About three dozen people gathered at La Cité Golf Club in Hawkesbury, early Tuesday evening, for what could be the last public debate for candidates seeking the Glengarry-Prescott-Russell seat in the October federal election. Questions from the audience focused on federal support for local economic investment, tourism development, affordable housing, and other concerns.

One last debate for GPR candidates

About three dozen people gathered at La Cité Golf Club in Hawkesbury, early Tuesday evening, for what could be the last public debate for candidates seeking the Glengarry-Prescott-Russell seat in the October federal election.

“To me, politics is about helping people,” said incumbent Liberal MP Francis Drouin.

“In this election, we can debate the change we need, one vote at a time,” said Conservative challenger Pierre Lemieux, a former MP for the riding.

“I am running because there is a need for change, a need for new ideas,” said Daniel John Fey, running as an independent candidate.

Candidates introduced themselves, explained what their party represented, and why they themselves sought to become the GPR’s representative on Parliament Hill.

“I am a working-class person,” said Konstantine Malakos of the NDP. “I was raised in the working class, and I have working-class values.”

“I am happy to offer a better alternative to the major parties,” said Jean-Jacques Desgranges of the Peoples’ Party of Canada.

“I am standing here to protect my kids and their future,” said Darcy Neal Donnelly, Libertarian Party candidate.

“We need collaboration,” said Marc-Antoine Gagnier, Rhinoceros Party candidate.

Marthe Lépine, the former Green Party candidate who is now running as an independent, was not present for the debate because of difficulties in arranging transportation from her home in Russell Township. Candidates took turns answering four questions focusing on the Town of Hawkesbury’s needs for economic development and investment, expansion and promotion of its tourism sector, affordable housing, and identifying “the most pressing need” for the municipality and surrounding area.

Economic development

“I remember the time when Hawkesbury was very productive,” said Desgranges. “One of the (development) opportunities I see is processing of agricultural products.”

Desgranges and several other candidates all noted that Hawkesbury’s location puts it in “a strategic position” to serve the Ottawa-Toronto-Montréal triangle for supplying various processed products from the GPR’s agricultural sector. Drouin noted that Hawkesbury’s future prosperity also depends on having a well-maintained infrastructure, including high-speed digital access, to attract and support new development.

“If we don’t have the basic infrastructure, we will never be able to attract new industry,” Drouin said, adding that the Liberal government has developed long-term policies and programs to aid municipal and regional infrastructure improvements.

“I think we need to build on the strengths of Hawkesbury,” said Lemieux, adding that co-operation between both senior levels of government is essential. “We need governments that work together because it is a team effort.”

“I see Hawkesbury being a leader in green energy,” said Malakos, adding that the town could attract projects like a solar panel manufacturing plant. “We also have to protect what is already here, while we’re working to bring new businesses here.”

“Small and medium businesses are the heart and blood of this riding,” said Fey. “It (development) has to be dictated by the people of Hawkesbury.”

Fey noted that a soybean processing plant in Hawkesbury could take advantage of the growing global demand for soybean paste and soy milk for the health food market. That would also help strengthen the riding’s agricultural sector where soybean is one of the major staple crops.

“Government is the problem,” said Donnelly, noting that the libertarian philosophy favors the least government involvement and interference possible, with businesses and investors allowed to succeed or fail in a free market system. “The people make the decision on the risk and the reward.”

Tourism market

“We have to support our local infrastructure, which supports our local festivals,” said Drouin. “We also need to support more agro-tourism.”

Lemieux noted that during his term as MP he helped bring in federal money for development of cycling paths throughout the riding, to support the growing market for cycle tourism. He also cited more promotion and support for existing features and attractions like the Larose Forest area, the annual Wendover Western Fest that hosts thousands of visitors during its run, and institutions like Hawkesbury’s Le Chenail cultural centre, which hosts art shows, intimate evening concerts, and other events.

“We have to invest in local organizations,” said Malakos, adding that federal partnerships with local groups will help better promote the riding’s tourism potential. “We need to promote this region heavily. We need to invest in public transit also, so people can get to these events and attractions.”

“You need a central thing or attraction in Hawkesbury that would make people want to come here,” said Desgranges, adding that lowering the federal corporate tax by 10 per cent would encourage more touristm investment, like developing a local wine industry or promoting the area’s glider clubs and airfields for adventure tourism.

