Canaan Connexion ~ Columns 

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~ Canaan Connexion ~
( Canaan columns appearing in the Vision )
By Patrick Meikle
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#124 - The last column of 2005
#110 - Canaan Road clean-up: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - May 20, 2005
#109 - Canaan Road clean-up crew looking for volunteers - May 13, 2005

#108 - Spring Clean-up next Saturday - May 6, 2005

#107 - Our congratulations to two local residents! - April 15, 2005
#106 - April brings out fools, fests and floes - April 1, 2005
#105 - Spring brings new schedules and hydro jumps - March 25, 2005

#104 - March break not all quiet - March 18, 2005

#103 - Local roads - We get calls and e-mails - February 25, 2005

#102 - Notes from Canaan to Cumberland - February 11, 2005
#101 - Nature comes out despite winter’s bite - January 28, 2005
#100 - Winter brings out rink rats and field mice - January 14, 2005
#124 - December 30 - The last column for 2005
NOTE: This column was written for December 30, 2005, but it was not published until January 13, 2006.
Blue Jay resident Christmas lights winner
Congratulations to Dan, Leslie, Sean and Daniel Humen of Cardinal Crescent for a terrific annual Christmas lights display. Not only did their efforts this year out glow the Ward 5 area, their light festival took the grand prize for all of Clarence-Rockland in the Christmas Lights Contest. Well done gang! (See a picture...)

It’s was worth the drive up Canaan Road to visit both the Blue Jay and Forest Hill developments. Some of the Christmas lights were spectacular.

Grinch steals councillor’s annual newsletter
Families in the Forest Hill and Blue Jay sectors evidently did not receive our Ward Five councillor’s annual newsletter, thanks to a postal Grinch.

When Kyle Cyr tried to mail around 300 single page flyers to local residents, as he has done in past years, he was told by a “new” manager at the Rockland Post Office that he could not send the flyers to this specific area unless he covered the entire Rockland area.
Ridiculous, says Kyle. “Why would I want to send several thousands of my flyers to residents outside my ward?”

Bah, humbug, I say in agreement. It seems to me that it would have been quite easy to place the flyers in the specific sorting area for the rural carrier who delivers to this area.

I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the official Grinchy policy for the postal service is.

In the meantime, if you have an Internet connection, the Canaan Connexion will carry the newsletter for those residents who have been left out in the cold.

Holiday greetings to all
We missed the Christmas and New Year’s editions of the paper last week because of holiday plans, but from our house to your house, we hope you had a cool yule and a frantic first. May the year ahead bring peace, good health and much happiness to you and yours.
(Patrick Meikle is a freelance writer who operates the Canaan Connexion: He doesn’t work for the Vision Newspaper and his opinions are his own.
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#110 - May 20 - Canaan Road clean-up: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
(Please note: We'll have our pictures up soon!)
The Good
In spite of the cold, wet weather, almost 40 souls braved the weather to join in our annual Canaan Road spring clean-up last Saturday. What lacked in sun and warmth was made up in enthusiasm from a terrific team that included these fine families and friends:

From Blue Jay: Diana Beattie; Richard Hookham; Mario Lacoursiere; Gerry Louis-seize; Monique Lussier; Roger Matchett and MayLee; James Meikle; Maxime Lemaire-Paul (9), Michael St. Onge (14).

From Forest Hill: Ray Clarke and Corey; Al Courville and Bradely (14); Jason, Eve (5) and Jack (4) Galloway; Remi, Andrew (13) and Eric Guindon; Thomas, Justine, and Alexa Hermann; Josée Lafortune and Alexandre Farley (2); Brent, Christopher and Jonathan Neidy; Jim Provost his tractor and trailer; Tony Weir and Colin (9);

From Canaan Road: Jaret, Dagny (6)and Jasper (4) Connolly; Morlen Reynolds who supplied three tractors (including his famous “Mr. Rudy”);
From Baseline Road: Shauna Wadden; Alexander (12) and Brandon (8) Hope.

