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CJRO News October 23 to October 29, 2023

Updated: Nov 7

Hello, bonjour, and welcome to CJRO News on CJRO Radio. I’m Candice Vetter, reporting from Embrun.

In a bombshell announcement on Monday, October 23rd, the new Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Paul Calandra, said the provincial government will reverse the changes it made to many municipalities’ official plans, including the expansions it made to the urban boundaries of Ottawa. This affects the property at 1177 Watters Road beside Orleans, which MPP Stephen Blais has spoken out about because the principals of the corporation which bought it also contributed over $37,000 to the Progressive Conservatives’ campaign. That property has long been considered unfit for building due to the karst conditions there. Karst is eroded limestone which creates caves, fissures, sinkholes, ridges and other landforms. The property is also considered good farmland and was not supposed to be included in potential urban expansion areas, but the province overruled the City.

In his announcement Calandra said, “…reviewing how decisions were made regarding official plans, it is now clear that they failed to meet this test.” Calandra evaded questions about Premier Doug Ford’s involvement. The entire announcement can be seen at

Changes made to the Toronto area Greenbelt, which appeared to be made at the request of a few developers, recently resulted in the resignations of former MMAH minister Steve Clark and his chief of staff, Ryan Amato. About two weeks ago NDP Leader Marit Stiles released a leaked internal government briefing note which she said shows the government “knowingly overrode recommendations from regional planning staff.”

It is currently unclear if the cancellation of the existing official plans will affect the Tewin subdivision, which was added to the City’s Official Plan by the City in spite of objections by staff, or the Highway 417 expansion plans in the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, also not supported by staff. That Official Plan was only approved a few weeks ago by the province and the reasons for the delay were not given. At the present time Calandra only mentioned specific municipalities, but also said municipalities have 45 days to request revisions to their original submissions.

Activists opposed to the fast increases in urban expansion suggest Ontario residents with concerns write their municipal governments to ask that they request changes. Calandra is continuing to investigate on the heels of the Integrity Commissioner, the Auditor General, and the RCMP, which was asked by the OPP to take over its file. He stated that protection of water resources, protection of natural heritage and protection of farmland are prime considerations.

The Country Moments Spa and Wellness Centre at 3470 Trim Road in Navan caught fire on Sunday, October 22nd. The spa, which is owned by local businessperson and community advocate Amanda Watson, is located in a historical house in the centre of the village. Watson is also one of the founders of the Original Navan Market. On the spa’s Facebook page Watson said the spa was destroyed, but they will rebuild. A GoFundMe page called Fire recovery at Country Moments in Navan has been set up.

The Prescott-Russell Trail is temporarily closed for bridge replacement from Smith Road east to Trim Road. The work is expected to take about a week.

The South Nation Conservation Authority is still taking applications for its Woodlot Recovery Program for landowners who lost trees in last year’s derecho. The new cost-share initiative will help with clean up, site preparation and tree planting. Property owners may get details at For more information on the program listen to my interview with forester Caroline Goulet at SNC on Local First.

Two upcoming meetings invite the public to get involved with community-led initiatives to help address physician shortages locally. There will be one meeting with Dr. Danielle Debanné on October 30th, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Township Hall at 717 Notre Dame Street in Embrun. There will be another meeting titled The Future of Primary Health Care in Metcalfe, on Wednesday, November 8th at 7 p.m., hosted by Jane Cooper at St. Andrews United Church in Metcalfe.

The new Pharmasave Embrun Pharmacy has opened in Embrun at 829 Notre Dame Street.

About 200 people attended the Embrun Co-op’s member’s barbecue on October 20th. The event showcased the newly renovated facilities at the Co-op office.

Admin Lauren Renaurd in the new Co-op office. Photo Candice Vetter

The Russell Library is hosting author Barry Finlay at the Russell Branch on November 2nd at 7:00 p.m. for The Story Behind the Stories. Finlay is the author of ten award-winning books. Registration is required at the library or at Cost is $5.

The Kin Club of Russell’s Catch the Ace is back. Get tickets at The first jackpot is estimated at $7,000 and the first draw is November 5th.

Navan Road from Spring Valley Drive to future Fern Casey Street is closed for about three months to correct deficiencies in last year’s sewer work. A contractor will carry out the new work on behalf of Ashcroft Homes.

The Embrun Coop is seeking members for its Board of Directors. If interested contact Allie Gasser at or 613-443-2833. Applications must be received on or before November 13th.

Check our website for additional videos, photos and detailed information. Send the News you want included in this weekly report to by Monday mornings. Don’t forget—Facebook, Google, Meta, etc. may not allow Canadian News, but we’re all about it. Get the local news that matters to you anytime on, tune in to 107.7 or 107.9 FM, or listen on the Tune-In and Radio Player Canada apps. I’m Candice Vetter for CJRO News. CJRO, last on the dial, first for local news.

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