• Candice Vetter

News April 13 to 19, 2020

Hello, bonjour, and welcome, to Carlsbad-Vars Radio, CJRO, at 107.7 and 107.9 FM in Carlsbad Springs, Vars, Edwards, Navan, parts of Russell, southeast Ottawa, and online, at

I’m Candice Vetter, reporting from my home office in North Russell.

Some written updates are also posted to our website, And we’ll continue our pandemic coverage with COVID Coping on Local First.

First off, the City of Ottawa has produced a new list of information and instructions.

It starts by reminding us that COVID-19 affects everyone regardless of age and current health status. As of last weekend 79 per cent of all confirmed cases in Ottawa were among people under age 65.

Staff will update the City’s website as changes come from the Ontario Ministry of Health. And I am discussing that list and some of the issues around testing on Local First’s third episode of COVID Coping, so tune in.

One hallmark of a crisis is rapid innovation. Spartan Bioscience of Ottawa just received Health Canada’s approval for its portable COVID-19 rapid-testing device. The owners have said they will fill Canadian orders ahead of any others. The federal and Ontario governments already have contracts in place for the testing kits. The kits will speed up testing capability, especially in rural and remote areas.

And of course, when there’s trouble, there’s someone taking advantage of it. I reported on two COVID-19 scams last week. Another one has arisen in some cities and will probably show up here soon. Scam artists are going door to door claiming to give COVID-19 tests on the spot. That is not happening (at least not yet) so do not let these people in or give them any information.

Many people who have put it off are now thinking about their mortality. Medical officers worldwide have publicly advised people to write out their end-of-life and disability plans. Do you need a power of attorney in case you are disabled or in hospital for a long time? Do you want to be resuscitated, intubated, ventilated? If not, you might look into Do Not Resuscitate orders. Do you have a will? Who are the guardians of your children? Who will execute your estate?

Well, the Ontario government has just made writing wills easier. It issued an emergency order to allow virtual signing of wills and powers of attorney through online video platforms.

Normally, in Ontario wills and powers of attorney must be witnessed by two people, who are not beneficiaries or spouses of beneficiaries. So this is a big help in reducing in-person contact while allowing people to plan their affairs.

Also, if you have wills that haven’t been updated for a long time, you can write a codicil, in long-hand (not typed), and sign and date it without a witness. One note of caution, make sure your executors and guardians are agreeable to your arrangements!

Now, let’s make a little switch to good news.

Carlsbad Springs resident, Don Phillipson, wrote CJRO last week, to praise of the Embrun Co-op Independent store on Notre Dame Street in Embrun. Since receiving his email I have been there myself and the increased physical distancing barriers they have implemented are reassuring. Staff everywhere still prefer delivery orders however. Grocery and drugstore staffing has gone from being a normal job to becoming a front-line worker in a pandemic, and the strain is obvious on staff’s faces. So do them a favour and avoid going into the store if you can.

Russell Township has listed all the restaurants in the township which are open or closed and which ones do only pick up and which ones do delivery. See for a cuisine change.

In the village of Russell the Spirit Tree in front of Russell Public School has been relit. Police Village of Russell trustee Greg Rokosh turned it on recently, as a way to cheer people up. The lower lights didn’t work properly, so it’s the upper half that’s lit. Rokosh said, “It symbolizes the rising up of our spirits out of darkness.” Appropriate for Easter weekend.

Do you have news that matters to our area? If yes, contact me by emailing

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


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