Eastern Ontario News Headlines

Prescott-Russell kicks off 2009 Tourism Season
Air Canada launches new Ottawa flights
EOTB-AGM: Off-roading club looking for new members

Fishermen race to remove huts near Petrie Island
Bilingual debate forces water park to change name
Ottawa will charge $3/hour to plug the meter starting March 1

FEATURE: Louis Mrak: From Rockland Mechanic to core
supporter of the Viennese Winter Ball

Area's second fatal accident in as many weeks
LCBO Bottle Return program starts
Fatal Motor Vehicle Collision - Highway 174

Wanted: Ontario's worst municipal roads - Poll

Future Orléans Arts Centre unveiled to rave reviews

Will clarence-Rockland get faster Internet?
J.M.Lalonde announces more local support for small business

Ongoing: Navan family fighting deportation - The Van Hauve Story
May 16 - Canada Census 2006 - You have until June to comply
May 16 - Mass water collection - Cumberland, Sarsfield, Vars, Navan
S.O.S. Ottawa Senators
Earthquake hits our area - Where were you?

Sarsfield developing Multiservice Centre
Toll-free calling coming to greater Ottawa by end of year
Ontario-Quebec Summer Student Job Exchange Program
Three men lose fingers to snowblowers

Tigers and wolves and bears... oh my!

Prescott-Russell to review official plan

Rockland's Tim Halderson on patrol

Rockland Fire department to get $70, 000 for training and equipment

Ottawa River - rising water warning

Ice-water-rescue team to return to Clarence-Rockland

Prescott-Russell kicks off 2009 Tourism Season
(Courtesy Prescott and Russell Economic Development and Tourism)
The Prescott and Russell Economic Development and Tourism team and their partners will be kicking off the 2009 tourism season on Tuesday May 12, 2009, and the River Rock Inn, 2808 Chamberland Street, Rockland, Ontario. This event is a not-to-be-missed networking opportunity for all tourism industry stakeholders.

The Event’s program includes: workshop, PRTA members’ meeting, Tourism Professional Trade Show and Cocktail dinner buffet. Come to share and hear about upcoming projects and events in the local tourism industry. Get your 2009 copies of the Prescott and Russell Official Travel Guide, Road Map and Cycling Guide. Trade your 2009 brochures with other tourism industry members.
Here is the program:

11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Working lunch
Prescott and Russell Tourism Association meeting of the members (PRTA).

1:00 – 5:00 PM
The Service Excellence workshop’s objective is to develop seasonal employee service
skills for consistent delivery to customers, members or guests. For front line employees,
supervisors and managers. The workshop is delivered by Ontario Tourism Education
Corporation (OTEC). Please see page 3 for more information. Presented by Prescott and Russell Entrepreneurship Centre, Prescott-Russell Community Development
Corporation, Eastern Ontario Training Board and Prescott-Russell Tourism Association.

5:00 – 7:00 PM
Cocktail dinner buffet - Get a taste of Prescott and Russell regional food products!
Meet with tourism operators in a relaxed ambiance.

6:00 – 7:30 PM
Tourism Professional Trade Show - Rent a table to highlight your business or event
and promote your products or services.
You can download their PDF document Invitation and application form and get further information through their Web site. Click here for more.

For more information:
Prescott and Russell Economic Development and Tourism
59 Court Street P.O. Box. 304 L’Orignal, ON K0B 1K0
1.800.667.6307 / 613.675.4661
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Air Canada launches new Ottawa flights
(By Jim Donnelly, Ottawa Business Journal Staff Thu, May 1, 2008 ) Air Canada, through its regional affiliate Jazz, today announced a series of new non-stop year-round flights between Ottawa and four North American markets.

The new routes will service Ottawa and Washington, D.C. (landing at Reagan National) twice daily, along with daily non-stop flights between Ottawa and Saskatoon, Thunder Bay and Charlottetown.

"Air Canada has been steadily building its Ottawa presence in response to market demand and it now connects the capital to 23 destinations with non-stop service," said Daniel Shurz, Air Canada's vice president of network planning, in a release.

He added the new flights will up the Montreal-based company's Ottawa departure capacity by 19 per cent.

"Residents of the National Capital Region now have more choice than ever when flying, and visitors arriving for both business and leisure will enjoy unprecedented access," he said.

The new routes compliment Air Canada's recent international addition to its Ottawa repertoire, a non-stop Ottawa-Frankfurt flight to begin June 1.
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EOTB-AGM: Off-roading club looking for new members

The Eastern Ontario Trail Blazers 4X4 Club (EOTB) is a family oriented, non-profit, incorporated, all year round, off-roading club. Their members drive all kinds of vehicles - Jeeps, Land Rovers, Chevys, Land Cruisers, Suzuki, etc. They are always looking for new members and their Annual General Meeting is an excellent start for anyone interested in joining.

This year they will be meeting on Saturday, March 29 at 5:30 p.m. at Marshy's Bar and Grill Centrepointe, 117 Centrepointe Drive, Nepean.

