could use a good meal.
A touch of class
Kudos to newly elected MPP Phil McNeeley who the day after he was elected had the words "Thank You!" plastered on many of his large election signs.
St. Andrew's fall supper
Fall fowl suppers are an old community tradition and for St. Andrew's United Church in Cumberland Village, that stretches back to over 100 years. This year the event is next Friday, October 17, between 4:30 and 7:30 in the evening. Call: 833-2604 (evenings).
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#65 - Elections and deadlines... timing is everything!
Working within a weekly time frame can always be tricky. Often times events are reported after the fact, and sometimes events have to be publicized, but are already over by the time the paper comes out. That is why it is important for Canaan residents to grab this publication as soon as it hits your mail box or Ad Bag location, usually on Fridays. Examples:
Provincial election
We can't comment on the provincial election or add any more than our blurb from last week because the election will have taken place after the newspaper deadline has passed. We already made our predictions in our Sep. 5 column, so we'll see next week if my crystal ball still works.
Complaint of French-only election news
Here's another example of tricky timing. Last week, the Canaan Connexion Web site received an electronic copy of a complaint sent to both the Vision and to the Liberal Party about the fact that most of the election coverage was in French only. The e-mail suggested: "As a bilingual newspaper you should be publishing advertisements and announcements from all levels of government in both languages as well as editorial opinions in both languages."
We don't want to get into a pissing contest between French and English, and we can't speak for the editorial policies of this newspaper (as I repeat each week at the end of my column: I don't work for the Vision Newspaper and my opinions are my own... by-the-way, please don't send me information that should be going to the Vision editor.).
Suffice to say that having worked as an editor on both weekly and monthly newspapers as well as a bilingual monthly, the job of getting all the news and items that people send in is a great challenge and oft times takes the wisdom
of Solomon. And as is so many times said, it all boils down to money. A totally bilingual publication, as in everything duplicated in English and French, would soon bankrupt the operation.
Ironically, I received the complaint on Saturday last, after the Vision had come out, and lo' and behold the Friday issue carried the local provincial candidates "party programs" on page 2.
My editorial comment
While the Vision may not have carried complete bilingual coverage of the elections, there were plenty of other sources to satiate the fervour of the complainant. Neighbouring weeklies to the west, daily Ottawa newspapers and several Web sites carried a wide variety of coverage. One only had to look.
Free offer to municipal candidates
I have for at least two to three years offered our own Ward 5 member as well as several other Clarence-Rockland councillors, free space on our Web site, to keep their constituents informed through monthly columns. They have never taken up the offer.
In view of the impending municipal elections coming up next month, I will repeat this offer, not only to all incumbents but to all challengers as well. The address is: editor@
A challenger in Ward 5
Another example of tricky timing. Last week the Canaan area councillor, Philippe Saumure, was featured in this newspaper. At press time there was no opposition. As of this week, Clarence resident Kyle Cyr has registered his candidacy and will be opposing our incumbent. Kyle has assured me that he will be sending his bio and platform for the Web site.
Over to you Philippe.
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#64 - Election picaresque, road warriors, fall clean-up
High flying geese heading south have already been spotted over Canaan country and leaves are turning into multi-coloured jewels. We're fortunate to have the four seasons but me thinks it will be a long fall with two sets of elections and it will be intriguing to see who will "fall" from grace.
Elections: Larry, Curly and Moe debate
The provincial elections are but days away. If you managed not to fall asleep during Tuesday's leaders' debate picaresque, you would have found that you learned more by watching Jeopardy than watching Larry, Curly and Moe dance around the questions asked of them. I don't think one leader answered a question directly and when they did respond they immediately launched into their own versions of "How great thou art".
On the local scene, Laurier Street is starting to look like gaudy St. Joseph's Boulevard in Orleans, thanks to the trashy election signs that are popping up all over. And with the numbers and sizes that the main contenders are flaunting, it looks like a classic fight of my erections are bigger than your erections.
The important thing for our residents though, is to get out and vote, for whomever you favour.
As of this writing, non of the candidates had visited our Canaan residence and we had only received one phone call and literature in the mail, both from the incumbent. For information on advanced polls or where to vote, call the local district elections office at: 1-866-271-6874.
Canaan Road warriors
It's too bad that concerns local residents have over Canaan Road could not be made subject of election issues. We continue to hear complaints from local drivers about the need for a traffic light at the corner of Canaan and Highway 174. Long waits to get onto the highway during morning and evening rush hours are a constant source of frustration.
One Forest Hill resident has e-mailed several times to express her exasperation at the situation, especially she says because one Clarence-Rockland politician told her "that the lights would be installed at C-R expense by
September." Will it take a serious accident before the voices are heard?
Another resident suggested that warning signs for both deer and moose should be installed on Canaan Road, between Highway 174 and Vinette. Regular deer/ moose sightings
certainly warrant the signs, but we're not sure they would do any good for lead-footed yahoos who drive over the 80-click speed limit.

Fall clean-up changes
"There is no collection of heavy items at residences" says last week's Vox Populi. We opine it's because of the misuse by some residents over the last two years. But the City of Clarence-Rockland is still offering a great deal – you can bring your unwanted articles (at no charge) to the local landfill site on October 24-26. Some restriction apply (446-6022, X:247).

Now in the spirit of community let's go out onto our own streets and ditches and pick up our neighbour's junk that has been blown around by recent heavy winds. Puleeeze... cover your recyclables on windy days!
Concerns should be election issues
It's too bad that concerns local residents have over Canaan Road could not be made subject of election issues. We continue to hear complaints from local drivers about the need for a traffic light at the corner of Canaan and Highway 174. Long waits to get onto the highway during morning and evening rush hours are a constant source of frustration.
One Forest Hill resident has e-mailed several times to express her exasperation at the situation, especially she says because one Clarence-Rockland politician told her "that the lights would be installed at C-R expense by September." Will it take a serious accident before the voices are heard?
Another resident suggested that warning signs for both deer and moose should be installed on Canaan Road, between Highway 174 and Vinette. Regular deer/ moose sightings certainly warrant the signs, but we're not sure they would do any good for lead-footed yahoos who drive over the 80-click speed limit.
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#63 - Church anniversary, great bus service

Another eclectic mix for Canaan readers. Thanks for your feedback and story ideas.

Cumberland United Church 175th
Cumberland Villagers Bob and Sally Edwards remind us that the congregation of St. Andrew's United Church will be celebrating their 175th Anniversary this Sunday at the 10:15 a..m. service, and you are welcome to attend.

Three former ministers have been invited, as well as guest speaker, the Reverend Doctor Anthony D. Bailey from Parkdale United Church.

St. Andrew's is on the corner of Old Montreal road and Glasford in Cumberland Village. (Photos - Meikle)

The Church building date can be seen about half-way up the tower.

Although a parish has existed since the 1840s this church was built in 1879. Several modifications have been added since, including making the building disabled accessible.

A potluck lunch will follow the service and contributions in the way of a casserole or other food dish would be appreciated. Anniversary souvenirs will also be available. Information: 833-2604 (evenings).

Rockland riders cruise in comfort on the new Clarence-Rockland Transit
We are encouraging residents from the Canaan area to take the terrific bus service from Clarence-Rockland to Ottawa which was inaugurated this month.

There are three morning runs into Ottawa and three return trips in the late afternoon covering the core working hours from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Commuters travel on Leduc Bus Lines luxury buses that are even washroom equipped.

Company owner Gilbert Leduc says that the service, which runs from Monday to Friday, is fully integrated with OC Transpo and travels the Transitway from Orleans to Albert/Kent. Two of the trips go to Hull (Place du Portage). Daily or monthly bus passes can be used any day of the week on OC buses. They are $8 and $130 respectively and are available at several Rockland outlets. An OC Transpo photo I.D. is also required, for a one time charge of $6 and is available only at OC Transpo locations.

The Rockland Rocket is ready to go!

About 75 per cent of the 80-some daily riders are from Rockland. Other riders come from Wendover, Plantagenet and L'Orignal.

Councillor Richard Lalonde, responsible in large part for bringing the transit service to Rockland, is himself a bus rider. He says it takes him about 45 minutes to travel from Rockland to his Ottawa work location and that includes a transfer to one OC Transpo bus.

If the service is to survive, people must use it, says Lalonde. They hope to have at least 144 passengers by winter. The cooperation between OC Transpo, Leduc Bus Lines and the City of Clarence-Rockland has been excellent and there is opportunity for flexibility, he says.

So let's go, Canaanites! Here's your chance to save on vehicle maintenance and help the environment. With a little prompting perhaps we could get another stop on McTeer opposite Canaan.

The public transit information including departure points and Park & Rides is available on the Clarence-Rockland City Web site. Any queries, information or suggestions can be sent to the Physical Services Department, 446-6022, ext. 247. Congratulations Clarence-Rockland staff on your efforts!

