• Candice Vetter

CJRO News June 15th to 21st, 2020

Hello, bonjour, and welcome, to Carlsbad-Vars Radio, CJRO, at 107.7 and 107.9 FM in Carlsbad Springs, Vars, Edwards, Navan, southern Orleans, NDC, some of Russell, and online, at

I’m Candice Vetter, reporting from my home office in North Russell, just a few kilometres from Carlsbad Springs.

Our top story this week is one that has been heard across Canada. A former resident of Russell Village, who now lives in British Columbia, has suggested Russell should change its name, because it was named after Peter Russell, a slave owner 200 years ago.

For some reason this story reached national status, and I’ll be talking further about it on Local First this week. But here are a few facts to consider.

First, Russell Township, the Village of Russell, the United Counties of Prescott-Russell, and several roads are named Russell, that’s a lot of name-changing. Thousands and thousands of people would need to change their addresses, which is expensive, time-consuming and kills trees.

Second, no one knows or cares who Peter Russell was. He’s not celebrated or remembered. Back when this area was being settled by Europeans you didn’t have to be famous or heroic to have something named after you. Administrators (which Russell was) often had opportunities to put their own names on places. Thousands of post offices in Canada bear testament to that trend.

Third, Russell owned slaves and attempted to profit from the slave trade (unsuccessfully) and tried to delay the abolition of slavery. However, he also reduced the graft, corruption and nepotism that had characterized the land grants system in Ontario. More importantly, he defended the human rights and the land rights of First Nations people in York, against the encroaching settlers, something few other persons in power even acknowledged at the time.

Russell Township’s mayor, Pierre Leroux, immediately stated a name change would be very hard on residents and businesses. Russell Township and its population have put much effort into branding the township, and that favourable marketing shouldn’t be thrown aside. Leroux suggested that someone else named Russell be honoured here, and he has invited suggestions.

One of our listeners made another suggestion—that the word russel, which in Old Norse (which morphed into Old English and English eventually) originally meant red-haired or red-skinned. Considering the beautiful red soil of the first four concessions of the township, along with the brick red shale once mined from Quarry Lake, maybe the name Russell should just refer to the rusty-coloured land. Russell Township Council is debating the issue on June 15th.

The transformation of the former D&S Barbecue restaurant in Carlsbad Springs into an Indian-Canadian food restaurant is underway. I spoke with new owner, Dewan Chowdhury, who said right now he and his wife, Sabina Chowdhury, are awaiting some permissions from City inspectors. He said the restaurant is in nice shape and needs very little renovating. It will be at least a month before they are in a position to open. The Chowdhurys have owned several other restaurants in Ottawa, and are very excited and looking forward to working in Carlsbad Springs.

Also in Carlsbad Springs, the community association has asked the National Capital Commission to release about ten two-acre parcels of land. These lots could then be used for residential housing. They all front along Piperville Road and Russell Road in the village, which are already residential streets.

The community association is also requesting that land beside Harkness Park be released to the City, to eventually build a second baseball field. The CSCA has requested a meeting with the NCC board to present the proposal.

Here’s another scam. I got a call recently claiming to be from Service Canada. The number that showed up on my machine had a 780 area code. The recorded voice claimed that my Social Insurance Number would be suspended if I didn’t do something (starting with press the number one). It then threatened to arrest me. Social Insurance Numbers are NOT suspended. Hang up immediately.

I had an emergency dental situation recently and fortunately my dentist’s office in Russell reopened with COVID-19 protocols in place. It was interesting and I felt protected by the protocols. Only one person is allowed into the waiting area, and only when called in. There is plenty of sanitization. A clever idea used there was a mouse sleeve over the Interac machine. While working on my mouth the dentist and assistant wore full PPE. All in all the experience was much less scary than I’d feared.

Stage 2 of the province’s reopening framework now allows more recreational facilities to be used by the public, if physical distancing measures are kept in place.

This means splash pads, pools, sports fields, ball diamonds, and sk8 parks can be used, but not in competitive play, as players may get too close to each other. These permissions come with strict conditions and many fields must be booked in advance on .

The City is still finalizing plans to reopen indoor and outdoor pools and wading pools. Water quality testing and lifeguards on duty will start June 27th and go until August 30th. Check for current information, and for water quality testing results.

Play structures and fitness equipment in parks remain closed.

There are numerous traffic impacts this week. Airport Parkway between Hunt Club Road, and the intersection of Uplands and Lester roads, will close overnight on Wednesday, June 17th for construction of the Stage 2 O-Train South Extension.

Airport Parkway southbound between the Heron Road eastbound and westbound ramps, will be reduced to a single lane from Thursday, June 18th, until the beginning of July, to rehabilitate the Confederation Heights Bridge.

The Nicholas Bridge replacement project on Highway 417, at the Nicholas Street exit downtown on the Queensway, will mess up traffic from St. Laurent Boulevard to Lees Avenue. For a complete list of which on and off ramps will be closed between June 15th and June 18th go to .

Do you have news that matters to our area? Have you found a life hack to help deal with COVID-19? Do you have an issue you think isn’t being noticed? If yes, I’d like to hear from you! Contact me by emailing

CJRO – Last on the dial, first for local news.


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