"Members, guests and anyone interested in the club is welcome," says club secretary Evan Croskery, and adds " this is an opportunity to join, eat, talk, win some prizes, more!"

"We always try for a big crowd at the AGM. It's a great opportunity to get the whole club together in one place, share stories from the past year and make plans for the new season which starts April 1. We also need to do some club business: renew memberships and introduce the board of directors for the new year."

Marshy's is a new location and it looks great. There is a big room in the back for meeting use, a few games tables, and a projector and huge screen. The board has been getting some great gifts together to give away as door prizes.

The club needs to confirm the reservations and give final numbers to the restaurant so please RSVP to by Thursday March 27 with your name and the number of people coming with you.

  • Breaking News: The cost per member for insurance from the Ontario Federation for 4wd Recreationalists (OF4WD) goes from $10 to $15 on March 30 (OF4WD AGM date). If you renew your EOTB membership on or before March 29, the rate is $40 ($30 + $10 insurance). After March 29 the rate rises to $45 ($30 + $15 insurance). So renew at the AGM and save! If you can't make the AGM you can renew by mail. The membership form will be posted on the EOTB Web site.

For more information, check out their Web site.
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Fishermen race to move ice huts near Petrie Island
It was a nasty surprise that awaited some east-end ice-fishing enthusiasts last week – after a short season of enjoying the sport at Petrie Island, many headed down to the area fishing spot, intent on removing their ice huts before the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources’ deadline.
More from EastOttawa.ca.
Here is a related story:
(Geoff Nixon, The Ottawa Citizen, Sunday, March 16, 2008) Denis Piché and his brother, Marcel, raced against the clock yesterday to free their ice-fishing trailer from a thick layer of ice and slush on the frozen Ottawa River and get it off the ice before a midnight deadline.

They were among several dozen Petrie Island ice fishermen who parked their vehicles along Trim Road yesterday morning in an attempt to get on the river. The Ministry of Natural Resources set a deadline of midnight last night to have all huts off the ice; anyone who didn't remove their structure could face a $150 fine.

Steve Aubry, enforcement supervisor for the ministry's Kemptville district, said the deadline is the same every year in an effort to ensure that people get their huts off the ice well in advance of the spring thaw.

While the ministry will not have officers standing by "ready to pounce" one minute after midnight, Mr. Aubry said it wants to see people obey the rules.

"As soon as they are removed by midnight (on Saturday), there's not an issue."

The Piché brothers' trailer was parked near Petrie Island, where they used it throughout the winter. Close to noon yesterday, it was sitting in a pool of water Denis, 45, estimated at 25 centimetres deep.

"It's very bad," he said as Marcel, 55, hacked away at the ice and slush with a piece of concrete rebar.

The weight of this year's collective snowfall has pushed the ice surface down into the river. For people like the Pichés, it made the last day of the ice-fishing season one to remember.

Close to shore, Rick Boivin, 34, and Louis Gravel, 27, seemed to have a good shot at getting their hut back on land ahead of the deadline, despite the condition of the ice surface.

"There's usually no slush here," Mr. Boivin said, taking a momentary break from clearing the gunk from under his hut. "It's never like this."

But Mr. Gravel pointed out it could have been worse: One of their neighbours had to buy a pump to clear the water out of his hut.

Further out along the river, Trevor Roberts, 29, was using a small, square shovel to clear a path to his own hut. He remained optimistic about meeting the deadline, even though he had a long way to go.

"Last week it was bad," he said, noting that four vehicles got stuck on the ice after half a metre of snow fell.

Yves Grandmaître, 43, owns the bait and tackle shop, and the land, where members of the local ice fishing community launch and retrieve their ice huts. He said it would be impossible to get all the huts -- which he believes total 40 or more -- off the river in one day, even though he rented a snow grooming machine to make things easier.

"The ice is real thick, but there's a lot of water on top and snow on top," he said between runs on the machine.

Mr. Grandmaître, who described this year's ice-fishing season as "short and wet," said it will be a couple of days before everyone is off the ice.

Richard LeBlanc, a 51-year-old veteran ice fisherman from Orléans, was one of the first to get his hut off the ice yesterday morning.

The fishing was "not the greatest" this year, but Mr. LeBlanc said he still enjoyed it.

"It's a challenge," he said. "It's fun, that's why we come out for it."
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Bilingual debate forces water park to change name
The developer behind what would be Canada's largest water park has had to make a change to the park's name, following public complaints over language. Le Groupe Village Vacances Valcartier said yesterday that it is officially changing the name its $50-million Sunnyland recreation-tourism complex to Calypso Park.

"We became aware of the comments concerning the linguistic concerns of the region's residents on the choice of Sunnyland and we decided to change it to a bilingual name," said Valcartier general manager Guy Drouin in a statement, adding that the decision stems from consultations that have taken place since Jan. 8.

The 460-acre park will be built near Russell Township, about 35 minutes east of Ottawa, where there is already a huge debate about enacting a new bylaw to replace English-only signs with bilingual ones.