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#62 - Everyday life - sightings on a typical morning walk
Working from home gives us a certain flexibility not always enjoyed by regular "nine-to-fivers". The down side is that we work longer hours that often include evenings and weekends. Most days start with an early morning walk after Anabel wakes us up with her usual "I wanna go outside" moan. She's the spoiled member of the family and our golden retriever. Her morning ablutions take us around the neighbourhood giving us a chance to wake up as well as come upon unceremonious but typical street sightings that any of you will recognize.
What you see when you don't have a camera
The first signs of movement are the many residents leaving for work; gets so you can tell who is leaving by the sounds of the mufflers. The stream starts as early as four-thirty, five and continues until the last of the sleepy-eyed kids are herded on to the many school buses that wind through the streets. Sleepy (read quiet) kids... a bus driver's dream. Where's my camera?
Then there's the young mom who often waits for her children's bus, wearing her pyjamas and high heals. Neat waker-upper! On our block about four moms send off their charges or pick up the paper while wearing their night fashions. Where's my camera?
This morning, one young person is standing by her car, which has run off the high driveway ditch, front wheel caught over the culvert, rear wheel high in the air. "Late night, or early morning," I ask. "Way too early morning," she laments, tow-truck at hand. Where's my camera?
Another few yards and we spot an open garage door. But nobody's home. The ride-on lawn mower, bicycles, skis, hockey nets and barbecue are an invitation for passing thieves to load up.
Next door to them another family consistently leaves their outside lights on. Another invitation that no one is home, not to mention wasting energy in these troubled times. Where's my camera?
Next it's the barking dogs, over a dozen on our Canaan quadrant. They love to tell Anabel to stay away from their property. Not so bad during the week, but I'll bet our early weekend walks must make the barking more annoying to the late risers. One of them, Rufus, says "It's not the stupid dogs, it's the stupid owners!" Couldn't use the camera here... too close to home.
And speaking of dogs, too many residents are still letting their pets leave their calling cards along the roadsides. Often times it's the kids, folks. It's good to give them the responsibility of walking the family dog, but part of that duty is to "stoop and scoop".
There is no bylaw as yet for cats, but we are still getting complaints about a few wandering felines crapping on driveways and in flower beds. Rufus says fair warning to the gray tabby owners on his block. He's tired of it stocking "his" birds and chipmunks and pooping on his driveway. "If WE trap it, we scrap it!"
Finally, after the morning rush is over, a pair of Jehovah Witnesses walk the block. Conversions are few in this weekday bedroom community. They always stop at our door. They seem to know that we work from home. We compliment them on their courage for the abuse and maltreatment they often take on their mission work but politely decline their offers of reading material. No converts today, we have deadlines to meet!
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#61 - Telltale signs keep us informed and tattle on others
Any sailor knows that telltales are small tufts of material attached to various parts of a sail to make the trimming of the sails and the steering of the boat easier. A telltale can also be something that indicates or reveals information, like a sign. To a trained observer or to an interested onlooker the signs can be very revealing. Let's take a look at a few around Canaan.
Election signs
Now that earnest Ernie has dropped the writ, look for candidate posts on front lawns and telephone poles. Here's a prediction. Ernestine will squeak in with a minority government because people will remember hunk Harris, environment (read Walkerton), health and education cutbacks, SARS, auto insurance, blackouts and tainted meat. We'll return good old, reliable J-M L in the Canaan area, and a former mayor will go down to a liberal, because our eastern neighbours will forget what a good mayor he was and remember the pig farm fiasco and back the liberal's boys in Ottawa.
For Sales
Two C-Road "farms" are on the block. The llamas are gone and the property is up for sale. Like so many other young couples in the area, commuting and isolation presents a challenge when families are started. And just up the road, the long-time Marier Strawberry farm is also for sale. Sadly for us, our dear neighbours and friends are leaving to enjoy a much deserved retirement.
Blue Jay sign.... not!
Looks like the NIMBYs rule. After months of wondering, we've given up on the relocation of our Blue Jay Ridge sign. Maybe it's not such a bad thing. Makes it harder for in-laws and outlaws to find us. We just tell people to turn left when they see the greybricks.
Macdonald and Tim Horton customers #1
Smoke suckin', coffee slurpin', chip chewin', nugget dippin', straw pullin'... this is the picture we
get when we think of the cretins who leave their telltales around our streets and parking lots. Can't believe there is such a lack of awareness to our environment in this day and age, or to the lack of thoughtfulness towards others who have to clean up their collective mess.
Musta been a couple who left their MacMeal remnants strewn over the road on Blue Jay at the corner of Canaan... two cups with straws, two leftover burger wrappers, two chip packs still with chips and a few half eaten nuggets with the empty dip containers... Thanks guys!
Smokers aren't all stupid...
But many smokers that we have observed, are, like the ones who dump their ashtrays on parking lots or at stop signs. Take the lady in her white charger, car that is, who pulled into a parking space at a large, well known (no name) grocery store. Before she got out of her vehicle, she dumped her ashtray full of cigarettes out onto the asphalt (under the car so it wouldn't look too obvious). It was satisfying to watch a short time later when a guy came along, picked up the pile of cigs and ashes, now dampened by rain, and spread them over the front windshield.
Or take the young fella driving along Canaan, who flicked his fag out the car window, right into the path of an oncoming gas tanker... or the employee of a local Monsieur le Gaz, who takes his smoke breaks just outside the door (presumably to hear the phone) but within range of the pumps. Dumb and dumber awards to all... duh!
Event reminder
The Cumberland Village garage and plant sale is on Saturday, at Old Montreal Road and Cameron Street, from 8 a.m. to noon. Call Rebecca Dufton at 833-0276 or Kim Poll at 833-0119. Check our Web pages for more details.
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#60 - Back to school means back to normal
We have something in common with the City of Clarence-Rockland. Both of our Web sites are about two weeks behind with current information. This is common during the summer hiatus as personal and office routines give way to holidays. And given the recent power blackouts, our dependancy on business clients who offered little summertime commerce and our abnormally high visits from children and grandchildren, it's a wonder that we accomplished anything at all.
On the other hand, it was a great summer in spite of the weather differences from very hot to often rain, computer viruses and annoying tele- marketers. Now we look forward to the last long-weekend of the season which brings us back to normal and into a new work and school season.
Back-to-school reminders
Our postal boxes and ad-bags have been bombarded with flyers and reminders of back-to-school supplies and fashions. If we take them to heart we'll be spending more than the equipment it takes to outfit a junior hockey player. Fortunately it will take more than these expenses to wipe the smiles off the faces of countless parents who can hardly wait to get their charges out of the expensive summer childcare programs and back into the classrooms....aaahhh, a quiet house.
Watch for the big yellow taxis
Yolande called to suggest that it was time for another blurb to remind residents of Canaan, Blue Jay and Forest Hill that the dozens of
school buses will soon be threading through our neighbourhoods picking up pampered progeny on their way to classes. She offered two thoughts. Drivers - please slow down and keep to the 50-click speed limit posted on our residential streets. And the "drivers" refers to both the lead-footed residential and bus operators who tend to move a little too fast.
Local events to take in
The Vintage Stock Theatre is presenting a murder-mystery, Birthdays Can Be Murder, this Saturday at the Cumberland Heritage Museum at 6:30 p.m. Call 860-0603 for tickets.
The Cumberland Village garage and plant sale is coming up on Saturday, Sept.6 on Old Montreal Road near Cameron Street, from 8 a.m. to noon. Call Rebecca Dufton at 833-0276 or Kim Poll at 833-0119. Check our Web pages for more details.
Stop feeding the crows
Flights of scavenging crows are continuing to peck through garbage bags left out overnight, leaving street-strewn trails of wilted waste and personal products. Rufus suggests using solid refuse cans with tight covers. He also thinks recycle containers should be secured to prevent plastics and papers from being blown across lawns and ditches. Good idea!
Canaan bees hummin' with honey
If you think our strawberries and blueberries are good, you should try our honey. This natural treasure and by-product from the blueberry bee guys is being harvested as we speak. 833-2069 will "jar" you.
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#59 - Blackouts: We have the power to conserve
How were you affected by the latest power outage?

So far we have not heard of any major problems from around the Canaan area and those of us who experienced Ice Storm ‘98 know what to do when the electricity is cut off. Our home, for example, is now equipped with a suitable generator which can be used to power our essential utilities and appliances.

We on the electrical "grid" from Cumberland east and extending through the Clarence- Rockland area were fortunate. Power was restored within seven to eight hours so if you did not open the fridge or freezer, food and meats did not spoil. The weather also cooperated with no rain so we didn't have to worry about the sump pumps failing and having flooded basements. And unlike the Ice Storm we did not have to worry about the cold.

The long term effects and prevention of future outages will no doubt be the topics of discussion for all levels of government for some time and won't it be interesting to see what happens in about nine months. Some suggest there was an increase in birth rates after the historic power blackouts of 1965 and 1977.

Last week we initiated the Canaan Connexion Appreciation Award (CCAA) for those little acts of random kindness and good deeds that our residents perform.
Thanks to the suggestion of Forest Hill resident Lucie (name withheld), she would like to applaud and thank all of the residents who did their best to conserve electricity by cutting back on lights and utilities, drying clothes outside, and turning off air conditioners.

At the same time she sends out raspberries to those who if not elderly or sick or suffering from heat-related allergies continued to run their air conditioners or those who leave their outside lights on even when they were not home during the day.

Energy conservation: The bigger picture
Most everything we do takes energy, from the appliances we cook on to the computers we write with, from warming up or cooling down our cars to processing the mounds of garbage that our neighbours pile up when they do not take the time to recycle or compost. This blackout should serve as a reminder that energy conservation is a full-time concern. Our Web site offers food, safety and conservation tips.

Our sincere wishes to the families of two residents who passed away and who lived at opposite ends of our coverage area. From Quigley Hill Road, Brad Rankin, husband to Martina Glos and father to Lena and Sean. From St. Pascal, Walter Kochowiec, who was the co-owner of the Lucky Loony Dollar Store on (Ogilvie Road at Jeanne d'Arc) with wife Donna and daughter Tamara (Chris) Goddard
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#58 - Memorials and random acts of kindness
Memorial for Cumberland crash victim Lorraine Le Guerrier
The Le Guerrier family along with Marty Williams, Dani Baughman, and Joëlle Harrison want you to join them in a memorial ceremony to celebrate the life of their late sister Lorraine Le Guerrier- Faren at the Cumberland Heritage Museum chapel on Thursday, August 21, 7:30 p.m.

Random acts of kindness
I often tell my writing class during the research session that if you steal an idea, you're a thief. But if you steal a number of ideas, you are in research! We do a lot of "research" when putting our columns and Website pages together.
While researching the Internet recently I came across The Random Acts of Kindness™ Foundation which inspires people to practice kindness and to "pass it on" to others. Part of their philosophy is: " As people tap into their own generous human spirit and share kindness with one another, they discover for themselves the power of kindness to effect positive change. When kindness is expressed, healthy relationships are created, community connections are nourished, and people are inspired to pass kindness on."
We at the C.C. (In spite of what some local critics say) try to practice this philosophy ‘cause as my saintly old French-Canadian grandmother once told me... "it's harder to be bad than good" and as the late Prime minister Lester B. Pearson said when as Canada's foreign affairs minister he was asked about the insurmountable task of bringing peace to the world... (I) like to think there is more good in the world than evil.
once told me... "it's harder to be bad than good" and as the late Prime minister Lester B. Pearson said when as Canada's foreign affairs minister he was asked about the insurmountable task of bringing peace to the world... (I) like to think there is more good in the world than evil.

Past columns have in an extemporaneous way often mentioned individuals who have fit into this category, but now we would like to initiate the Canaan Connexion Appreciation Award (CCAA) for those little acts of random kindness that we come across in our local travels and to share these souls with our readers.
Our first CCAward goes out to Carole Basinet an employee at the local independent grocer in Rockland. Carole is always smiling and in good spirits and goes a long way on behalf of her employer in promoting good public relations with their customers. Carole recently helped us with a situation in returning an item to the store by offering an acceptable solution in besting the problem. Thank you Carole!

Dumb and dumber Award
On the other hand where there is kindness, there is dumbness and this week's DDAward goes to the driver of a Rockland steel pipes company truck, who while tailgating us down Canaan Road managed to throw his recyclable refuse out of the driver's window... Duh!
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#57 -Summer – from silly to serious
There are a couple of old jokes that come up in conversation from time to time: One says "I didn't know he was a drunk until I saw him sober one day." The other – (pick-a-name) funeral parlour – their business is dead, but they're the last people to let you down."
If I had it to do all over, these are two businesses I would like to get in to – the liquor store or the funeral service. Think about it. They rarely downsize, they never go out of business, they make money, they are there in good and bad times, and they are both honest and hard-working.
Unfortunately the government "controls" the liquor board. They saw a good thing ions ago and like the income tax which was only supposed to last the duration of a war, or the ever growing number of casinos, the government knows a cash cow when it sees one.
If fate allows, I hope to visit the liquor stores often and for a very long time. On the other hand I hope to use the funeral service only once, and that after I have turned 100!
On death and dying
This is the third week running where I have been advised of the death of a friend or colleague or the family member of an acquaintance, and it's interesting how such news can alter the course of your day or week. For three weeks in a row my regular routine has been dithered into writing obits, informing others and setting up Web memoriams.
I don't mean to get too serious here but as I get older I find that I attend more funerals than weddings. I've been reading the obituaries for years, a habit I formed over 30 years ago when as an intelligence officer I used to monitor several daily newspapers and when we came across a "person of interest" we would be able to "close the file".
Now the habit continues and it is usually I who first sees the passing of a friend or colleague and it is I who does the informing. I'll probably continue the habit, at least until I see my own name in a four-inch column of the daily newspaper.
More condolences
And while on the subject, our sincere bereavement wishes go out to Blue Jay resident Richard Hookham and his family on the recent passing of his mother.
Canada Post outlets deserve our nominations
To end on a brighter note, Canada Post is looking for nominations for their "Outstanding Service Award" and they want to recognize the outlet that: "provides superior service to our customers; goes beyond the "call of duty"; and shows exceptional professionalism.
I believe the hard-working teams at our own Rockland and Cumberland Village postal outlets deserve our votes. Why not drop in and fill out the "Outstanding Service Award" nomination and give these two teams your vote. Great job guys!
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#56 - Life's detours, welcomes and tributes
Life's highway is often strewn with unexpected detours, playing havoc with our intended agendas. Take last week – a semi-holiday and Lynx game were rerouted by a grandson with a broken leg and a brother-in-law who suffered a heart attack. This week's yard work and clean-up were set aside by a far-off family tragedy that affected the souls in a neighbouring community.

Welcome new neighbours
The Canaan area has had its fair share of moves this year with old and dear friends moving away and new neighbours joining our communities. We welcome you all, invite you to join in the dialogue that makes Canaan a special place and ask you to check out our "New Residents" page on the CC Web site.

And speaking of welcomes, Welcome Wagon is back in Clarence-Rockland thanks to new hostess Lucille Lepoutre. Lucille tries to cover the entire C-R area, welcoming new residents who have just moved into our city, as well as new mothers. She offers helpful information on shopping and services, and gifts from a dozen local sponsors. She is also looking for more sponsors from local merchants and enterprises. If you are a new resident or mother, or if you can help sponsor our community, call Lucille Lepoutre at 446-7017.
Cumberland native dies in Calgary crash
Former Cumberland Village resident Lorraine Le Guerrier was recently killed in a terrible highway accident in Calgary. She had lived on Cameron Street near the ferry and on Dunning Road and attended school at Notre-Dame du Cap, Léo-D. Côté and Garneau High School in Orleans.