Our sincere thanks to the good:
Thanks gang and our apologies if we left anyone out. And special thanks for the support from the Canaan Blueberry Farm; the Canaan Connexion; Paul McCann and the City of Ottawa which supplied the gloves, garbage bags and tools; to the City of Clarence-Rockland which provided garbage bags and picked up our “loot” the following week, including the extra junk that left
by a number of ignoramuses; Renaud Valu Mart in Bourget for the gloves; Super C in Rockland for the water; and Larry Delorme Demo & Recycling for picking up the steel and transmission.

Here are some of the things we found:

Hypodermic needles, deer legs, pair of boys boots, dead skunk, live trap, car transmission, car tires, hub caps, cordless phone, stolen credit cards, eye glasses, plyers, chain link fencing, steel piping, real-estate signs, election signs, lots and lots of fast food cups (Tim’s still #1, with Mac’s coming in a close #2), of course a plethora of drink cans and beer bottles and one dinosaur toy.

The Bad:
Our disdain goes out to the elderly couple who gave our flagman the one-finger salute and to the many drivers who even withfamilies around, were simply too ignorant to slow down, in spite of the warning signs, safety vests, flashing lights and obvious work crews who were stretched up and down Canaan Road.

The Ugly:
And our particular contempt to the cheap, ignorant, disgusting, despicable, disrespectful “eh-nal” retentive bustards (some expressions of feedback that we received) who took advantage of our hard working volunteers’ efforts, by coming out in the night and dumping about 15 tires, one barbecue, steel parts and assortment of garbage bags and junk on top of what we had piled neatly at the corner of Canaan and Oakwood. How stupid and inconsiderate can you be? A pock on all your houses!
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#109 - May 13 - Canaan Road clean-up crew looking for volunteers

The Canaan clean-up crew hard at work!
Hard at work at the collection point

The annual Canaan Road spring clean-up is happening this Saturday, May 14, rain or shine. The Canaan “crew” is looking for community volunteers to help in this worthwhile project.

Thanks to both the Cities of Clarence-Rockland and Ottawa, we will have a supply of equipment and tools however we ask our worker bees to dress accordingly. Rubber boots and gloves are essential and if you have a rake or something like a pole with a nail on the end of it, it will make it easier to retrieve stuff.
We will rally at the corner of Canaan Road and Oakwood Drive between 8:30 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. This is a great opportunity to participate in a family-oriented community event.

After the clean-up, we will have a volunteer appreciation pizza party at the Canaan Blueberry farm, corner of Canaan and Blue Jay. For more information you can e-mail us at: or telephone at: 833-1547. More below...
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#108 - May 6 - Spring Clean-up next Saturday

The annual Canaan Road spring clean-up is scheduled for next Saturday, May 14. We held off from coordinating our event with the Clarence-Rockland Environmental Society last week because there was simply too much water in the ditches, making it difficult to remove garbage as well as being unsafe for our volunteers.

We hope to have as many Canaanites out as possible so we can clean up the ravages of winter garbage, starting at Highway 174 and moving south as far as Vinette Road, if we get enough volunteers.

Watch the weather and dress accordingly. Rubber boots and gloves are essential and if you have a rake or something like a pole with a nail on the end of it, it will make it easier to retrieve stuff.

This year we should have three full-sized tractors with trailers, equipped with warning lights, and we ask motorists to be patient and give way to our volunteer cleaners.

After the event, which usually ends between eleven and noon, we will have a volunteer appreciation pizza party at the Canaan Blueberry farm. Come one, come all! For more information you can e-mail us at: or telephone at: 833-1547.

Spring reminders
Here are a few more spring “events” to think about. For those of us who live outside the City core and have water wells and septic systems, keep in mind:
1. Spring water testing - Well owners should have their water tested at least twice a year, both in the spring and late fall. You can pick up water testing bottles at the local Ontario Health Unit in Rockland. They are located at 2884 Chamberland Street, 446-1400.
2. Septic tank cleaning - According to our local expert, Bob Brazeau, Brazeau Sanitation Services, most septic tanks should be emptied about every two to three years. If you work from home, as many of us do, you may have to empty your tank more often. We at Canaan Connexion HQ’s have to empty our tank each spring.

However before you make an appointment for Bob, or Charlie or Frank to visit, you may want to wait until later this month. Bob tells us that dumping fees being charged by the City of Ottawa, RO Pickard Environmental Centre (ROPEC), have increased substantially and Brazeau Sanitation are looking at a plan to help reduce the cost to their clients. Stay tuned.