"As a major recreation-tourism destination, we feel confident that this change will help make Calypso Park a source of pride for citizens of the greater region of Prescott and Russell. Also, as a result of its strategic geographic location between Ottawa and Montreal, Calypso Park will become the greatest water park in Canada," Drouin said.

This isn't the first challenge for the development: Calypso Park, which could be completed as early as June 2009, will also be facing off against a competing $30-million water park, ProSlide Technologies's Alottawata project. It will be built on a 100-acre site off Highway 416 on the southwest edge of Ottawa and is also set to open in the spring of 2009.

Calypso Park will offer more than 35 slides, an adventure river, a 40,000-square-foot wave pool, and more than 100 water games, as well as several restaurants, terraces and furnished picnic areas, Valcartier said.

Drouin said deforestation on the project area has already been completed and the developer will begin excavation on the site in a few days, with full construction to begin in the spring.

The project, which is expected to cost $50 million over a 10-year period, has received $2 million from the province. The first phase of the development is said to require $30 million in investments.

Calypso is anticipated to bring in more than $750 million in regional economic benefits over the first decade of operations, along with 550 seasonal full-time jobs and generate tax revenues for all levels of government.
(Story courtesy Krystle Chow, Ottawa Business Journal)
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Starting March 1, it will cost $3/hour to plug a meter
(Courtesy Josh Pringle, CFRA)
It will cost $3 an hour to park at on-street parking meters starting March 1st. City Council has approved a motion to increase parking meter rates from $2.50 an hour, but evening and Sunday parking will remain free.

Councillors have deferred plans to extend parking meter hours to 7 pm Monday to Saturday until its meeting on March 26th.

During the 2008 City of Ottawa budget debate, Councillors originally extended parking meter hours to 9 pm Monday to Saturday, and charge for on-street parking from 8 am to 5:30 pm on Sundays.

The City of Ottawa will now work with the consortium of Business Improvement Areas to address the parking meter hours.

The city must find $3.5 million in new revenue and savings to address a revenue shortfall by offering free evening and Sunday parking.

Executive Director of the Preston Street BIA Lori Mellor tells CFRA News they're happy Council has voted not to extend parking meter hours.

Mellor says they feel Council has shown they are listening to the concerns of businesses.
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Feature: Louis Mrak, from Rockland mechanic to core supporter of the Viennese Winter Ball
When the train rolled into Bourget station one hot summer afternoon in 1956, there was only one passenger scheduled to disembark: a 21-year-old auto mechanic fresh from Austria.

Louis Mrak had come alone to Canada, bringing only one suitcase of belongings. He had a job waiting for him in the small Eastern Ontario town of Rockland, fixing Volkswagens and, as it later turned out, John Deere tractors. More...
(Click here to view a photo of Louis and family.)
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Area's second fatal accident in as many weeks
A two-vehicle collision Saturday at the Clarence Point intersection of Highway 17 and Landry (near Rocket Ben's) claimed the life of 47 year-old Cecile De-grosbois of Lefaivre. According to the Russell County OPP an eastbound 2003 Buick Rendezvous operated De-grosbois, was struck head on by a westbound 2005 Chevrolet van, operated by Lorain Lemay, 69 year-old of Ottawa.

De-grosbois was pronounced dead at the scene, a 15-year-old female passenger was transported to CHEO by land Ambulance and treated for non-life threatening injuries. Lorain Lemay was airlifted to the Civic Hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries. He was alone in his vehicle.

For unknown reason at this time, Lemay’ vehicle crossed over into the eastbound lane and struck De-grosbois’s vehicle head on. Alcohol is not a factor in this incident. The weather and the condition of the roads were good.

The collision is under investigation by Cst Willy Flint. Cst Dominic Sauve a Technical Traffic Collision Investigator, Cst Robert Kearns a collision re-constructionist and Cst Ralph Crozier of the Forensic Identification Unit are assisting him.

(Read about the previous accident... click here.)
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LCBO bottle return program has started
‘Bag it back’ – the new deposit return program for recycling wine, beer and spirit containers – has started. Also starting, drinkers will have to pay up to 20 cents more per bottle of their favourite wine or spirits -- a deposit they can get back if they return the empty bottle to the Beer Store.

The program encourages Ontarians to return empty containers to The Beer Store for a refund, which means less waste going to landfill. By enhancing the Blue Box program’s effectiveness, deposit return will help increase Ontario’s waste diversion rate.

This program will help divert about 25,000 to 30,000 additional tonnes of glass from landfills – which is equivalent to about 80 million bottles. The new container return program will also free up space in Blue Boxes, giving municipal governments the opportunity to expand recycling programs.
Almost all wine, beer and spirit containers purchased in Ontario on or after February 5, 2007, can be returned to The Beer Store (or other select return locations) for a full deposit refund. This includes glass bottles, bag-in-box, Tetra Pak containers, plastic bottles (PET), and aluminum and steel containers on which deposits have been charged.
NOTE: Wine, beer and spirit containers purchased before February 5, 2007, do not carry a deposit and are not eligible for a refund.