She had moved to Calgary about ten years ago, overcoming several personal hardships to grow into a much beloved kindergarten teacher, adored by her students and loved by everyone she touched. Her loss is being keenly felt by all who knew her – family, friends and students. A Memorial Service to celebrate Lorraine's life will be held at the Cumberland Village Heritage Museum chapel on Thursday, August 21, 7:30 p.m. (A full tribute will be added shortly.)

Fine food but annoying clients
We had the opportunity to visit a very friendly Rockland restaurant last weekend where my family and I voted Debbie as server-of-the-day for her good humour and service. But I must add that while the food and service was good, some of the clients were less than favourable:

Take the good ole' boys 'n red necks wearing their ball caps. We were always taught to remove our hats when sitting at the table. Or the newspaper reading lady who kept putting her finished, dirty dishes on the clean table beside her. And the young family of six (four daughters) with the screaming, chair-bumping, spoon-thumping, annoying brat whom they let take control of our section. Consideration for others, please. We would have sat on the deck, unfortunately they don't extend their new, non-smoking policy to the outside dining area. Dumb and dumber... duh!
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#55 - Youth, berries, strollercise and country fair
Blueberry season opens
The best blueberries in the world are just about ready for picking at the Canaan Blueberry farm located across from the Marier Strawberry farm at the corner of Canaan Road and Blue Jay Drive. It opens this Saturday. Get in on the action early because if last year was any indication, the fields are picked very quickly. You may want to call ahead, 833-2069. This is fun for the whole family.

Strollercise coming to Cathy Cain Park
Forest Hill resident Louise Richard says, "Here's a great way for new moms to get together and exercise with their babies." Every Wednesday at 9 a.m., starting August 6, a certified aerobics instructor from the Rockland Health Unit will be leading the ladies in classes that will take you on walks through the streets of Forest Hill and Blue Jay. For more information you can contact either Louise (833-3741) or Haley (833-0579).

Navan Fair
The Navan Fair was started in 1946 as a showcase of agricultural excellence and to this day is regarded as one of the premier events in the Ottawa Valley. It's happening August 7-8-9-10. Click here for Havan Fair.
Sierra Youth gathering to take action
The Sierra Youth Coalition, the youth arm of the Sierra Club, is sponsoring a Youth Action Gathering, a fully-subsidized (free) week-long camp program, August 23-29, at MacSkimming Outdoor Education Centre near Canaan off Wilhaven. Organizer Daniel Spence says, "the YAG will bring together 50 diverse Ottawa-area youth to participate in dynamic skills, resource and awareness building workshops that will enable and motivate them to take action around issues of sustainability and social justice in their communities. Organizers are looking for youth participants from the area." They also need donations of produce from businesses/individuals to offset expenses for participant meals. Can you help?
The Sierra Club theme: "Inspired by nature, we work together to protect our communities and the planet." The Club is the oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization. For information call: Daniel Spence at 1-888-790-7393.

Website reminder
Just to let new readers know, it is impossible to carry all the news of interest in this column. We try to highlight the top stories and keep the words to a minimum so the Vision editor will not have to cut for length. This is a daunting task, so larger versions of our narratives and much more information is available if you visit the Canaan Connexion Web site.
You can also contribute items if you think they will be of interest to the community at large and the "Canaan Message Centre" is always available if you want to join in on local discussions.

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#54 - Cumberland condolences, lost pooches, Rockland deals
Betty Dunning passes away
Click here for obituaryCumberland Village lost one of its pioneers recently when Evelyn Jean "Betty" Dunning passed away. She was married to the late John Dunning and they ran the village store now operated by the Haddad family. In the early years the store also housed the local post office and the family lived over the store. The family roots go back generations with Dunning Road being named after early family members and new generations like Betty's daughter, Cumberland veterinarian Dr. Mary Ellen Dunning, has helped many an animal like Anabel through tough times.
I met this vigorous woman only months ago at the
Click here for obituary Lion's Maplefest and I regret that I did not get around to bringing her the pictures I took of the family during their annual visit. Husband John was an active member of the Lions. Our condolences to the family. Obituary.

Lost pet... a happy ending
I was never much a dog lover until our children talked their mother into having one. Then when I psyched myself into owning a pet, I went for it, knowing full well that the kids would soon lose interest, especially during those cold, early-morning or late-night doggie doo calls. Now I can't imagine life eight years ago before we had Anabel.
So it is hard for me to imagine that people will allow their family pets to wander or get lost without any identification. Such was the case last week when a huge shepherd-pyranee female was found wandering on Canaan Road with no tags. Thanks to several dog lovers, Cassie (as we learned later) was rescued. She had strayed from the Sarsfield/French Hill area.
 First, Forest Hill resident Sharon Urquhart took this colossal canine in, fed and watered it then turned it over to the Clarence-Rockland bylaw officers who put Cassie in the local pound, located in Clarence Creek. Then, thanks to bylaw director Yves Rivard and municipal law enforcement officer Michel Boileau, I was able to rescue Cassie and bring her over to local golden retriever breeder Marty Williams who was willing to take in the great animal until its owner could be found, thanks to information left with the Humane Society.
This was a happy ending because Cassie was reunited with her mistress. It's not always the case. If a pet owner cannot be found after three full days, if an animal is not adoptable, and if the Humane Society cannot take it in, the animal, sadly, is euthenized.

So please... if you care for your pet, get a license tag, put your phone number on it and think about an electronic chip I.D.

Rockland... where the deals are
You don't have to go far to find expertise and fair prices. Two local businesses that have helped keep the Canaan Connexion online when computer and camera equipment broke down are Compufix (Jeff Luttmer and sons Bobby and Raymond), and Royal Photo (Masoud Taghizadeh). Their knowledge, up-to-date technology and competitive prices are hard to beat. Thanks guys.
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#53 - Summer stormed... who kept informed?
About 98 per cent of the residents on the Clarence-Rockland side of Canaan evidently did not see the schedule notices for the last refuse and recycle pick up. Because of the Canada Day holiday the regular pickup was delayed one day, which meant Saturday rather than Friday. Information was posted in a number of places including the City's Vox Populi page in the Vision and on the C.C. web site. (Moral: Check the City notices under Vox Populi, or visit our Web home or garbage pages. )
Wind whipped waste and crows consumed
Upshot? Two things. Firstly, a brief but windy, early morning storm hit, scattering the plastic recycle materials up and down many ditches. This couldn't be helped (Act of God). But the second could. Many garbage bags were attacked by bands of ravaging crows. Smart birds that they are, they know the delicacies that await in those bulging black bags of rubbish. A number of neighbour's disposals were laid to waste, so to speak at the end of countless driveways.
This happens often... with the crows. It ain't the cats. It ain't the dogs. It ain't the racoons. It's the crows, folks. Week after week they love to ransack the black bags. Suggestion? Use a solid plastic or metal container. And for those of you who continue not to recycle ‘cause "I'm too busy with my six kids and work schedule", and regularly pitch out five to eight bags, you'll find that those large containers will help you to sneak up to three bags in one of them. So, if you have two containers, you'll be able to pack up to six garbage bags to be carted off.
And you know what, neighbour? The garbage guys keep hauling it away, so you don't have to worry about the three bag rule and so you can keep heaping your crap in the land fill site. To hell with recycling! And tell that to your six kids and grand-children when there's no more place to drag your waste away. Or here's an idea. Why not teach your kids to do the weekly recycling?
Storm damage
Besides the refuse and recyclables spattered around, the summer storm also knocked down at least two large trees and many branches in the area. One neighbour considered himself very lucky because when the upper half of a large maple came crashing down, it just missed his house and saved him the cost of having the rotting tree cut down by professionals.
We heard that the second resident was not so lucky. The falling tree caused considerable damage to his home. This may be a good reminder to those of us who are the original owners of the Tempra homes and to the newer Tempra-type home owners. Check the older trees on your property for damage (bark scars) and dry rot.
When our lots were being cleared, a wood butcher was hired. He cut the best trees for firewood and left the scraggy stuff. What wasn't cut down was severely damaged by the yokels driving the bulldozers with the twelve-foot blades. Talk about dumb and dumber.... duh!
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#52 - Morlen Reynolds - An Angel Without Wings
The Canada Day celebrations in Rockland provided a special moment for the residents of the Canaan area when one of our own was recognized for his "extraordinary number of selfless deeds and kindnesses he consistently extends to others."

Morlen Reynolds is this year's recipient of the Rockland Lions Club, Austin "Ted" Nunan Award for Outstanding Community Service. Bravo!

Described by one neighbour as "an angel without wings", Morlen is a remarkable person who generously gives of his time, puts others first, and is always there with a helping hand. He is an exceptionally caring and empathetic person. With his great sense of humour, ready smile and twinkle in his eye, he has cheered up many a person when they were feeling low, unwell, lonely, or just needed a good laugh. His positive and optimistic attitude towards life is a welcome antidote to today's often cynical views.

Morlen is a Bell Canada retiree who along with his wife Brigitte owns and operates the
Canaan Blueberry Farm and Apiary. His caring and kindness philosophy is shared by Brigitte and children Andrew and Samantha and while this is a "Rockland award", Morlen's community service extends far beyond the boundaries of Clarence- Rockland and even Ontario.

Congratulations, Morlen. A more deserving friend and neighbour we could not imagine. And thanks to Karen and Richard Hookham for an excellent nominee.
Dumb and dumber apologies
Last week we chided the operators of various cars, trucks and service vehicles that have been parking on the traveled portion of the pavement, without warning signs or flags, near new-home construction on Canaan Road. In doing so we evidently offended the actual home owner who feels that the responsibility lies with the sub- contractors and service people who own the vehicles. We sincerely apologize for any offence or embarrassment we may have caused this family.

That was not our intent. They are long-time, upstanding and helpful members of the community.

We do however stand by our criticism of vehicle owners who create occasional and unlawful traffic hazards and who do not use appropriate warning signs.

Cumberland Village Garden Tours
On Sunday afternoon you can explore some of Cumberland Village's gardens and meet fellow gardeners. Six delightful gardens are open for viewing, each one is unique. The Gardens of Cumberland tour is organized by the Cumberland Village Community Association. There is no charge for the tours, but funds are being collected for the "Village in Bloom" project to beautify Cumberland Village. Brochures and maps are available in the Village and signs will be posted. For more information, contact
Rebecca Dufton: (613) 833-0276. Full story...
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#51 - Congratulations, frogs, turtles and berries
We had the pleasure of attending our grandson's Grade Six graduation this week. There were some poignant moments when the class of 25 kids each stepped up to the microphone to offer their "student memories". They were the first group to graduate from their school, which was re-built in 1999 and many of them remembered the sadness of seeing the old building being torn down. But the school's crest, the phoenix was a reminder of the new school that grew out the dust and rubble of the old.

Congratulations, Jordan, and to all the kids in all the graduations in the area. You've made your families very proud.

Canaan Frog Watcher recognized
A special congratulations to Blue Jay resident eleven-year-old Gabrielle Felio who has been working with Frog watch, part of a national volunteer monitoring program hosted by the Canadian Nature Federation and Environment Canada. She has been studying frogs for the past year and for the past few months she has taken on the responsibility of trying to save Petrie Island's frog population. Her story was picked up by Michigan's Great Lakes Radio Consortium.
Turtle watchers needed
The many black and yellow "turtle warning" signs that you see springing up around Ontario are due in large part to our own Rockland turtle lady, Michele André-St.Cyr. They are a reminder that the area, while rich in several species of turtles, is losing a great natural treasure often because of their habitats being taken over by urban growth, but also because of the devastating effects of road kill, which incidentally is reducing the numbers of many indigenous species of wild life. The signs are there for a purpose. Please keep a lookout for all our wildlife.

Sign up for berries
Other signs have been posted this week, reminding us of the new crop of raspberries and strawberries that are ready for picking. Lalonde Raspberries (488-2845) are ready off Baseline Road and Marier's Strawberries (833-3042) on Canaan Road are also open. Can the Reynolds Canaan Blueberry patch be far behind?