Heaving driveways
An item that we mentioned last year is the condition of many of our driveway culverts in Forest Hill and Blue Jay. Thanks to poor construction (specifically a lack of proper insulation) many of the driveways are heaving, as are some of our garage floors. If you have that problem, perhaps we can get together to get a group rate for repairs.

Break-in on Canaan Road
One of our neighbours along Canaan Road just reported a shed break-in where a chainsaw and an angle grinder were stolen. So be vigilant and look for more information on our Web site.
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#107 - April 15 - Our congratulations to two local residents!
We at the Canaan Connexion would like to single out two local citizens whom we found, cleaning up their little quarters, this past week. They deserve our recognition and congratulations for taking the initiative to make our community a better place to live. Our own Canaan Connexion Appreciation Award (CCAA) (for those little acts of random kindness and good deeds that our residents perform) goes out to:

Collette Léonard - Canaan
Collette Léonard removes some of the junk people leave behind.

Collette lives on Canaan Road, where the road curves near Wilhaven and Baseline. Thanks to speeding drivers taking the corner too fast, her yard is constantly being sprayed with flying gravel as well as debris and garbage that thoughtless drivers toss out. Also, this past winter, broken glass (windshields) and car parts were left at the scene after a roll-over.

All-you-can-eat spaghetti - Apr.16
The Cumberland Scouts are putting on a terrific all-you-can-eat spaghetti dinner this Saturday, April 16, at the Lions Maple Hall in Cumberland Village, between 4:20 and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at the door: Adults - $7.00, Seniors - $5.00, Children - $5.00, under 4 years eat free.

Kathy Derickx - Cumberland
Kathy Derickx cleans up the mess around the postal boxes.

Kathy lives adjacent to the mail boxes on Kinsella Drive in Cumberland Village. Many irresponsible residents who pick up their post at this location, often leave their litter and junk mail to accumulate around the boxes so that it is blown into the ditches and surrounding yards. Kathy has to regularly clean up others’ mess and also has taken on the responsibility of providing a refuse can to clear away the garbage that others leave behind.

Spring clean-up coming soon
Collette and Kathy have beat us to the punch, but our own Canaan Road clean up will be coming soon, possibly as early as April 30, if the ditches are dry. Keep posted for more.
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#106 - April 1 - April brings out fools, fests and floes
We celebrated Christmas. We celebrated New Year's. We celebrated Ukrainian Christmas and we celebrated the Chinese New Year. Lent and Easter have now come and gone.... soooo folks... the April fools can now take down their Christmas decorations!

Maplefest celebrating 36th anniversary
Our friends from the Cumberland (Village) Lions Club have reminded us that their Maplefest is in its 36th year. They will be serving sausages, maple syrup, tea, coffee, juices and "all the Pancakes you can eat!" this coming Saturday and Sunday April 2 & 3 at Lions Maple Hall, 2552 Old Montreal Road, Village of Cumberland.
There will be maple syrup products on sale by the Cumberland Scouts and the ladies from three Village churches, St. Andrew's, St. Mark's and St. Margaret Mary will hold a bake sale in the basement of the United Church.
The cost of the event is very reasonable and this is an excellent opportunity to participate in a great local tradition. Come out and meet your neighbours, bring along some friends and at the same time help the Lions and the ladies towards some worthy causes.

Melting snow and sump pumps
This is a good time to check on the condition of your basement sump pump. Because our individual water table is so high, our sump well has been filling continuously for about three weeks and discharging the water about every 15 to 20 minutes.
It would not take long to flood a basement if the pump died or if the hydro stopped. Make sure
your sump pump is in good working order. Thanks to an earlier flood several years ago, we now have two sump pumps, one being the back-up.

Watery ditches
With heavy snows and fast melting comes a real danger in swift flowing water. This is often the case with the ditches and many creeks in the Canaan area. Parents should be ever vigilant and explain the dangers of deep water-filled ditches to their offspring (pun intended!).