Ontario Deposit Return Program Summary

Eligible containers
(glass bottles, plastic bottles (PET), Tetra Pak containers, bag-in-box, aluminum and steel containers)
Deposit/Refund Amount
•  Containers less than or equal to 630mL

"  Aluminum and steel containers less than or equal to 1L
•  Containers over 630mL

"  Aluminum and steel containers over 1L
Exempt containers
•  Containers with a volume of 100mL or less (e.g., 50mL minis)

•  Containers purchased at duty-free stores, U-Vint and U-Brew
No fee collected or refund offered for these items.
Easy Return Tips

1. Rinse your empty containers
2. Do not remove labels from your empty wine/beer/spirit containers.
3. Store them in a dry, safe location using the Bag-It-Back bag, a box or bin

Need to find a Beer Store location near you? Click here.
For more information on the 'Bag It Back" program, click here.
For FAQ (frequently asked questions), click here.
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Collision kills two on Highway 174
Police have identified the victims of a fatal crash that took place on Highway 174 on Monday Jan. 29 as a 27-year-old woman from Ottawa and a 30-year-old man from Rockland. Their names are being withheld at the request of the families, police say, adding the relationship between the two is not being released. For more visit OttawaEast.ca.
Ottawa Police, Monday, January 29th, 2007 10:45 am
At approximately 9:53 am, the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) responded to aPhoto scanned from Ottawa Citizentraffic collision on Regional Road 174 between Cameron Street and Trim Road. The collision involved a tractor-trailer and a pick-up truck.

Emergency crews were called to Regional Rd. 174 east of Trim Road. A westbound commercial pick-up truck crashed head-on with an eastbound tractor trailer.

Two occupants of the pickup truck, a man and woman both in their 30's, died in the crash. A man in his 40's was driving the tractor-trailer involved. He's in hospital with minor injuries.

The identities of the deceased man and woman were not released pending notification of next of kin.

At this time there are no further details. The investigation is continuing with members of the OPS Collision Unit. RR 174 was closed to west bound traffic at Cameron St. and east bound traffic was diverted at Trim Rd to facilitate the investigation.

(For more news and a photo visit: Fred Sherwin's Orleans Online.)
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Wanted: Ontario's worst municipal roads - Poll
The Municipal Roads Coalition today launched its fourth annual Worst
Roads Campaign and web site www.worstroads.ca. Since its inception in 2003, over 86 per cent of Ontario municipal roads nominated have received - or are in the process of receiving - improvements.

"We are thrilled with the results of the campaign to date, and it really shows that your vote for a worst road really matters," said Rob Bradford, Executive Director of the Ontario Road Builders' Association. "Our over 86 per cent success rate shows that municipal governments are starting to listen to road users, both motorist and bus passengers, and are addressing their concerns."

Since its launch in 2003, the coalition has named 46 different roads on its annual top 20 list. This year, the coalition contacted all the relevant municipalities to ask them to report on their progress. The municipal governments told the coalition they have taken or are taking action to fix 86 per cent of those roads. In fact, municipalities reported that 65 per cent of the roads have undergone repairs or are currently under construction and 21 per cent of them are scheduled for construction this year or are going through the redesign or environmental assessment processes.

"Ontarians want safe, efficient and uncongested roads and we believe they
deserve them," said CAA Ontario Provincial Affairs Specialist Kris Barnier. "If that's going to happen, road users must make their voices heard during this
municipal election. Registering their vote on www.worstroads.ca and using the site to send a postcard to their mayor and MPP will help them get results in their community."

The focus of the campaign is for municipal road users, both motorists and bus
passengers, to go to www.worstroads.ca and vote for the worst municipal roads in their community. The criteria to determine a 'worst road' include surface condition, congestion and other safety concerns. Users also have the
opportunity to send a post card to their mayor and MPP telling their elected
officials they want them to make increased funding to make their roads safer a
top priority.

Congestion costs southern Ontario's economy $2 billion dollars each year and poses a serious threat to our environment.

"Vehicles stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic burn fuel inefficiently and that means more tail pipe emissions and that's bad for our environment," said Doug Switzer, Manager Government Relations, Ontario Trucking Association. "If our mayors and MPPs want to protect jobs in their community, they can do so by taking action to maintain a strong municipal road network in their community."

Founded in 2003, the Municipal Roads Coalition is made up of organizations that came together in 2003 to advocate for improved investment in Ontario's
municipal roads.

"Municipal roads around the province transport our kids, our families and our
friends," said Rick Donaldson, Executive Director of the Ontario School Bus
Association. "The safety of these roads is directly related to their maintenance
and should be front and centre in the transportation infrastructure funding
decisions made by all levels of government."

Municipal Roads Coalition members include;
Canadian Automobile Association, Ontario
Ontario Motor Coach Association
Ontario Road Builders' Association
Ontario School Bus Association
Ontario Trucking Association

"By logging on to www.worstroads.ca and voting for the worst municipal road in Ontario you can help ensure that Ontario's tourism business remains strong," said Brian Crow, President of the Ontario Motor Coach Association. "Bad municipal roads detour tourists."