Dumb and dumber Award
This week's "Eh-nal Retentive" award goes to the new home builder just north of Oakwood Drive on the Ottawa side of Canaan Road. We're not against the construction, but over the past week various cars, trucks and service vehicles have been parking on the traveled portion of the pavement, without warning signs or flags. There have been several near accidents. Duh!!

Next week...
Coming up... ditch grass, left-over garbage, more signs and the Cumberland garden tours.
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#50 - A growl, a howl and afoul
Mary had a little lamb, she also had a bear. I've often seen her little lamb, I've never seen her bear, but just ‘cause you've never seen it doesn't mean it isn't there!

Coyotes and wolves and bears, oh my!
Dorothy and the cowardly lion (Wizard of Oz) had nothing on us. In case you missed the bear facts in last week's Vision... one of our Canaan comrades reported damage to his bee hives when a bear "attacked" a couple of the hives being used to help pollinate the local strawberry and blueberry farms. (The full story is on our Website.)

Now, two residents, Yvonne Fallak and Joan Binda (our recipe lady), report seeing a wolf off Canaan Road near Forest Hill. Yes folks there are wolves in the area. Not to be alarmed. They're not running in packs, and given the threat of the West Nile virus, are probably not as much as a threat as a mosquito. Just be aware... we live in the country and mother nature loves to bear all. What a howl!
License to bill

Our own James Bond, alias the bylaw enforcement officer, has been spotted in the Canaan area, checking the addresses of previously licensed dog owners, comparing lists of who's paid and who has not. If you have a canine companion and forgot to renew your annual "dog collar", expect a friendly visit from your friendly neighbourhood fidoman.
Eastern Ontario Smart Growth
Government and smart growth... now there's an oxymoron. Something like military intelligence. For what it's worth, the "eastern Ontario Smart Growth panel want to hear your views"... to promote and plan for growth in eastern Ontario. This is your chance to meet the panel, learn more and have a say.
They meet Tuesday, June 24, between 5 and 8:30 p.m. at the University of Ottawa, Morisset Hall, Room 218, 65 University Street. The panel presents at 7 p.m.

Cumberland concepts
If'n your from Cumberland and you remember the good old days when there seemed to be some rhyme or reason to what your City Fathers did, before "amalgamation"... remember when Brian Coburn was mayor and you could get a straight answer from Cumberland town Hall on Centrum Boulevard.

The City of Ottawa is preparing concept plans to illustrate potential development initiatives for the vacant lands around the former Cumberland town Hall... There is an Open House meeting on Wednesday, June 25, between 5 and 8 p.m. at 255 Centrum Boulevard, Room 306. Drop in and offer your views.
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#49 - Clean up follow up, ‘n wild turkeys
Firstly, congratulations to the members of the City of Clarence-Rockland clean up crew who did such a superb job of removing the tons of household refuse over the last two weeks.

They provided service beyond their call of duty and because of the excessive amount of material we took them away from their regular duties. So if that pot hole wasn't fixed, don't blame the City, the crews were looking after our needs.

The guys also stuck to the regulations concerning size limits, hazardous and recyclable materials. Good for them!

RTFM is an acronym that grew out of the hi-tech industry. If you don't know how fix a problem, "read the manual!" And it is apparent that many people did not RTFM on regulations regarding the requirements for what the City of Clarence-Rockland does NOT pick up! If you drive the highways and byways of our fair community you will see evidence of left over refuse.

This includes: hazardous materials (paint, oils, propane tanks, batteries), fridges/ freezers/air-conditioners without certificates (showing Freon gas has been removed), yard waste (branches/leaves), recyclable materials, excessive piles of junk (you were limited to a generous 4' x 4' x 8' pile... about the size of a small pick-up truck box).

Mad as hell
When the crew hit our area, the weather was hot, so we treated them to d rinks of cold water and juices. They were saying that the job was tough because there was so much junk. They ran into one prominent citizen who apparently felt he was beyond the regulations because when the crew left behind a large pile of recyclable stuff, the guy chased down the crew and gave them hell for leaving it at his driveway.
A neighbour chased down the crew because they had left behind some steel framing. He was unaware that steel items be separated to be picked up separately.

Bad news, good news
There were 38 households where refuse was not picked up because of materials not allowed. The bad news – residents are responsible for disposing of excessive junk and/or the non-collectibles. If the City has to remove it, it will cost you, with a likely 15 per cent fee tacked on.

The good new is that the City of Clarence-Rockland operates a household hazardous waste depot at the landfill site at 2335 Lalonde Road, in Bourget. Most of your individual items – paint, oils, propane tanks, batteries, etc. – can be dropped off free of charge. And if you have fridges or freezers, the landfill site will accept them too... at a cost – $5 if they are certified (no Freon), $20 if they are not certified (still with Freon).

Wild turkeys
We've written about turkeys before, usually the ones who appear in our occasional "Dumb and Dumber" awards, but last week, Canaan resident Nicola Bélanger almost ran into a real one.

Driving on Canaan Road she was almost hit by a wild turkey flying across the road in front of her car. When she related her adventure to others, it seems no one would believe it.

Yes folks, there are wild turkeys in the area, flocks of up to 15 at a time, and yes they do fly. Believe it!
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#48 - Aren't you glad you don't live in Kanata
Time to clean... aren't you glad you don't live in Kanata
This is our annual spring pickup week and the scavengers have been out for days, rooting through neighbours' junk, picking through the piles and packs of refuse. Why not? One person's trash is another person's treasure.

Thanks to the good folks who run Clarence-Rockland, we are privileged to be able to jettison our scrap and throw-aways at no cost. What a deal! Hey... maybe it's time to look beyond the garages and basements and consider the yards and driveways.

Property standards and eyesores
While we are at it why don't we clean up those rotting piles of lumber lying next to our neighbour's property line. Let's manicure those lawns and remove the excess of dandelions, and scoop up that winter's supply of doggie doo. These things might raise our property values and even help our next door neighbours to sell their homes faster.

The City of Clarence-Rockland does have a property standards by-law and director Yves Rivard tells us that they identify over 40 properties a year where the residents are advised to clean up their act. A few of them are here around Canaan country.

And what about those derelict cars and boats and tractors and trailers? Yves tells us that visible unregistered or inoperative vehicles are not acceptable in residential areas. They should be removed from the streets and driveways and stored in garages or covered and hidden out of view.

Not in Kanata
Aren't you glad we don't live in Kanata? We wouldn't be allowed to have clothes lines, or more than two pets or animals like rabbits and calves and sheep, or yards and driveways filled with derelict
vehicles visible to the neighbours, or flashy coloured houses... no purples, lime greens or royal blues, or road graders in front yards, or large children's play structures, ugly tree houses and family hockey rinks, or chicken wire fences or weather beaten and unpainted fences and unsightly propane tanks, or barking dogs to shatter our weekend sleep-ins.

In Kanata we would have to clean out the tall weeds and refuse in the ditches in front of our homes and there certainly would be no spring and fall heavy refuse pick-up.

Of course like Kanata, the jury is still out on potentially polluting pig farms!

Before you rat on your neighbours
We are fortunate that we are not regulated to death and that we do have the rights and freedoms to live harmoniously and independently and decorate our castles and courtyards to our own tastes. But let us be mindful of others and remember that the standards set out in the local by-laws are for the good of all.

"The Municipal Law Enforcement Division strongly encourages neighbours to respect each other's rights and privacy and to discuss any differences among themselves prior to involving the Municipal Law Enforcement Division."

If you are concerned that a neighbour's property is out of character with the beauty of the community, give the by-law office a call. Your information is kept confidential and sometimes all it takes is a diplomatic visit to educate our residents, says Yves Rivard.

In a future column...
new home builders responsible to clean up roads and repair damage to roads from heavy equipment; and the skinny on fences, hedges, retaining walls, swimming pools and home-based businesses.
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#47 - Hogs on hold, plagues ‘n pests, museum a must

Hollerin' from hog hollow
Work on the Sarsfield hog farm has again been halted. Seems the Superior Court judge feels further study needs to be done to consider the environmental impact brought on by a prairie of porkers. Incidentally did you catch the news a few weeks ago where a significant spill of liquid pig manure "sowered" a Quebec hog farm owned by the same group who want to sow Sarsfield.

Click here for latest news

Plagues ‘n pests
SARS, BSE, WNV... our tranquil country is being besieged by potential plagues in the way of severe acute respiratory syndrome, mad cow disease and West Nile virus. And our family canine members are at risk of getting potentially fatal heartworm. We have added several I-net resources to assist you in learning more. The general word though is "don't panic." As one doctor said... you have more risk of being in a plane crash than contracting any of the viruses. Comforting.

Museum plans a big weekend
Cumberland Heritage Village Museum is celebrating its Heritage Festival 2003 this weekend. Activities include: live entertainment, down-home cooking, demonstrations of horse-drawn farming, blacksmithing, printing and Morse code, plus a large display of antique farm machinery, vintage cars and model trains. For more information call 833-3059.

The annual Cumberland Car rally is also on Saturday at the museum. Cost $25 per person including BBQ after rally. Dinner only $15. Proceeds to benefit the Cumberland Community Resource Centre, the Cumberland Heritage Village Museum and the Kiwanis Club of Orleans. For more information and tickets call 580-2489.

Cumberland needs bookmobile volunteer

The Ottawa Public Library needs a volunteer to pick up books at the Bookmobile stop at Riverview School in Cumberland Village. Can you help? Call Bernie Belanger, Ottawa Public Library, 580-2424, ext: 41409.

Cumberland Village tennis
The Village has great tennis courts on Dunning Road next to the Arena.They are looking for more players. Call Jim Girardin, 833-2855 or Roy Brown, 833-1885.

Dumb and dumber Award
This week's "Eh-nal Retentive" award goes to the DDs (dumb drivers) who park in "fire lanes" near the entrances to the Cumberland Arena making it near impossible for disabled operators to leave their designated spots. Says, disabled driver Janet C.: "On many occasions, I have struggled to leave the parking spot with all the "bozos" watching and not moving their cars." Duh!!

Canaan speed signs in place
We finally have our speed signs on Canaan... Whatdyathink?
Send us an e-mail.

Annual Canaan area refuse pick-up next week
This coming week residents on the Clarence side of Canaan will be able to participate in the annual special collection of heavy items (household appliances) and rubbish.
Check our site for details.
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#46 - We lose one of our own

Our Tribute to Andrée Laviolette

The area that makes up Blue Jay and Forest Hill is but a thin ring on the tree of life compared to the old oak with its hundreds of rings and history that makes up this old community of Rockland and Clarence and the hamlets and farms that extend south from the Ottawa River. Most of us who moved in when this quarter was developed can only claim passage back ten or twelve years. But when you put your heart and soul into your home, when you take the time to engage your fellow citizens, when you share the good and tough times with new neighbours who quickly become lasting friends, changes to your circle affect each and every one.
Over the past decade we have seen many people move or transferred, new home owners sadly lose their dwellings when mortgages were unsurmountable, seniors forced to vacate when a partner turned ill, young families torn by separation, and dear companions taken away in death. The moves, the changes, the separations are often tough to deal with, but a loss to dying is even more lamentable.
One such loss was in the recent passing of our neighbour Andrée Laviolette. Only a Blue Jay resident for a heartbeat in time, she already made an impression with many of us and took to the community like it was to be a long time duty, her long-lasting home. That's the dream that she and partner Brent MacIntosh shared when they settled into their new Cardinal Crescent home.
Educated in Quebec and employed in the Ottawa hi-tech field both in government and industry, Andrée loved to work with computers. She and Brent moved to Clarence-Rockland in the summer of 2001.