Ottawa River floes
We haven’t heard of many people being trapped on the ice on the Ottawa river, but it is a good idea to remind ourselves that once the ice-fishing huts are removed (someone said the date was March 15 this year), it is probably wise to stay off the ice.
One huge negative result of the annual ice-fishing season is the literally tonnes of debris, wood, garbage, cans and bottles and fish guts that some of the dullards leave behind. Did I hear someone say “Eh-nal retentive” Award? (We hope to deal with this problem in a future column.)

Spring clean-up coming soon
Speaking of watery ditches, neighbour Tony Weir e-mailed to ask “do you know when the Canaan Road clean up will be my boys are getting itching to go?” To Tony and the boys, the C-R Environmental Society (mentioned last week) are looking to coordinate April 30 as clean-up day.
We think that may be too early for we Canaanites, given the ditch water. Let’s see how the spring flows and when the clean-up goes. If it’s dry we fly, if it’s damp we tramp... in May!
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#105 - March 25 - Spring brings new schedules and hydro jumps
With the moderate weather and sunshine, the snow has been melting quickly. We can actually see the driveway and bits of grass are peaking out here and there. I’m always hesitant to declare the end of the snow season, because coming from the prairies we had some of our worst winter blizzards in April. We ain’t talkin’ Dairy Queen here. I remember when I was a kid, one farmer left his house in the middle of a blizzard to go to the barn. He missed the barn, wandered into the fields and got lost. When they found him in lat spring, pretty much all that was left were bones and a belt buckle.

New refuse/recycle schedules
WSI delivered our 2005-2006 garbage/recycle schedules last week. If you thought it was junk mail, you might have missed it. It deals with junk, but the brochure is very important to anyone who cares about cutting down your refuse and sending material back for recycling. More...

Pick-ups are one day late
Keep in mind that with the Easter long weekend that our regular roadside pick-ups will be one day late for this week and next.

Environmental Society thinking Spring
The Clarence-Rockland Environmental Society is gearing up for its Spring agenda. Some of their initiatives will include: April 22 - Earth Day activities, the annual Clarence-Rockland Community Spring Clean-up Day and an upcoming Tree Planting Workshop.

You can find out more about their organization by clicking here.
Hydro rates jumping up
In a Standing Pat column three weeks ago I asked our Hydro guy: “Are our Hydro rates going up?” “Only commercial rates,” said the Hydro guy. Remember where you heard it first, I said.

Well obviously we won’t ask this fellow for any hot tips at the race track. Last week the Ontario Energy Board announced an increase that allows electricity providers to raise hydro delivery charges. Look for a six per cent jump starting next month.

Hot water heater still hot
We just had to replace an element in our hot water heater. Not bad after 12-plus years of service. We have a rental unit from Onsource (Ontario Hydro Energy) so they cover the fixing. Thanks to the talents of Paul Legault and his apprentice Matthew St-Louis (Legault Plumbing have the Onsource contract) the change was made quickly and efficiently.

Many of the homes in the Blue Jay Forest Hill have the same heaters, and I was pleased to find out that out well water is obviously very good as there was little wear and no rust in the tank, and that it should give us at least another ten years of service.

Don’t forget your Easter duty
Whether it’s your church, visiting family or hunting for Easter eggs, best wishes for a safe and happy weekend. And, as they haven’t kicked me out of my French conversation class yet, as they say... “A la prochaine”.
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#104 - March 18 - March break not all quiet
It must have been March break this week – no kids, no buses, no noise. It should have stayed quiet, but there was a lot of excitement in Blue Jay Ridge, when the locals were aroused by the sounds of sirens from several emergency vehicles – fire, rescue and ambulance.

It seems that a garbage fire in a garage may have involved children and matches. Our hats go off to members of the Clarence-Rockland Fire Department. Their response was phenomenal. What could have been a major tragedy was quickly averted by their professional action.

Signs of spring
March break also signals the coming of spring, which officially begins next week. Melting has started, but the real indicator is the sound of the returning birds. Cardinals and some Woodpeckers are already starting to look for mates. Some Great Gray Owls are still around.