The Worst Roads Campaign 2006 runs from September 6, 2006 to October 13, 2006. The winners will be announced the week of October 23, 2006.
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Future Orléans Arts Centre unveiled to rave reviews
The future Orléans Arts Centre was recently unveiled during a public
open house. Construction of the $36.8 million, 86,000 sq. ft. facility
will begin next spring.

Ottawa City Council gave the go ahead to establish a private public partnership to build an arts facility near the Orléans Client Service Centre on Centrum Boulevard and develop the adjacent Orléans Town Centre lands.

Story courtesy Orleans Online. Click for more...
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Will Clarence-Rockland get faster Internet?
(News Story courtesy Ottawa Business Journal)

For most individuals and businesses in the city, access to broadband Internet is taken for granted, and the biggest question is often which service provider to choose. But for 40 per cent of rural residents, dial-up service is still the only game in town.

On Aug. 26, Affiliated Rural Broadband Network Services Inc., founded this spring in Orangeville, announced it had partnered with a local affiliate to provide wireless broadband to Clarence/Rockland, the Township of Russell, and part of Nation Township. It plans to expand throughout the Ottawa area by next summer. For the related story, click here.
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MPP announces more local support for small business
Our local MPP Jean-Marc Lalonde, parliamentary assistant to Minister of Economic Development and Trade Joe Cordiano,has announced that a new local office will provide small businesses with help and advice.

"Small businesses become bigger businesses," noted Lalonde, who also chairs the Small Business Agency of Ontario and is the Member of Provincial Parliament for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell. "They create jobs, increase their sales and become a success. Half of all jobs in Ontario are created by small business, and the McGuinty government is helping small business grow and succeed."

The Clarence-Rockland office is a satellite office of the Hawkesbury-based Prescott-Russell Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBECs).

"We are on the side of small business, whose success is critical to the prosperity of Ontario families and to the long-term health of our economy," said Minister of Economic Development and Trade Joe Cordiano. "Our government is committed to supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs who want to grow their businesses and contribute to the local economy."

SBECs provide small business owners with free advice from business consultants. Consultants review business plans, arrange for workshops and seminars, and provide guidance on the regulations that affect small business.

SBECs are a joint effort of the province, local municipalities, the federal government and private-sector partners. At the Rockland opening, MPP Lalonde thanked the Clarence-Rockland municipality for providing the office site and Industry Canada for its participation under its Canada-Ontario Business Service Centre program.

The Rockland satellite SBEC is located at 2815 Chamberland Street.
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May 16 - Mass water sample collection - Ottawa City
The City of Ottawa is offering its well water "2006 Spring Sample Collection" this Tuesday, May 16. Local towns affected include: Cumberland Village, Sarsfield, Vars and Navan.

Here is what they are saying on their Web site:
Proper and regular testing is the only way to know if your water is safe. Samples are tested for E.coli and total coliforms. Samples must be collected in Ministry of Health sample bottles and returned by the collection date within 24 hours of the sample being taken. Samples should be refrigerated until ready to be dropped off. Samples can also be dropped off year-round, every Thursday, from 8:30 a.m. to noon, at the Orléans Client Service Centre.

On Tuesday, May 16, sample bottles can be picked up during working hours and then dropped off at these community partners.




Tuesday, May 16, 2006
6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
JT Bradley s
1220 Colonial Road, Navan
No Charge
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Peladeau Grocery
5875 Buckland Road, Vars
No Charge
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Gauthier General Store
2950 Colonial Road, Sarsfield
No Charge
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Haddad S&S Foodliner
2565 Old Montreal Road, Cumberland Village
No Charge
For more information contact, Monique Traversy-Wong, Public Health Nurse, at monique.traversy-wong@ottawa.ca or 613-580-6744 ext 23462.
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S.O.S. Ottawa Senators

The Buffalo Sabres are returning to the conference finals and the Ottawa Senators are returning home early ? again. FULL STORY

Comment: The Ottawa Senators started to dig a hole for themselves with the loss of the first game of the second round of the series. They never really recovered.

The upside down flag is a "symbol of distress". According to flag protocol, the flag should never be displayed with the topside
down, except as a signal of dire distress, in instances of extreme
danger to life or property. (I guess we will have to wait until
next year to "right" the situation. - ed.)
Got a comment to make? Click here

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Earthquake hits area - Where were you?
An earthquake of magnitude 4.5 MN occured on 2006-02-25 at 01:39:22 Universal Time. The epicentre was located at latitude 45.66 North and longitude 75.23 West, 7 km N from Thurso, Quebec. The magnitude was determined from 14 stations of the GSC.

The nearest cities/towns to the epicentre are: 7 km N from/de Thurso, Quebec, 13 km N from/de Rockland, Ontario

Did you have any unusual experience with this quake that you would like to share? Contact us:

Did you feel the earthquake? Would you like to fill out Earthquakes Canada's intensity questionnaire? Click here.
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Sarsfield developing Multiservice Centre
The Community of Sarsfield is developing a Multiservice Center that will offer health services, continuing education, daycare, day camp for kids and many more activities.