Andrée Laviolette and Brent MacIntosh

They immediately took to the country life, its peace and quiet, the warm summer nights of star gazing that only the clear rural sky can give, the encounters that many of us have with a variety of feathered friends some new and so spectacular that invoked her to set up two bird feeders
The couple delighted in biking, roller blading or simply walking around the neighbourhood and with her love of animals, Andrée enjoyed the addition of little Abbey, their beagle. She had numerous encounters with mother nature that included snakes (which she hated), deer (crossing Canaan), a moose (which was walking down the street in front of her home) and a black bear on Wilhaven. Like many of us with a dog, her walks with Abbey would help her to meet some of the neighbours and then tell Brent who's who.
Andrée was very family oriented, always thinking of others before herself. The couple led busy social lives between friends, family and close relations, traveling across the region from Hull to Cumberland, from Buckingham to Glengarry County, always with Abbey in tow.
"Andrée and I knew we were very lucky to be a part of this community," says Brent. Your kindness and wishes are very much appreciated and we thank everyone for the support."
Andrée was only 28. Our hearts and our condolences go out to her partner and to her family.

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#30 - (More to be updated)
More columns will be added as time permits...  
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#29 - Good neighbours deserve our respect

Corrado, Antonio and Josie Falcucci work on their annual trail clean-up. (Photo-Meikle)

(VISION - January 24, 2003) Antonio Falcucci, his wife Lucia and their five children, Lina, Matteo, Franco, Corrado and Josie moved onto Canaan Road nearly 20 years ago.

They are wonderful neighbours whose property, a treasure of forest and nature runs the southern length of Blue Jay Ridge, protecting us from development and giving us a large "park" to enjoy.

They respect and care for the community and once a year clear the paths of fallen trees and dead wood, paths that Antonio cleared with a bulldozer, years ago when he was still operating heavy machinery. This recent photo shows Corrado, Antonio and Josie during the annual chore.
This time unfortunately, they had to put up several "no trespassing" signs around the perimeters because they have had problems with invading four-wheeled ATVs clashing with their nature trails. Thoughtless operators have been driving through the woods, particularly when the ground is soft, tearing up the paths. They often come to the end of the path that leads to the family home, and finding it a dead end, loop around back to the path, not only ripping up the yard but disturbing the peaceful atmosphere.

Antonio welcomes foot traffic, even the occasional four-hoofed (horse) kind, to share his forest, but he discourages ATV use and asks for vigilance especially during the soft spring and fall seasons. Surely this fine neighbour deserves our respect.
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#19 - #28 - (Missing columns will be updated soon!)
Watch for
to come...
to come...
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#18 - Stupidity -vs- Ignorance ? There is a difference

(VISION - July 26, 2002) I can't believe it! Are some people stupid... (pause) or ignorant? Just a scant six weeks after the big spring clean-up, which included a large portion of Canaan Road being spruced up by Blue Jay Forest Hill locals, the road litter is starting to pile up again. Tires, beer and liquor bottles, paper, plastic bags (some with doggie doo), cardboard, and volumes of fast food containers.

Oh yes, Tim Horton coffee drinkers still hold the number one place for littering, followed in a close second by McDonald bingers.

And it's not just the pristine country roads and ditches that are targets for these thickheaded, uninformed, dopey droppers – our residential streets are also being used as convenient garbage dumps for these simpletons.

The problem is we are probably wasting our time writing about it, or even requesting anti-dumping signs, because these dweebs probably can't read anyway.
Another call for Neighbourhood Watch
Some of our neighbours and friends in the area have been the victims of minor thefts and damage. Nothing big, and nothing that they feel is important enough to call the police. But it is annoying nevertheless to have your roadside mailbox, address post, or advertising sign broken or destroyed. Kids? Vengeance? Who knows.

Again, perhaps it's time to resurrect the old Neighbourhood Watch or community group. We have had some feedback and willingness by a few to participate, but we'll need more expressions of interest before we can all on our local OPP to assist us. If you have a genuine enthusiasm in getting involved, please send us a note to:

On a more positive note... blueberries!
The Reynolds' Canaan Blueberry fields are opening this week for the first full season of "pick-your-own" baskets.

The blueberries are ready!

Coming from a long line of saskatoon pickers in southwest Saskatchewan and wild blueberries west of Sudbury, I can tell you that you will have to go a long way to find such large, luscious, good-tasting fruit as these wholesome, organically-grown beauties. And while you are there, be sure to ask for their fresh, "this season" honey, made right on site.

The fields are easy to find... from Highway 174 (old 17), south, almost to the end of the pavement, to the corner of Canaan Road and Blue Jay Road.

The Canaan Blueberries sign is easy to spot.

Just watch the drive along Canaan Road, it's still being used as a testing road for new vehicles... in fact word has it that the Armed Forces are looking at it to test their armoured personnel vehicles, since their Orleans location is no longer available.

And what about Canaan Road?
"Good news!" says Public Works director Richard Sarazin. Just this past Monday evening the tendering process was completed and Dibblee Construction was awarded the contract. The work will start as soon as things can be coordinated with the City of Ottawa, who by-the-way have done the preparation and duct work for traffic lights at the intersection of Canaan and Highway 174.
Richard says that Canaan Road will be completely rebuilt. The present road will be fully ground to a depth of eight inches and used as a base. Then six inches of granular material will be added before the new pavement is laid. With a little luck all of the work will be completed in time for the new school and work season.

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#17 - Dog days of summer - Part II

(VISION - July 19, 2002) The last time, we addressed the concerns raised when seemingly docile pet dogs not under the control of their owners run off the property and create a menacing situation for other animals or peoples. We then outlined the bylaw provisions with respect to owners' responsibilities for controlling their pets. This week we are going to outline how you... er... handle poop, a concern that is becoming more visible in some areas.
What's the scoop on poop
Clarence-Rockland has a common bylaw for the entire region. Yves Rivard, the director of our Municipal Law Enforcement Division says it is the owner's responsibility to pick up after a dog on any public property including a street, sidewalk or a road (like Canaan or Vinette). Living in a semi-rural area does not give the owner the right to leave Fido's little treasures behind. The City maintains a zero tolerance policy when it comes to doggie doo and the fine is $105 with surcharges. If you are having problems with wayward poopers, call the municipality.

(Check out our
Pet Page for more!)

Picking up poop isn't pleasant, especially in the summer when it's hot and the weather is too. At least in the winter we owners get a bit of a break when things semi-freeze and a snow cover makes picking up easier. Many owners prefer to let their pets vacate on their own property, then pick up at their leisure. This is O.K. if you clean up quickly, but some home owners wait a long time, or never pick up at all, and this creates a real annoyance for abutting neighbours, especially if the wind is blowing the wrong way. This may even cause environmental concerns and is suspect in more than a few e-coli counts in local water testing.

What to use

Using plastic bags is my preferred method, especially when I am walking my pet, but make sure there are not holes in the plastic (yuck!). A small garden trowel is also helpful if you don't like the feel on your hands through thin plastic.

And if you don't like to get near the doo, and don't like the stooping part, you can buy a long-handled, or lever-controlled scoops that not only makes the pickup more pleasant, it also contains and holds the treasure.

Dog licensing
Dogs are required to have a tag which should be securely attached. The license acts as a "passport to your dog," says Yves Rivard and is helpful in finding an owner because the records tell who you are and where you live.
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#16 - Dog days of summer

(VISION - July 12, 2002) The "dog days of summer" usually refer to the hottest, muggiest part of the summer season, between July 3 and August 11. The expression originated in early times when Sirius (the dog star) was prominent in the summer skies.
My dog days of summer has another meaning. It started with an offensive experience when Anabel (our golden retriever) was threatened by a neighbourhood dog that was not in full control by the owner, ran the length of a yard, onto the middle of the road and circled our pet. It actually took a nip of fur from Anabel's left flank, and after some shouting on our part and commands from the yard, retreated back onto the property.

Fortunately there was no injury but the incident left both my partner and I, and Anabel, shaken and stressed. We were also angry and wondered if we should walk that way again.
Delicate situation
This experience has been shared by others, not only from the offending canine but by several different dogs around the community. The problem is delicate. What to do about? By and large we have excellent neighbours and residents, and to lodge a complaint with City officials would probably alienate friends and acquaintances around us.

People think they know their pets
The problem lies in the fact that people think they know their pets. "My dog never leaves our property," says one neighbour. "Our Fido doesn't bite," says another. Well, you are both wrong! Fido may not leave the property when you are around and Fido may not bite people. However when Fido sees other animals about, Fido reacts differently and Fido may become a threat both to the other animals and to the people who are in control of those animals... be they dogs, cats or horses.

Be aware of the bylaw
We don't want to alienate neighbours, but it is important for us to be aware of our rights and responsibilities. Here is what Yves Rivard, the director of our Municipal Law Enforcement Division has to say, referring to the municipality's dog bylaw:

  • the owner is one hundred per cent responsible for the dog's behaviour
  • the dog must be under the full control of the owner or a competent person (not for example a child who cannot control a dog if it starts to pull on its leash)
  • if the dog is off the property limits it must be fully controlled and on a leash (this includes a neighbour's property or City property including streets.)

If a charge is laid the dog owner is liable for a fine of $75 and surcharges that total up to $85. If there are further instances, an owner could be summoned to court and fines could range up to $5000.

Next time, what's the scoop on poop, littering and dumping?

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#15 - Blue Jay - Forest Hill! Is it time to revive our community group?
(VISION - July 5, 2002) I am not a joiner. It probably comes from my days as an RCMP in small prairie towns. I stopped too many doctors, lawyers, priests and aldermen traveling at high speeds through radar. I was fair and equal – I gave them all speeding tickets, if they were over the ten-mile-tolerance. But my job made it difficult to join the Lions, the Legion, the Knights or the Masons (Yes I got invitations from all!)
But now the time is right and I would like to join. I would like to join in on a BJFH community association. Friends and neighbours, we are due to revive our old association that proved so useful in the early days when our quarter was being butchered and bent by the former builder.
I know some of you are not joiners either, but there are too many issues that we can't tackle as individuals. Thefts and break-ins demand a solid Neighbourhood watch. Community issues like the water need a better way of being communicated. And our isolation from the rest of the City requires a unified voice to deal with issues from trails to taxes. When is the last time you saw your councillor in the area?
Strawberries, blueberries - pick your own on Canaan
Two excellent picking properties are available to you on Canaan Road, near Blue Jay.

The Marier Strawberry farm, a long-time institution in the area, has fresh strawberries to grace your table and summer school kids are coming by the busload to fill their baskets. Call ahead: 833-3042.

A new blueberry patch is developing nicely thanks to the Reynolds family, also long time residents. The size of their blueberries will astonish you, but the real treasure is in the taste. Now if we could just find a source for good old country cream. Watch for their opening coming in July.
Traces of clean-up ‘n garbage
Amazing how the huge amounts of refuse and rubbish have disappeared after the spring clean-up. However many old fridges, freezers and piles of tires are still sprinkled around the area.

These are items that if you read the notices will not be removed. The only fridges and freezers that were taken away were those with a technician certificate showing that the "ozone-harmful" freon gas has been removed.

Three-bag rule encourages composting and recycling

It's good to see that the refuse crews are enforcing the three-bag-only garbage rule. And they are being sensible about it. They know that some households occasionally have an extra bag or two after a move or party, but they are going after the families that consistently try to cram seven or more garbage bags into the large plastic containers. A little more recycling will help.

Summer safety for kids and pets
KidsProtect says As families get set for summer, steps should be considered to protect their children's health. Whether the fun involves camping, field trips, sports or other recreation, children with mild to severe medical conditions, from food or insect allergies to asthma and diabetes, are at risk. Their Website offers more help:
And pets also need special attention in the summer. The number one danger is leaving pets unattended in a hot vehicle. Look for more tips on our Website, under "
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#14 -More on spring clean-up, be a good neighbour

Judging by the heaps of refuse still lying by the curb sides even up until Wednesday, me thinks the City has been overwhelmed by the response of its citizens in our contributions to the spring clean-up. It has been amazing to see what some households have been throwing out and equally interesting to see the scavengers driving around at all hours of the day, (and night on our street) packing their trucks, trailers and trunks with other people's throw-a-ways.
Let's give a big salute first to the City of Clarence-Rockland and their staff for the tremendous initiative and effort in making this clean-up possible and for the extra hours it is taking them to remove all of our rubbish.

A great crew works Cardinal Crescent

Then let's give another salute to the many scavengers who have removed tonnes of material from the roadsides.