Scot Lemieux, president of the Vars Community Association has been sending us the CASAVA Bugle, and electronic newsletter, promoting the communities of Carlsbad Springs, Sarsfield and Vars. The purpose of the newsletter is to communicate activities, events, news and issues of interest to residents in the Vars area. They are working together to give you more centralized information. You can check it out for yourself at:

More on bad roads
We saw a crew filling some of the potholes on Baseline Road this week, but if you think our roads are bad, you should try driving some of the towns in the Eastern Townships. We drove around St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec over the weekend to visit a son taking office training with the army. Next time we go we’ll rent a Hummer!
Some announcements
* Local Turtle S.H.E.L.L. Tortue needs volunteers for their booth at the Wildlife Festival taking place at the Billings Bridge Plaza on April 1-2-3. Donations are also needed for the turtle care centre, a charitable organization. Please call: (613) 446-9927, or visit their Web site.
* Tamara Hickey, club treasurer for the Eastern Ontario TrailBlazers 4X4 Club (EOTB) tells us that their annual general meeting is coming up on Saturday, April 2, 6:00 p.m. at Broadway's on Fisher Avenue at Prince of Wales Drive. All those in attendance will get a free hat.
* Volunteers for the Cumberland Museum annual Power Show, “Wheels in Motion” held a planning/idea meeting this week to revamp and redesign the show. Organizer Lucie Therrien will be sending us a report shortly, but if you are interested in getting involved, call the museum at: 833-3059, Ext: 224.

Condolences to the Saumure family
Our former councillor Philippe Saumure lost a great brother in Jules, early this month and judging by the numbers of mourners and the fire department honour guard, he was greatly respected. Our condolences to the family. Read the Obituary notice here.

As they say in my French conversation class... “A la prochaine”

(Patrick Meikle is a freelance writer who operates the Canaan Connexion: He doesn’t work for the Vision Newspaper and his opinions are his own. You can contact him at: editor[at]
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#103 - February 25 - Local roads - We get calls and e-mails
I am pleased to see that people are reading these dispatches and I thank you for your feedback.

BADline Road!
A Clarence Creek resident wrote to say: “Baseline Road should be called BADline Road!! This last stretch of road just before Canaan Road is simply a disaster. Although the extreme cold and snow have not helped keeping this road stable, it is simply unacceptable.”

The commuter goes on to describe in detail the depth, breadth and great numbers of potholes and suggests that as a taxpayer something should be done to... “put this road back on the map and clean it up?” (SEE: Letters-to-the-Editor)

Dumping on rurals
Another resident from the Sarsfield Road area near Wilhaven, called to complain about a universal problem that we are all having – dumping garbage along the rural roads. In this instance the caller found phone bills and letters that identified the bag owner. When a call was put in to the City of Ottawa, the advice that was received was unacceptable and not helpful.

And how many times have we harped about our own Canaan Road, not to mention the ongoing nuisance of offending dog owners not picking up after their mutts.

Councillors work for you
My advice? Contact your local councillor, whether it be Clarence-Rockland or Ottawa. It’s a good place to start. In spite of the politics and the opinions one might have of city councillors, it has been my experience that most of them are genuinely concerned about their constituents problems and where they (the councillors) have
the luxury of offices and staff, I have found that the staff work very hard in the background on your behalf. (SEE: Local Politician links.)

Signs needed?
Perhaps if we had “no dumping” and “stoop ‘n scoop” signs erected in strategic locations, showing the financial penalties, people might think twice about leaving their crap lying around for others to scorn.

More kudos to C-R employees

Another neighbour spoke to me this week about the great service he received from some front line workers at Clarence-Rockland City Hall. I must echo his sentiments. Anytime I have had to do business there, the staff have been courteous, knowledgeable and pleasant, as have the street crews from maintenance and plowing to by-law enforcement. Take a bow, people, I only wish I could name you all individually.

Condolences to the Sauvé-Morris families
Forest Hill neighbours lost a true fighter this past week, with the passing of Kelly Sauvé. She was diagnosed with inoperable inflammatory breast cancer a little over two years ago. Our sincere wishes go out to Denis, Caroline and all the members of their families.

We must congratulate and praise the family for their courage in sharing their grief and challenges with the community through an event called “Workout for a Cure”. Finding a cure for this awful disease has been a goal that family members have pursued through Workout for a Cure. You can read about it in a related story in this week’s newspaper and you can find out more information on our Web site... Click here.