You are invited with your family and friends to attend a Public Information Session about the Multiservice Centre, either in Cumberland Village: Tuesday, February 21, 7:30 p.m. at Maple Hall in Cumberland; or in Vars: Thursday, February 23, 7:30 p.m. at St Guillaume School.

"It up to the population to decide what service they require and want in their community" says Project Co-ordinator Diane Latreille. For more information call: (613) 835-1661.

(They hope to have an active Web site soon. In the meantime check out the Sarsfield web site for updating information.)
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Toll-free calling in greater Ottawa by end of year?
Toll-free calling within Ottawa and Gatineau is likely to arrive by the end of this year, according to a memo by City of Ottawa staff.

For some residents and business owners, that will mean an end to long-distance charges, but for everyone it will mean a surcharge on their phone bill each month for three years.

The surcharge is expected to be somewhere between 25 cents and 99 cents for residential phone lines and between 50 cents and $3 for business lines.

Will this mean that residents in the 833 prefix, which includes the Canaan Road area (Forest Hill and Blue jay ridge), will be included? More...
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Navan family fighting deportation - The Van Hauve story

The Van Hauve family from Navan has been embroiled in a dispute with Citizenship and Immigration Canada for many months. After working in this country on a series of work permits for the past eight years, Van Hauve's application for permanent residency status was rejected in September.

For the latest update, visit
Orleans Online
Citizen Editorial: Time for Van Hauves to go More...

Photo courtesy Fred Sherwin
Orleans Online

For previous stories, use/go to Google's
Search News for "van hauve".
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Ontario-Quebec Summer Student Job Exchange Program
Area Provincial Member of Parliament, Jean-marc Lalonde has announced that the Ontario government is once again offering funding for youth employment. The Ontario-Québec Summer Student Job Exchange Program (2006) will recruit positions for university students from Québec at $10 an hour for 13 weeks. The Québec government will offer the same program for Ontario students.

This program gives young Ontario residents an opportunity to broaden their work experience, gain a better understanding of public service and another province's culture and improve their French-language skills.

The program runs from May 15 to August 11, 2006. The deadline for
applications is February 28, 2006. Interviews will be held in March 2006. For more information, please visit www.summer.mbs.gov.on.ca or call 1-888-JOB-GROW (1-888-562-4769).
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Three men lose fingers to snowblowers
Don't unblock machines with hands, doctor warns
Shannon Proudfoot, The Ottawa Citizen
Published: Sunday, January 22, 2006

The heavy, wet snow that blanketed the city yesterday makes for perfect snowman weather, but it also poses particular dangers to those trying to clear the drifts from their driveways.

Yesterday afternoon alone, Ottawa Hospital saw three men in their emergency room with serious hand injuries suffered when they tried to unblock clogged snowblower chutes.

Dr. Andrew Gee, an emergency room doctor, said the injuries ranged from missing fingertips to entire fingers that could not be reattached.

"They stick their fingers where they shouldn't be and the next thing they know, they don't have them. It's not a good thing for us at all. We hate to see it," he said.

Dr. Gee said that some people simply forget the force of the machine they are dealing with and try to push snow blockages through while the snowblower is still running.

However, even turning the machine off is not a safe option, he said. A clogged snowblower will complete one more cycle of its engine once it is unblocked, meaning any fingers within range of the blades are at risk, even if the machine is not running.

"The message is, always use a broom handle to unclog," Dr. Gee said. "It's a lot easier to buy a new broom handle than it is to get a new hand."

According to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, 90 per cent of snowblower injuries happen to the dominant hand, and the most common victims are males in their 40s.

The middle finger is the most commonly injured, and a large accumulation of heavy, wet snow is the weather forecast that most often results in accidents. © The Ottawa Citizen 2005
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Tigers and wolves and bears... oh my!
(Tiger savours sweet taste of freedom after daring Wendover zoo escape)
Joel Kom
The Ottawa Citizen

A Siberian tiger that escaped from a zoo has joined cows and deer on the list of animals making roadside appearances in a small town outside Ottawa

Neekeeshia, a 225-kilogram female tiger, slipped under a fence at the Papanack Zoo around 2:30 a.m. and made her way onto a road in Wendover, east of Rockland. She didn't make it far from her enclosed home before a driver spotted her about 10 minutes later on the road ahead of him.

The driver kept an eye on Neekeeshia as she slinked into a backyard across the street from the zoo -- the zoo owners' backyard, as it turned out -- and called police. The owners, Keith and Diane Forgie, came outside and tranquillized the tiger.

The 13-year-old Siberian was back in her pen within a half-hour, Mr. Forgie said. And no one was injured in Neekeeshia's brief experiment with freedom.

The big cat was able to escape thanks to two days of rain that had softened the ground around the fence, he said. The tigers constantly patrol the pen's perimeter, and Neekeeshia dug deep enough in the mud to be able to slip under the fence.

"When you're 500 or 600 pounds, you just slop it up after a while," Mr. Forgie said. The escape "sounds worse than it is. To me, it's a lot more dangerous to have an aggressive dog loose that can bite people," said Mr. Forgie.