It really is true... what is one person's trash is another person treasure. We should encourage more inter-community "trading" during these clean-up weeks because it reduces the junk going to the landfill. But you have to be quick. I spotted a perfectly good exercise bike while walking my golden retriever and by the time I got back to it with my van, it was gone!

 Poor clean-up sense offers the raspberries
Unfortunately we have to blow a few raspberries to the thoughtless people who took advantage of the City's efforts. Mayor Jean-Pierre Pierre called it "outrageous" that some families were taking in other's garbage from outside the community to be carted away while others were being less than reasonable in the amounts left to be picked up.

"We'll (City council) have to reconsider the way it's done and the amount that is allowed," said the mayor, who suggested that the clean-up would not be cancelled because it gives people a hand and encourages recycling and the three garbage bag limit.

 Canaan Road clean-up: Congratulations to the Oakwood boys
A huge round of applause to the ten men and boys, four father and son teams, who by themselves cleaned up the ditches on Canaan Road from the end of the pavement, north to Baseline Road a distance of almost two kilometres.

Part of the clean-up crew

The crew consisted of Ray and Corey Clarke, Remi, Andrew and Eric Guindon, Brent, Christopher and Jonathan Neidy, known as the Oakwood boys, and Mario and Eric Lacoursiere from Blue Jay Ridge.

Then if cleaning the ditches wasn't enough, Remi and Brent did something the City hasn't been able to do, they trimmed the long grass on the sides of Canaan Road, from Oakwood to Baseline and back! Congratulations team, your community is proud of you!
We must not forget to thank Public Works director Richard Sarazin and his staff member Maurice Wolf for providing some supplies and road work signs.
Hopefully next time we will get more people out. It is our intention to make Canaan Road an "adopt-a-road" project from Highway 174 south to the end of the pavement.

Be mindful of your neighbours with your dogs, cats ‘n garbage
When I was delivering notices about the road clean up and other Canaan news to our neighbours between Canaan and Joanisse Roads, I found there were three major complaints that kept coming up.
1) Dogs crapping on neighbours lawns;
2) Cats shatting in neighbours flower beds; and
3) Garbage blowing around and into neighbours yards.
Please be mindful of your neighbours rights and concerns. These things create neighbourhood tensions which in turn lead to fights and fences.
If you have a complaint, says Mayor Pierre, send it in writing to the City. A copy is sent to your councillor and another copy to the appropriate department. There is a procedure in place whereby the complaint is addressed and followed up. Be assured that the complaint is kept confidential and by putting it in writing you commit yourself to being serious about the grievance.

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#13 - Spring Clean-up, back to the land

The Clarence-Rockland annual spring clean-up has been on since May 27 for the Rockland area and starting this coming week the clean-up will take place in what was the former area of Clarence Creek. This will include the Blue Jay Ridge and Forest Hill subdivisions. This is your chance to rid your house and garage of unused items and rubbish. The Lalonde Road landfill site in Bourget will also be open for the next two weekends and there will be no charge for most items being dropped off, except for asphalt shingles and old tires.
Make sure your old fridges have the doors off and a licensed technician certificate showing that the gas has been removed.

For full details
click here.

Canaan Road clean-up
A number of neighbours have suggested that we pitch in to pitch out the garbage and debris along Canaan Road. The usual winter's accumulation of bottles, coffee cups, fast food containers, etc., are now cluttering the ditches.
Saturday, June 8 has been designated as Canaan Clean-up day so the call is going out for volunteers. If you and your family can supply a little time and elbow grease, it shouldn't take us long to do the job. Let's make the starting time 9:00 a.m.

Public Works director Richard Sarazin has offered to assist us by supplying garbage bags and road-work warning signs. Maybe we can talk our friendly business merchants into supplying juices and coffee?

If the clean-up is successful, we hope to introduce the "Adopt-a-Highway" program along the road so we can continue a regular spring and fall cleaning.
For those of you not on the Internet, you can call me at 833-0057.

Back to the land

Our residents are getting back to their lawns and gardens in great numbers and it's good to see the green again. We want to express our concerns about the use of pesticides and remind our neighbours to keep in mind the children, pets and wildlife around you, when spraying your yards. More and more companies are using organic materials to fertilize and suppress weeds. It may take a year or two to kick in, but think of the boost you are giving to the environment.

Spring birds

City dwellers like myself have discovered many rich treasures by moving out to the rural environs. The fresh air, the quietness, the wildlife and the birds. We have identified over 80 species just around the Canaan area and more sightings are coming in all the time. If you would like to participate, check out our birding Web page.
More news on the C.C.
Wish we had more room, but editor Paulo has a hard enough time finding the space for things.
So check out the Website for a story on the membership drive for the
Cumberland Village Tennis Club,

our nine-year-old world champion blue belt karate winner,
Patrick Brisbois from Blue Jay Ridge and...

Joan Binda's
remarkable recipe site.
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#12 - Neighbourly news, local happenings

As the weather warms up it's good to see friends and neighbours out and about catching up or helping each other.

Kudos to the neighbours who helped a grieving widow through he pain of selling off her soulmate's effects and prepare to leave their retirement dream home.

To the neighbour who fixed the row of new trees for another. To the father of three who drains a water-ponding ditch to make the street safe for all the other children. And to the rest of you who make our community a nice place to live.

Canaan Road update
For those of you who missed the news, the Canaan Road will be reconstructed this year, from Highway 174, south to the Blue Jay Ridge. Be patient though because the project will take some time. Tenders will be called within the next two weeks but by the time recommendations for a contractor are presented to Council and the actual work is completed, we'll be looking at July.

Our councillor, Philippe Saumure is trying to have the pavement extended south about 1000 yards, to include the homes at the bottom of the hill past Blue Jay Drive.
One Cardinal Crescent mother of three suggested widening the road between Blue Jay and Forest Hill to include a bicycle lane for the families and kids who travel between the two sub-divisions to Cathy Cain Park. An excellent idea but probably too late to include in this year's budget. Think about it – what would it cost you to put in the equivalent of about 60 - 100 driveways?

Bike routes
And speaking of bike lanes, the City has designated $60 thousand to integrate local bike paths into the larger bike routes planned for the County.

Some of the route signs were installed last fall and you can see some of them at the corner of Canaan and Blue Jay and Canaan and Vinette. Pick up your route maps at City Hall.

Recreation survey
Last month the City delivered a Community Activities and Citizen's Guide to each home. This excellent resource booklet also contained a questionnaire asking residents for input into the proposed Recreation and Cultural Complex. The questionnaire was also published in the May 3 Vision, under the City's Vox Populi section. If you missed the opportunity, recreation director Thérèse Lefaivre says that the deadline has been extended to May 24. You can pick up a copy of the Questionnaire at City Hall where it can be returned either by hand or by fax.

Community events
We try to keep you informed about community events and we ask individuals and organizations to contact the Canaan Connexion either by e-mail or by phone (833-0057). Here are a few happenings:
May 25/26 - Annual Cumberland Museum Heritage Festival and Power Show;
May 25 - Rockland 4th Annual Walleye fishing derby;
May 25 - Annual Cumberland Car Rally.

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#11 - Spring, summer, spring mourning

Just when we started sipping coolers on the back deck and watching the spring birds return – wham! Another snow storm. Now if I was back home in Saskabush I could live with it; some of our biggest blizzards hit us in April, but Ottawa, come on.
Septic - antiseptic
If you are new to the country like we were and have not been on a well and septic system before, this might be a good time to think about having your septic tank pumped and your well water tested. Here off the Canaan Road, a number of our neighbours have never had this done and they have run into grief.
Septic tanks must be drained regularly otherwise they may back up into your home or overflow into your yard. How often your tank should be pumped depends on the number of family members and how heavy the use. The average may vary from two to five years.
If you don't remember the last time your septic tank was cleaned out, better have it done to play it safe. We recommend Bob Brazeau's Bourget Sanitation at 487-3954.

Water testing
Well water should be tested at least two times a year – in the spring when the levels are high and in the fall when the water table level is lower. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit which has an office in Rockland at 2884 Chamberland (across the street from Soucy Ford) has testing bottles you can pick up and drop off. The service is free and should be done from Monday to Wednesday during the Ontario labour dispute.
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Community in mourning
"We are very sad to inform you that Donna Jordan, a grade 4 teacher at Pope John Paul II Catholic Elementary school in Hammond, died in a car accident on her way to school this morning."
This was the beginning of a news release issued by the school on April 29. A death in the community is always a tragedy, but when it happens accidentally and so close to home we all feel a sense of loss. When it happens to highly respected member of the community who had such a positive influence over so many young people, the loss is devastating. Our hearts and our prayers go out to the family, the school and the community beyond.

Popular teacher Donna Jordan, shown with her husband Dan and their two children Victoria, 5, and Chris, 7, died Monday, April 29, from injuries in a three-vehicle accident just down the road from the school where she taught.
(Photo courtesy - Ottawa Citizen)

The hydro hop
Many of us get our electricity from Hydro One. With deregulation, which was supposed to happen on May 1, the market for electricity is wide open which means that new private companies can start to charge for electricity. The issue is a confusing one and now compounded since an Ontario superior court ruled that the Ontario Government could not sell Hydro One. Find out more about this story on our Web site.

#10 - Rogues, rumours and road refuse

Across the political border to the east, provincial agriculture minister Brian Coburn was unceremoniously dumped by the new premier to a lower associate minister position.
No word as to why and we'll have to wait and see what effects it will have locally... we're thinking Sarsfield pork factory? Too bad, Brian is a fine gentleman, who knows the area and issues from his many years as a local rural resident and former mayor of Cumberland.
The nice thing about being in opposition is that these things don't usually happen. Our representative is MPP Jean-Marc Lalonde,
who has been good enough to send the CC his columns to share with our Web visitors.
And speaking of columns, we have asked a number of our local municipal politicians to send us their writings to share ward information with our readers. The invitation is out so it is over to you lady and gentlemen.
Rumours on Videotron
Our Quebec house guests were waxing their usual philosophical, political and financial opinions last weekend, which included the rumour (?) that Videotron, our purveyors of cable-TV and fast I-Net service, were close to bankrupt. Some of us in the Rockland area may have thought so on Tuesday evening, when our Internet connections were knocked out for several hours. Apparently someone fouled up during their regular electronic address updates. They ran out of addresses and we ran out of browser use.
Road refuse... Tim's wins
With the early exit of snow, our ditches are revealing the souvenirs left over thanks to some trash-retarded passing drivers... coffee cups, beer bottles, pop cans, cigarette packs, grease containers, bags of fast food refuse, even tires and a deer's head.

Our unofficial count along Canaan Road has Tim Horton coffee drinkers leading the garbage trail by about two-to-one.

Obviously the reminder not to litter on Timmy's coffee cups is lost on these ignorant souls... they probably can't read anyway so they certainly won't see this.

Community clean-up needed
We think it's time for a community clean-up of the local roads and ditches. How about it readers? Can we get some volunteers to organize a local "Adopt-a-highway" program, as the Bahai's have done along Highway 17 to the east of us? The CC would love to participate.
Spring sightings... no chickens
Haven't seen any spring chickens, but a flock of about 15 wild turkeys was spotted along the top of the hill on Canaan Road. CC managed to get a few pics. Two deer were also seen feeding on Marier's strawberry patch and the early blooming crocuses are out in abundance. Check out our birding page for more feathered spring sightings.
Unfortunately the road kill has started early... rabbits, muskrats, groundhogs and the odd frog.
The turtle warning signs that we see hereabouts should remind us to watch out for all things living that cross our roads. Let's try to avoid our natural heritage... even the frogs and toads have a useful purpose.
Another water warning
A parent asked us to put in another warning to children about the danger of high water in local creeks and ditches. The cold, fast-moving flows can be deadly... so please remind your children. We have a few photos on the CC Web site showing some of the local hazards.
Vox Populi
From the City of C-R in the last Vision: Several seasonal stints "salarying" summer students. Check out the opportunities with City Hall.