Until the next time, as they say in my French conversation class... “A la prochaine”
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#102 - February 11 - Notes from Canaan to Cumberland
Just to let you know if you are a new resident or a new reader, the Canaan Connexion is a column devoted to the happenings on and around Canaan Road, which is the boundary between the cities of Ottawa and Clarence-Rockland.

Our news covers anything that may apply to the local residents and we often venture outside of our little quarter as you will see below.

Skaters need hip waders not blades
It’s been a crazy winter for weather – everything from treacherous freezing rain and ice, absolute cold, now back to thawing conditions. Went for a skate at the Cathy Cain rink this week but I couldn’t use it because I didn’t have my rubber boots or wet suit!

Owls visit proposed golf centre on Canaan
We can’t say enough about the magnificent great gray owls that have graced our area over the past month. Blue Jay resident Luc Leger talks about these birds down on Canaan Road near (and around) the old llama farm. "Yesterday I spent a few hours there just taking pictures and admiring them. You can get close to them and they don' t move. There must have been half a dozen of them. This morning again, I saw two of them."

We invite you to share in our natural treasures and bring your camera. While you are in the area, check out the landscape around 2492 Canaan Road. Our neighbour Jaret Connolly tells us that his proposal to develop an environmentally friendly golf centre on the location, has been recommended by the Ottawa planning and environment committee, for approval by Ottawa City Council.
Jaret hopes to have a driving range installed for the new season so golfers are welcome to visit and dream about a new practice facility. Send us your thoughts if you have any.

Don’t let yahoo drivers spoil your viewing
While we’ve been admiring the great grays over the past few days, our serene and idyllic bird watching has occasionally been spoiled by a few “birdbrain” drivers who insist on racing by us at break-neck speeds, splashing up mud and gravel. Awareness and slowing down are just not words in their limited vocabularies. They are deserving recipients of this week’s Dumb and Dumber Award.

Cumberland: Notes from “The Village”

Our regular trips through the old City of Cumberland and particularly the folksy “Village” often offer newsy tidbits. If you want to share in the telltales that come our way, drop in the heart of the community, Haddad’s store. Many of the locals gather for a hot cup of java and conversation in the early morning and the corner bulletin board always keeps the village up to date on comings and goings, lost and found and upcoming events. (SEE: Village references.)

The Cumberland Village Community Association will be holding its annual general meeting on Wednesday, February 23 at 7:00 p.m. Councillor Rob Jellett will be in attendance along with members of the police, to bring residents up-to-date on what’s happening. The association is looking for your input and support. More information and a location will be available for next week. Maybe we’ll find out why the flag outside the fire station has been flying at half-staff, lo these many weeks? (SEE: AGM report.)
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#101 - January 28 - Nature comes out despite winter’s bite
Living in the Canaan area many of us are fortunate to witness nature first hand. Deer and moose are becoming commonplace and this winter we have been “privileged” to see owls and turkeys.

Owl be seeing you-hoot
The great gray owl has been the topic of several local sightings and stories this month, coming from their more northern habitats around Lake Superior in search of food. One Rockland family was featured in a front page story when their tiny pup was picked up and almost carried away had it not been for the father’s quick thinking.

Canaan resident Chantal Gravelle sent us a note: "I wanted to share with you and the community a rare sighting of two gray owls at Canaan and Blue Jay. One was perched up in the tree and the other on a fence post. We watched them for a few minutes before we had to continue on to work.. Its quite a beautiful and majestic bird and we feel quite privileged to have been able to see them."

Thanks for the report Chantal. I spotted gray owls at the same location and on Wilhaven. Managed to get a few of pictures, but with fading light and no proper lens you can barely make them out. Morlen Reynolds also spotted five owls in the vicinity, and Margaret Lough, who lives in the Cumberland side of Canaan, has been feeding several wild turkeys, who know a good handout when they see it.

Dog poopers don’t stoop ‘n scoop
Some things really are black and white, or in the case of some of our malfeasant canine owners, brown and white. As responsible dog owners it burns our butts to still see many owners who refuse to pick up after their pooches. At no time of the year is their incessant habit of not stooping
and scooping more noticeable than when a pristine snow fall is blotched by their animal's crouching emissions.