The chances of Neekeeshia romping around like a wild tiger were slim, since she and her two pen mates, Tony and Sabrina, were raised by Mr. and Mrs. Forgie.

It wasn't the first time a four-legged critter has escaped from the zoo. Neighbours said wolves have made it out in the past, in one instance killing about nine sheep. Goats have also been known to wander around.

Julie Chayer, who lives next to the zoo with her husband and three children, had two wolves once join her and her husband for a midnight campfire in their backyard. The wolves seemed more intent on sniffing her dogs, and the only harm that came of it was one wolf getting hit by a car.

"We've never had any trouble with" the zoo, she said. "They're good neighbours."

However, some neighbours have been upset with the security breaches and moved away, she said, adding that she likes living next to the zoo.

The zoo, which started off as a breeding centre about 19 years ago, has been open to the public for 10 years. It houses about 400 animals, including monkeys, Bengal tigers, lemurs, Siberian and Canadian lynx, snow leopards, a wild boar and coyotes.

Mr. Forgie said the cows that frequently wander the area road pose just as much a danger as the tiger did. Nevertheless, he's building a wide perimeter fence around the zoo.

As for the prospect of future escapes, well, neighbour Jacques Chenier jokingly said he'll keep his eyes peeled from now on. "Each time I get my paper in the morning, I'll have to look a little harder on the road."
© The Ottawa Citizen 2005
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Prescott-Russell to review official plan

(The following notice appeared recently in local papers. It talks about the United Counties holding a special meeting to review the official plan, and invites interested parties to participate. It's a litle dry, but nevertheless important to residents.)

NOTICE: Special Public Meeting - Review of the Official Plan of the Corporation of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell.

TAKE NOTICE that the Council of the Corporation of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell will hold a special public meeting on the 28th day of June 2005, at 1 :00 p.m., at the Council Chambers of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, Administrative
Building located at 59 Court Street, L'Orignal, under Section 26 of the Planning Act, RSO 1990.

PURPOSE AND EFFECT - The purpose of the special meeting consists in determining the need or not to revise the Official Plan of the United Counties of the Prescott and Russell.

ANY PERSON may attend the public meeting and/or make written or verbal representation either in support of or in opposition to Council's intention to revise or not the United Counties of Prescott and Russell Official Plan.

If a person or public body that files an appeal of a decision of the Council of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell to revise or not the Official Plan, does not make oral or written submission at the special public meeting, the Ontario Municipal Board may dismiss all or part of the appeal.

If you wish to be notified of the decision of the Council to revise or not the Official Plan, you must make a written request to the Director of the Planning Department of the United Counties of Prescott and Russell (see the address below).

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION related to the proposed Official Plan revision is available during regular office hours at the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, Monday to Friday, from 8:30am to 4:30pm, or by contacting the Planning Department at the address indicated below.

Dated this 18th day of May, 2005.
Planning Department
United Counties of Prescott and Russell
59 Court Street, P.O. Box 304
L'Orignal, Ontario KOB 1KO
Tel.: (613) 675-4661 ext. 313
Fax: (613) 675-1007

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Rockland's Tim Halderson on patrol
(Policing has changed with the times
(Story courtesy
Orleans Weekly Journal)
By Steve Coleman, Neighbourhood News Staff
Fri, May 6, 2005 12:00 PM EST)

The jury is still out on whether criminals have become more organized in the 32 years that Staff Sgt. Tim Halderson has been on the job, but the police are.

Ottawa Police Service is also more egalitarian, more racially diverse and more educated, said Halderson, who works out of the Tenth Line Station.

The nature of police work has also changed. Much of that has been in the way officers tackle problems.

"It's a lot more team oriented than it used to be and the problems are more complex. We're doing a lot more," said Halderson, who spent five years with the Rockland OPP before joining the Nepean Police, now part of Ottawa Police.

Policing is also one of the most egalitarian jobs out there, he also said. Whether an officer is male or female, they're expected to be able to do the same things. On his own platoon, the ratio is pretty much 50/50, he said. The service has also become more racially diverse in the last few years.

Officers are coming into the job with more life experience, too. Most of them also come to the job with a college diploma or a university degree.

And, instead of coming to the police force straight out of school, some have private sector managerial experience. One officer was involved with the Salvation Army before joining Ottawa Police.

Halderson has noticed that the mix at the sergeant level is interesting, too. One sergeant spent a lot of years in the city's gang unit. Another came to East Division with 10 years of dealing with partner assaults.

In fact, patrol officers usually lack experience in only one area: behind the wheel of a large car that is equipped with laptop computer, the switches, the radio and the GPS mapping system. The inside of a police cruiser can be a confusing place, he said.

For someone who grew up in Toronto, it's easy to appreciate a city the size of Ottawa, said Halderson. Orléans isn't as busy as Toronto, but it can get busy enough.

"The city goes all night and day," said Halderson. "It never really quiets down...(Even) the night shift is busy. It used to be quiet."

Between 3-4 a.m., people are coming back from the casinos on both sides of the Ottawa River. A couple of hours later, people are heading into work for the day.