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#9 - Canaan, communications and computers

Good news for Canaanites
Public Works director, Richard Sarazin has informed us that reconstruction of the Canaan Road from Highway 17 south to the end of the pavement near Blue Jay Drive, will begin as soon as possible. An agreement has been worked out with the City of Ottawa and verified by both councils. The work will be put out for tenders and will include grinding the current asphalt, adding six inches of stone, repaving the surface and "spot ditching" where it is needed.
Ottawa will cover 100 per cent of the cost of the road from Wilhaven to the highway and the cost from Wilhaven to Blue Jay will be shared.
"This is a big plus," says Sarazin. The money will be coming out of capital budgets.
Traffic lights
In a related matter, regarding traffic lights for the intersection of Canaan Road and the highway, the City of Ottawa, says Richard Sarazin is completely responsible for this intersection. The border line is evidently just east of the Double-D Ranch barn and it was Ottawa that installed the current flashing lights.
Ottawa will do a traffic analysis in the spring to determine traffic counts, accident rates, etc. When this is completed, Rockland will get a copy of the study and determine what steps to take at that time.
Continuing saga
In the meantime, to curb current conditions, the City of Ottawa has decreased the speed limit along the rougher parts of Canaan Road to 50 kilometers... yet some drivers still streak along.

Wonder who pays for their repairs?

C-R communicates through Vision
A reminder to residents that our City of Clarence-Rockland communicates information to us through our local community newspaper, Vision, in a section called Vox Populi. It is apparent that not everyone reads this information as a few neighbours missed out on the Easter waste collection schedule in the March.
Other highlights from this issue included: an update on public transportation (nothing new); a job opportunity (bylaw officer); notice

of the passing of an interim control by-law prohibiting "intensive livestock operations" in certain areas (i.e. Pig farms); and notice of dog license renewals (If you missed the March 31 deadline, the fee is up to $25 from $15).

The City is also on the Internet at:

Their Web site offers helpful information about the various departments, services, members of council and a useful ward map (the Canaan Connexion is in Ward 5).
Unfortunately current information, council meetings, etc. is not yet available online, and some of the items are out of date (i.e.: under Fire Dept., Paul Laframboise is no longer the chief).
Connexion crash?!
To the regular visitors to the Canaan Connexion Web site who have wondered why the pages have not changed in the past ten days, or why I have not answered any e-mail... blame it on a major computer crash. Thanks to Jeff Luttmer at Rockland's newest computer store, Compufix (next to Fleuriste Creations Par Roxanne), I was able to save most of my data, however when the old ‘puter was brought back to life, I had lost enough programs that I could not access most of the software.
Now outfitted with a new system, I am feverishly trying to get back up to speed and hope to have things back to normal as you read this column.
Spring water warning
The creeks and ditches have started their spring run and you know how kids love to go near the water... so a reminder to parents to warn your children. We have put a few photos on the C.C. Web site showing some of the local hazards.

Part of the Beckett Creek tributary running through the Blue Jay - Forest Hill area and on to the Canaan Road, seen here.

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#8 - Spring, skies and creeks rise
What happened to spring?!
I flew back from Vancouver on Monday and landing in Ottawa we didn't see the ground until seconds before the plane touched the runway. The little blizzard was a surprise to all on board. I had just put my snow blower away last week.
It wasn't any better on the coast. The plane was delayed for almost two hours while we waited to have the wings de-iced from snow. Only the day before I admired apple trees in blossom.
Flying and security
Traveling the Canadian skies seemed normal after the attacks of September 11, except for security. Be prepared for longer lineups through security and get ready to turn on any electronic devices including laptops, cameras, CD players, etc. If you reserve your ticket by phone or on the Internet, and have e-mail, Air Canada will send your flight I.D number and itinerary. Showing your computer print-out will allow you to avoid the lineups at the Ottawa airport if you only have carry-on luggage. I sailed through security and check-in under 20 minutes.
Flight service, unfortunately is another story. For national flights we have only three choices: WestJet, Air Canada and Tango (an AC alternative).
They all have similar fares, depending on how early you reserve. However direct flights may be a problem ( several touchdowns or routing through Toronto/Hamilton with long layovers). Flight crews do their best but they were short about 20 meals on the way to the coast.
Spring water warning
The creeks and ditches have started their spring run and you know how kids love to go near the water... so a reminder to parents to warn your children. We have put a few photos on the C.C. Web site showing some of the local hazards.
Is Canaan construction coming?
A few of our Canaan colleagues have told us that they have heard from city officials that the road will be repaired this summer. I have not been able to confirm this as the public works department have not returned any phone calls, however, Leslie from Cardinal Crescent shared the following, which was e-mailed from a City of Ottawa official:

"I am in receipt of your email concerning the condition of Canaan Road along the boundary of the City of Ottawa ( former Cumberland ) and Clarence-Rockland. We recognize the poor condition of the road and have recently met with staff from Clarence-Rockland to discuss short term and longer term repairs. We are looking to have funds from both municipalities identified in this years (sic) budget to carry out repairs. As a very short term repair we will fill potholes and monitor on a regular basis..."
"We are looking at pulverizing the existing surface, adding gravel, ditching and new asphalt if the funding is approved. If approved work could commence following the removal of the half load restrictions, probably in June."
Sarsfield farm pigs out
The debate continues on the proposed Sarsfield hog operation. There is no middle ground. People are either adamantly against it or quietly for it. The loudest voice comes from the opposers, lead by the group Protect our Rural Community (PORC).
We have spoken to residents on both sides of the question and it is our view that many of the protesters are not necessarily members of the farming community, but rather residents who live in the country but work in the city. Many of the local (dairy, chicken) farmers we have spoken to feel that the hog farm should be allowed. They are just more quiet about the views.
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#7 - Road-hogs (More on Canaan, more on hog farm)

More Canaan complaints
Last time we highlighted the miserable condition of Canaan Road and included one resident's letter to this editor about his personal experience and damage to his vehicle. It was surprising to see the very next working day after the column came out, a road crew patching the patches from the top of the hill, south to Willhaven. (By-the-way, it was a City of Ottawa crew.)

We also received more e-mail:
1. L.D. writes:
Do you have any idea if the cities of Rockland and Cumberland(sic Ottawa) have any plans of repaving Canaan road anytime soon. The condition is deplorable and the abuse that our vehicles are taking this year... wow!. I've seen a few crews (from Cumberland) trying to fill the holes but to no avail.
2. D.B. writes:
I think anyone who has lived in the area for more than a few years has been "bitten" at least once by this road. It was 3 years ago that one of my daughters slid into the ditch because of the angled surface, heaved up by the frost. She was promptly followed within 5 minutes by another car, exactly the same spot, same angle, same ditch, it came to rest less than a foot from her rear bumper. She was still in her car, as it was on its side, and watched the other car do exactly what hers had, and thought it was going to hit her. Thank God! the following car was not traveling fast.
And coincidentally to the column, we learned that a local car dealership uses Canaan Road whenever a customer wants to test drive a new vehicle. They figure if the car stands up to Canaan Road, it will stand up to anything!
Traffic lights
It's in the works. The City of Clarence- Rockland is working on getting a traffic light at Canaan and the highway. Problem is expense. Council has sent out a letter to both the City of Ottawa and the United Counties of Prescott-Russell in order to split the cost three ways.

Sarsfield farm pigs out
The debate continues on the proposed Sarsfield hog operation. There is no middle ground. People are either adamantly against it or quietly for it. The loudest voice comes from the opposers, lead by the group Protect our Rural Community (PORC).
We have spoken to residents on both sides of the question and it is our view that many of the protesters are not necessarily members of the farming community, but rather residents who live in the country but work in the city. Many of the local (dairy, chicken) farmers we have spoken to feel that the hog farm should be allowed. They are just more quiet about the views.
Touring hogs Quebec
On Wednesday, Feb. 27, the owners of the Sarsfield site, offered a day-long tour of several hog operations in Quebec. The tour members that we spoke to were very impressed with how clean and controlled the farms were run. In fact the touring group was only allowed to view one actual interior from the doorway, so as to avoid any possible bacterial contamination from outside.

Nutrient Management meets hog howlers
On Thursday, Feb. 28, Agricultural Minister Brian Coburn held an information session at the old Cumberland Town Hall, to outline proposed Bill 81, the Nutrient Management Act. The theatre was filled with several hundred interested people, with a split of perhaps 60/40 against the hog farm. The highlight was perhaps the insistence of Cumberland councillor Phil McNeeley that he be allowed equal time to express the concerns of Ottawa City Council.

Having trouble getting onto the highway?

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#6 - Canaan Olympics (moguls, slaloms, aerials)
Moguls, slaloms, and aerials
You don’t have to go to Salt lake City to compete in the moguls, aerials or giant slalom... just drive Canaan Road. You won’t win any medals but if you are lucky you won’t damage your vehicle either.

Moguls are mounds and lumps, some natural and others created by (skiers) drivers. They resemble little hills in the middle of trails, and Canaan has them all. If you're a mogul masher or want to improve your bump technique, this is the place to do it.

How to drive it? Mark White who specialized in moguls when he was on the US Ski Team says: “Look for the path of least resistence. Imagine a basketball rolling down the hill, the path the ball takes is the same path you'll want to take.” Yeah, right!

Slaloms are zigzag courses. This is what you have to drive to get around the many frost boils, dips, dives and potholes that make up this road.

Aerials (let’s hope nobody tries these) are the acrobatics and somersaults that happen when the contestants “take off” after hitting a mogul or large dip.

Canaan is the king of bad roads
Canaan Road is a bloody disgrace. There is no other word to use. It continues to deteriorate. In the ten years that I have driven it, it has never been repaired properly and only token band-aid work has been done to patch the ever growing potholes and loose asphalt. Today the road is the worst it has ever been and I defy any sane driver to go over 60 kilometres on the stretch from the top of the hill, south to Baseline, without losing a piece of your vehicle or imperiling others.
One resident’s experience
"I wanted to mention something that happened to me this week on the beautiful bumpy and beat up Canaan Road. I was driving northbound on Canaan (I usually try to stay in the middle of the road) just past 1770 I hit a huge pothole hidden by the snow. Needless to say I blew my passenger side tire and was very lucky that there wasn't a car in the southbound lane. Unfortunately I had to replace both rear tires, mine were already new, at a cost of $275.00.

I just wanted to share this story with you because you had mentioned there had been numerous complaints about this dangerous roadway. Anyway it has been reported to the City of Ottawa and I am submitting my bill this weekend."

We missed the boat

Clarence-Rockland missed out a few years ago on getting Canaan Road fixed. A former Cumberland mayor told the Canaan Connexion last week that he approached our city some time back to have the two municipalities work together to have the boundary road brought up to standards (it needs to be completely rebuilt with a new base). He says that at that time our city did not have the money so the project was put on the back burner. Now of course it is too late and we may not see the road fixed... if not in our lifetime then certainly in the lifetime of some of our vehicles, whose lives are being shortened by the constant pounding they are taking driving the road.
Driving on deteriorated roads costs motorists billions a year, or hundreds per motorist, due to tire wear, damage to shock absorbers and wheel alignment and extra fuel consumption.
To be fair
... to the current council, we’re talking pre-amalgamation... when we along the east side of the road lived in the Township of Clarence Creek, and the western side was part of the old Rural Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton.
Traffic light
What’s happening with the traffic light situation at Canaan and the highway? More on that next time.

Hog farm Petition
If you are concerned about the consequences of the Sarsfield hog farm, you can lend your voice to the current petition.

The proposed site of the hog farm, looking east from Lafleur Road.