Dog waste is a public health hazard, pollutes the environment, takes the pleasure out of outdoor activities, and gives the responsible dog owners a bad name. Help improve public opinion of dogs and dog owners - make it a habit to pick up after your dog and to take the waste home to dispose of it on your own premises. And a reminder kids... Don't eat the yellow snow!

Scope out your neighbour with a “virtual” tour
Virtual tours being used by many of the real estate companies are not new, but one of our Blue Jay neighbours recently changed agents and the new one has put him on their “virtual” tour circuit. It’s a great way to check out the market, and at the same time spy on the guy next door without using your binoculars. We don’t want to “invade” his privacy, but here’s a hint:

Congratulations to Blue Jay conservationists
Congratulations to Blue Jay's Felio family (Gabrielle, Guy, Roxanne), the force behind the Amphibian Conservation Club. It has become the Youth wing of the Friends of Petrie Island! They are awaiting replies to some grant applications and have lots of fun projects lined up for this spring and early summer. Check out this month's Canadian Wildlife Federation magazine, "Wild". There is a four page feature article on the Amphibian Conservation Club. Their Web site is:

Community Association
One more kick at the cat as they say. A few interested residents want to have one more meeting to see if interest warrants an association in the Canaan area. Watch for dates on our Web site. (SEE: Community Association.)
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#100 - January 14 - Winter brings out rink rats and field mice
In the twelve years we have lived in the Canaan area, this has been the worst year for freezing rain and ice. We have already spread about 12 to 15 bags of sand or salt on our driveway and today’s (Wednesday) freezing rain has forced the cancellation of local school buses for the third time this season.

When I was walking Anabel a while back I met neighbour Claude and suggested that it was time for us to move south. He agreed then commented “at least we don’t get hurricanes”. And since then we have seen devastating earthquakes, tsunamis and deadly weather-related floods in the southwestern United States. You’re right, Claude. This is a good place to live. Give me the four seasons any time... and maybe a week or two in Florida, eh, Luc?

Help needed at the Cathy Cain rink
Forest Hill resident and skating rink coordinator Tony Weir tells us “that the rink is open but we need help to flood and keep up with the cleaning as there are only two (volunteers) this year.” The Cathy Cain rink is a real winter treasure for Canaan residents and a great resource for local families. If you can help with this worthy project, please give Tony a call at 833-1408 and he will show you what to do.

Mice weather can be a nuisance
Seems to go in cycles. This year has been an active one for our little furry friends coming in out of the cold. Our bird seed supply had to be covered in the garage and while we hate to set traps, we have eliminated about four of the little annoyances from our basement. They seem to revel in leaving their “calling cards” all over my tool bench. Where are those pesky cats when you need them?

Incidentally, they do seem to have invented a “better mouse trap”. Check out our local Home Hardware for the”Victor Quick Set!” This
horizontal vee-shaped device is easy to set, trap and discard a mouse and is priced at under $6 for a pair.

Cumberland Museum busy under winter blanket - Sarah Ferguson and Glenn Charron are just two of the Cumberland Heritage Museum staff keeping up the maintenance and storage of artifacts and exhibits. Sarah, the museum’s education and interpretation officer, tells us that there is much to do to prepare for the May opening including mice watch, updating donor records and making ready for a new database being implemented. Watch for upcoming events on our Web site.

Spring septic activity may cost more
A radio news story last week, confirmed in Wednesday’s weekly French newspaper, suggests that the City of Ottawa is proposing a hefty hike in outside-the-region dumping charges for local septic tank services to use the R.O.Pickard Environmental Centre in Gloucester. That could mean a big increase in cost for Canaan residents, all who are on septic systems.

Our local expert, Bob Brazeau of Brazeau Sanitation Services, tells us that his fees could go up by as much as twelve times the current rate. Unfortunately this cost would have to be passed on to his customers. Bob did say that he would do his best to keep his prices the same for 2005. Final approval of rate increases has been deferred to the City of Ottawa Budget deliberations in February or March.

Community Association update
Nothing much has happened since a small number of residents gathered almost two months ago. While many of you expressed an interest in getting involved and forming a community group, there has been no leadership to keep up the momentum. Looks like the effort may go the way of the dodo bird.
( Patrick Meikle is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Blue Jay and operates the Canaan Connexion Web site. If you have an opinion or comment, he can be reached at: . )
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