If there's one sign that Ottawa has becoming a big city, it's the call volume. That and the types of calls officers answer. Another thing that has changed in the last few years are peoples' expectations, he said. They expect the police to do more and to do it politely.

While East Division doesn't get a lot of complaints, most of the public's gripes are about the way an officer did something - not the fact that they did it. Officers are usually good with each other, too, he said.

The police service's discrimination and harassment committee doesn't get a lot of traffic. It's one of the things he volunteers to do on the job. There are others away from the Tenth Line Road police station.

As a Rockland Knights of Columbus member, he said he's active in the service club's annual blood donor clinic (See more).
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Clarence-Rockland Fire department to get $70, 000
for training and equipment
The City of Clarence-Rockland is one of several Eastern Ontario municipalities that will receive money from the province to train firefighters and buy equipment.

Eastern Ontario will receive $1,435,000.00 as part of a $30-million, one-time Ontario Fire Service Training Grant, distributed to municipalities throughout Ontario. Clarence-Rockland's share will be $70, 000.

"The McGuinty government is helping Eastern Ontario municipalities better protect residents by providing funding to municipal fire departments for training and equipment," says Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MPP Jean-Marc Lalonde.

“Small and rural municipalities face the greatest need for training and tools to help do their job and to minimize the risk of harm to the firefighters.” “Every day, firefighters here in Clarence-Rockland and across Ontario risk their lives to keep our communities safe,” said Benoit Rollin, Interim Fire Chief. “It's vital that they be given the best training and tools possible to do the job.”

“This funding will enable our fire department to meet training needs and, where appropriate, purchase new equipment,” said Jean-Marc Lalonde.

Ontario Fire Marshal Bernard Moyle has developed a training plan in co-operation with provincial fire coordinators to ensure that training opportunities are made available to fire departments.

“This program responds to a real need among fire services across Ontario,” Moyle said. “It provides fire services with the flexibility to tailor the funding for local needs so that they may continue to deliver outstanding service to the people of this province.”

By providing this unconditional grant to 385 municipalities, the McGuinty government is promoting a robust, well-trained and well-equipped fire service, and giving fire services the ability to tailor the funding to local needs.

‘This $70,000 will go a long way in ensuring that rural fire departments such as ours can benefit from quality training and equipment to better protect our communities,' explained Jonathan Desmarais, a volunteer firefighter for the Clarence-Rockland Fire Department.

“This is great news for our communities” said Mr. Lalonde. “The funding will enable our fire fighters to have the training and equipment necessary to better protect municipalities from Eastern Ontario”.

He that there are no strings attached to the funding and municipalities are free to decide how they will spend it.
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Ottawa River - rising water warning

Because of recent heavy rains, authorities have issued a rising water warning for people using the Ottawa River. Not only is the water rising significantly, but the current is becoming much stronger. People are urged to be extra careful, and to wear life-preservers when on the water. (Photo courtesy Kathleen Stevens and Michel Hébert... See their story cycling across Canada. More...)
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Ice-water-rescue team to return to Clarence-Rockland
Publication The Orleans Star
Date June 23, 2004
Brief The City of Clarence-Rockland's suspended ice and water rescue team should be back in action by the beginning of July.

The City of Clarence-Rockland's suspended ice and water rescue team should be back in action by the beginning of July.

Daniel Gatien, the city's chief administrative officer, said the city decided in May to temporarily suspend the team until equipment is upgraded and the volunteer firefighters who man the rescue team receive additional training.

He said the team was put on hold following an order being issued by the Ontario Ministry of Labour to a similar team in Northern Ontario amid concerns that it was not operating according to appropriate safety standards.

"We heard about that and thought we better bring ours up to standard," said Gatien. "The ministry thought it was a good idea for us to do that before being told."

He added the city is also developing new safety guidelines for the rescue team.

Pierre Sabourin, fire chief for the Clarence-Rockland Fire Services, said the city's ice and water rescue team has operated since 2002. Since then, it's carried out four water rescues. Those incidents included a boat with a stalled engine which had to be pulled back to shore, as well as a boat fire.

Sabourin said there have been no fatalities other than an incident in 2002 when the team was asked to assist the Ontario Provincial Police with a body retrieval.

"Apparently the person had jumped in the water in Ottawa," he recalled.

The fire department has 68 volunteer members working out of three different stations operating in Rockland, Clarence Creek and Bourget.

Sabourin said since the department's rescue boat is situated at the Rockland station, the 25 members there will each be required to take an additional eight hours of training to qualify for the ice and water rescue team.

"We have most of the equipment already, we just need some health and safety security equipment," Sabourin said. "We need another dry suit to have a complete backup and things like carabineers, a megaphone, all small stuff. Basic health and safety equipment for the firefighters."

Noting the firefighters' training has been approved by Clarence-Rockland's city council, Sabourin added, "We should be back on track by the beginning of July."

Until the local team is prepared to conduct rescues, he said an OPP ice and water rescue team from Hawkesbury will be called to assist at any emergencies.
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