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#5 - Hog - wash!
Six degrees of separation
There is a premise that everyone is related... if you go back far enough. If you're a believer you'll say that Adam and Eve started it all.
There is a similar supposition that suggests we are all connected by only six degrees of separation. That is to say that if we dug into it we would find that each one of us has someone or something in common with the other and we could, through just five or six intermediaries, be linked to millions of others.
And so it is with two separate stories that have come to our attention in the past six to eight months. One is the now defunct Blue Jay - Forest Hill (BJFH) water project, the other is the proposed hog farm down the road in Sarsfield.
Hog farm
The planned piggery has raised squeals of protest not to mention alliterative headlines. People are saying that a farm of such magnitude, some reports say up to 2,800 swine, would create such a foul smell that we wouldn't be able to sit on our porches and decks if the wind was blowing the wrong way.
"Under the right conditions, like heat, humidity and wind, the stench could blanket much of the east end," said a Citizen article.
Another concern (here comes the six degrees of separation), is the danger of polluted water as a result of spreading tonnes of pig manure over local fields. Some believe that the aquifer (ground
water under the direct influence of surface water) is all connected and that what affects Sarsfield may very well flow towards Clarence-Rockland. (This remains to be seen.)
Water wells
Now that we have so smugly turned off the water project to BJFH, we may some day come to regret the collective community decision. At a time when the world's rivers, lakes and oceans seem to be shrinking (a recent report suggests that Great Lakes shipping may be affected this year), and with the real possibility that our own water supply may not be endless, we must make informed decisions that are not based on the cost factor only.
I for one am disappointed that one person was able to singlehandedly raise an objection that turfed out BJFH from the project. I believe the collective reasoning brought on by the petition was done without all of the facts. And that the biggest objection was based on the potential cost.
We could have waited at least until the Province came up with a dollar figure, weighed all the facts and then made a thoughtful decision. We still could have backed out at that time. Now we're buggered and we may very well ending up spending more in the long run. If we lose our water we'll be left to our own resources and they won't be natural.
Petition against Hog Farm
If you are concerned about the consequences of the hog farm, you can sign the petition. This one may do us more good.
Feed the birds
A reminder that now is the time to keep our feeders full. Check our site for more information.
So far the municipal employees strike has not affected the road and refuse services. The City is assuring us that these services will be maintained.
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#4 - Year out, year in
Happy New Year everyone.
January news is filled with year-end memories and new year's resolutions. 2001 will always be remarkable for September 11 a day that for many has changed lives forever. Those of us who are fifty-plus can only compare the Kennedy Assassination in its magnitude. Not even Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, the wars in Korea, Viet Nam or "the Gulf" can compare. Perhaps if you are over 60, the last Great War or Pearl Harbor will evoke equal emotions. Let those of us who have not been directly affected be thankful, and share the grief for those who lost friends and loved ones.
On a personal level, 2001 was a challenge. I saw my mother reduced from a self-supporting, vibrant, independent woman to a dependant resident of a long-term care hospital, but always maintaining her dignity. I lost two fine aunts, several close friends and helped other friends bury their loved ones.
Someone older and wiser than I told me last week that the older I get, the more this happens, until if you are lucky, or unlucky, depending on your perspective, you outlive them all. But then for her a great consolation is being blessed with younger friends who share your interests and pastimes. Enough reflection!
We lose a long-time resident
We were also saddened by the lost of a good friend and local neighbour over the holidays. He was a long-time resident of the area and will be sorely
missed by the many friends he had. In deference to his family's wishes, we are not mentioning his name, but his friends and neighbours know who he is and we wanted to offer our sincere condolences through this column. A man with a big heart and a big smile, he was always willing to help out. A simple call and he would be there, always smiling, always positive.
One neighbour summed up the feelings of everyone when she said: "He was a wonderful man who would do anything for you... kind and giving."

Don't eat the yellow snow

On a lighter but important note. The first snows of winter always create a magical look -- clean, crisp and bright.
Unfortunately they also underline a growing problem along the many roads and lanes in the area... animal expulsives... feces... poop! In spite of local bylaws and telltale highlights in the snow, many neighbours are still not picking up after their pets. Our advice to the younger children playing along the banks... don't eat the yellow snow!
Black box recycling
Let's not forget our new recycling program. Everyone received fair notice in both the City's "Vox Populi" section in the Vision, as well as an individual flyer delivered to our mail boxes.
Blue Box week is for plastics, tin and glass; Black box week is for fibers: cardboard, serial boxes, paper and newspapers. You must also tear down the larger cardboard boxes if you want them removed.
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#3 - Winter awareness
Last week we had two visitors on our street that sent out a signal to prepare for winter. One was unusual and fun, but the other sent a chilling (no pun intended) message.

A prickly problem
Our first visitor was a young porcupine, obviously disoriented because it showed up in broad daylight, wandering the street from one neigh- bour's driveway to another's front step.
It is not unusual to see these critters but mostly at night. It was probably hungry and looking for a place to hunker down.
Thanks to the capable help of Clarence-Rockland municipal law enforcement officer, Alain Saumure, our prickly transient was hustled away from the more populated area and released in nearby woods.
But the reminder is that colder weather will attract smaller animals. Skunks, squirrels, mice and apparently porcupines will be looking for food and a warmth, so you may want to keep an extra watch, especially at night.

Deadly warning
Our second visit came in the way of the Clarence- Rockland Fire Depart- ment, answering a call to a house alarm for carbon monoxide. Another winter reminder, but this one dead serious. As we warm up our hearths and homes, especially with abundance of wood stoves, let's not forget to adequately ventilate our houses.

Alarms are a good idea, not only for smoke, but for carbon monoxide, which can be even more dangerous, because you can't see it or smell it and smoke alarms don't give appropriate warning.

The danger of black ice
Recently, black ice, almost invisible to the eye, was the probable cause for a serious accident that happened during the drive to work, just west of the Canaan Road on Colonnial Road. A late model car and a pick-up truck collided and an injured party was taken to emergency by air ambulance.
Remember during the early winter mornings, road frost and black ice can be tricky to spot and will pose a danger until the temperature warms.

Drain outside taps
This tip from area plumber Rejean Auger, who originally hooked up the wells and plumbing in Forest Hill and Blue Jay Ridge: (If you don't want a spring surprise like I got about six years ago, in the form of a flooded basement), be sure to remove your outside garden hoses from the faucets, and drain the pipe from the small spigot inside the house.

911 signs in
Another addition to our community was the installation of house number signs, placed at the street end of our driveways.

The installation "crew"
This is all part of the United Counties of Prescott-Russell emergency 911 program.

Black box recycling
Finally, many of us woke up Sunday morning to see shiny, new, black recycle boxes at the end of our drive- ways beside the new number signs. Clarence-Rockland is starting the new recycle program on Dec.17.

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#2 - Signs of the time
A reminder that the Canaan Connexion is an extension of the larger Canaan Connexion (CC) Internet Web site ( which covers the Canaan Road (western) side of Clarence-Rockland.
Let's talk about some of the road signs that are seen in our neighbourhoods.

Stop Signs
Several new stop signs were recently installed in the Forest Hill development in an attempt to slow vehicular traffic going through on Oakwood and McDermott Streets.
A number of families complained about the speed of passing cars and expressed concerns about children safety. A motion was passed before council and the signs were erected. Are they having the desired effect? We'll check with our residents and let you know.
In the meantime we would like to remind our drivers that stop signs are just that. They are meant to have you come to a complete stop, check for oncoming traffic and then to proceed when safe to do so. A quick straw poll taken around the area, and particularly at Canaan and Oakwood showed that about 80 per cent of the vehicles brake only, and take the corner as if it is a "yield" sign only.

Bicycle Paths
Signs of spring have already gone up around the City to be in place for next year's bicycling season. We noticed two new bicycle path signs at the corner of Canaan and Blue Jay.

is is just a small part of a larger effort that will circum- navigate Clarence- Rockland and include Rockland proper, Clarence Creek, St.Pascal Baylon, Bourget, Cheney, Hammond, and Blue Jay/Forest Hill.
Plans include using the abandoned railroad bed and parts of the Larose Forest. We'll update this story about the time that your tulips start blooming. In the meantime, maps of the bicycle paths are already available from the City.

VANDALISM IS COSTING YOU A LOT!The Recreation Department has spent almost $10,000 to replace and repair municipal parks equipments because of vandalism.

Therefore, we are hereby requesting that you report to the Recreation Department, all acts of vandalism you witness at (613) 446-6022 extension 237.
Your identity will not be divulged.

Welcome to Blue Jay
Thanks to our councillor Philippe Saumure, Blue Jay which is a distinctive community with its own flavour, now has a "welcome" sign of its own. When the City installed the flashy signs with the new logo, little Blue Jay was somehow missed.
Some residents felt left out and let the councillor know that they were not part of Forest Hill and should have their own marker to celebrate their smaller development.
Neighbourhood Watch

Our communities joined the Neighbourhood Watch campaign several years ago but the effort has become all but dormant. All that remains really are the signs along Canaan and the individual developments. Part of the problem is a lack of active volunteers to hold regular updates.
Local Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) coordinator, Constable Diana Hampson, is available to help us if we want to re-establish an active group with regular meetings.
It is incumbent on all of us to participate in the Neighbourhood Watch program, even if we do not get regular updates through the volunteer telephone tree.
Be a "nosy neighbour" when it comes to any suspicious activity that you come across, and contact the OPP. Their "police assistance" number is: 1-888-310-1122. For any administrative information you can still call 446-5124, Monday to Friday.
Anti-vandalism campaign
And speaking of Neighbourhood Watch, the City of Clarence-Rockland Recreation Department is appealing to the community to help in putting a stop to vandalism.

Last hockey season there was at least one incident of vandalism at the field house in Cathy Cain Park. It was a messy situation that involved covering the inside walls with a disgusting substance. It cost the City time and money, which ultimately comes out of our pockets. So let's all try and keep watch and help each other.
To the left is the notice the City is using.

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#1 - Introduction - the purpose of the newspaper column
Hi everyone.
I would like to introduce you to the Canaan Connexion, what I hope will become a regular column in your community newspaper, the Vision. This information is an extension of the Canaan Connexion (CC) Internet Web site ( which you may have read about in a feature article in the September 14 edition of the Vision.

This Web site was set up as an "electronic" newsletter, to address the common interests and concerns of residents who live on and around Canaan Road in the Clarence- Rockland and Cumberland, Ontario area, particularly those from the communities of Blue Jay and Forest Hill (BJFH). The Web site also touches on the rural area in general between Rockland, Clarence Creek, Sarsfield and Cumberland Village, and may include the many towns and villages that are now part of the amalgamated City of Clarence-Rockland and the amalgamated City of Ottawa.

We hope to cover the people, the places, the activities and the news that makes up the "Canaan side" of the community. Some of the residents in this corner feel disassociated. They live on the border; the road is serviced by two municipalities, and more people likely travel to and from work on the Ottawa side of the border. So we hope to bring them back to the community in spirit.

Not everyone has access to the I-net so this space will offer pertinent information for those residents who cannot access the Web. These columns will include: the proposed regional water supply system, the condition of Canaan Road and complaints of speeding along it, the lack of high- speed Internet access for the hundreds of homes that are currently on old copper phone wire, and interesting events and developments about.
Did you know for instance that a tour of the Canaan Road offers a riding/equitation stable, a summer trailer camp, a strawberry farm, a llama ranch, a sulky-racing farm, and in the near future, a blueberry farm? And there are many more sites to visit on both sides of the municipal border.
We also hope to introduce features that will include the rich history of the area, the rural and urban communities, the pioneers of the area and the many hobbies that people pursue. Did you know that our area, which forms part of the greater Eastern Ontario region, is habitat to over 40 thousand species of plants, animals and amphibians - almost 100 bird species have been identified in this corner alone.

And while the Canaan column acts as an extension to the Web site, we also hope to direct attention back to the Web site where we can offer greater detail and in-depth information to short items that appear in the column. The Web site is growing and includes many references to local businesses, events, hobbies, churches, schools organiz- ations, resources and services and other items too numerous to cover in this short space.

The CC Web site grew out of a need to try and keep the communities of BJFH and surrounding areas informed about what was happening in their corner. We have access to two daily, six weekly, and one monthly newspaper, which cover the news in general, but carry little information of our specific area.

Being on the border of two cities, residents often feel isolated because there is no focal point or place to gather. While many of us support the many businesses and activities in Clarence-Rockland, many more tend to travel back and forth to Ottawa where they work. In that sense the many smaller developments within the area are considered to be "bedroom communities" because people live here, but commute elsewhere to work.

The two developments of Forest Hill and Blue Jay were started about ten years ago, by a company that is now defunct. The residents had so many problems with the builder that they formed a community association to look after their common interests. A community newsletter was started to keep the people informed. In the end the homeowners won, the builder went bankrupt and the community survived. But that's another column.

( Patrick Meikle is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Blue Jay and operates the Canaan Connexion Web site: He can be reached at: )
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