Affordable housing

“We need a federal partnership at the table,” said Drouin, regarding affordable housing needs in the Hawkesbury area. He noted that the Liberal campaign strategy features a 10-year plan for housing, which includes social housing needs.

“People who need affordable housing tend to have other needs also,” said Lemieux, adding that social housing programs and projects are the responsibility of the provincial government. He also criticized the present federal carbon tax for penalizing low-income people on essentials like winter heating costs.

“We will create 500 new units of affordable housing,” said Malakos, adding that the NDP would work with local governments and non-profit groups on developing social housing projects. The NDP would also, he noted, introduce rent control and also provide rent subsidies for low-income residents in situations where their home rental costs exceeds 30 per cent of their personal income.

Desgranges said the PPC would focus on clearing the federal deficit, which would then free up federal money to aid social housing programs. Fey stated there should be more local control of planning for affordable housing needs. Donnelly said housing is “a private initiative” and people could form housing co-operatives for affordable housing projects.

The greatest need

“We must support small business,” said Lemieux.

“Let’s invest in this region so that people want to come back here,” said Malakos.

“It will take leadership willing to be open to new ideas that support diversification,” said Fey.

“Hawkesbury needs to be a free trade zone to attract capital,” said Donnelly. “Then it can prosper.”

Last question

The moderator noted that all of the GPR candidates present for the debate were men, before she presented the final question of the evening. What can the next government do to protect and support the rights of women and also encourage more women to become active in politics?

Every candidate noted that every municipality in Glengarry-Prescott-Russell has at least one woman sitting on council, and in the case of Hawkesbury there is both one woman sitting as a councillor and another, Paula Assaly, serving as the current mayor. All said that more must be done to encourage women to be active in politics and other fields, including business.

Rural Internet service in Prescott-Russell could become faster and better than ever when a private-sector upgrade project gets underway.

“We have many (service) towers which will be upgraded over the next few months,” said Chris Phillips, Xplornet sales manager for Eastern and Northern Ontario who met, along with several company officials, with United Counties of Prescott and Russell council (UCPR), January 15, to explain the company’s Connect to Innovate project (CTI).

La municipalité de La Nation veut inciter une frange plus jeune de la population à venir s’y établir. Pour y arriver, elle misera sur un partenariat avec la boîte de production Effet Papillon, fondée par trois membres du groupe humoristique ottavien Improtéine.

 Une subvention de 17 900 $ du Programme d’appui à la francophonie ontarienne (PAFO) permettra à La Nation de produire cinq vidéos promotionnelles mettant en valeur des personnalités et des entreprises locales.

« J’ai pris la dernière année, et plus, pour réfléchir sérieusement, et la conclusion est claire : c’est le Parti libéral de l’Ontario qui partage mes valeurs, qui respecte et qui comprend réellement les gens de chez nous, nos particularités, nos défis et nos besoins »

C’est en ces quelques mots que la députée de Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, Amanda Simard, a annoncé ce jeudi qu’elle ralliait les rangs du Parti libéral de l’Ontario. L’annonce a été faite ce jeudi après-midi en compagnie du chef intérimaire du parti, John Fraser.


A report on the state of ambulance services in Eastern Ontario says the provincial government should focus more attention on a better dispatch system and less on plans for amalgamating regional ambulance programs

The Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus (EOWC), which represents the 11 counties in the region, along with the cities of Ottawa and Cornwall, completed its in-depth review of ambulance service and paramedic services in the region. Marc-André Périard, director of emergency services for the United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR), summarized the results of the report for the eight mayors on UCPR council during their Wednesday committee of the whole session.


The United Counties of Prescott and Russell is leading its community partners through the elaboration of a regional Community Safety and Well-Being Plan.

The process was launched in the summer of 2019 and the final plan must be adopted by January 1, 2021, as per the requirement from the Province of Ontario. A multi-sectoral advisory committee was created in the fall, and has since met twice. The committee’s work will be to examine the community’s assets, assess gaps, and develop strategies to enhance community safety and well-being for residents of Prescott and Russell.

North Stormont

A “green energy” company is taking the Ford Progressive Conservative government to court for its controversial cancellation of a wind farm project that was almost finished and ready to start generating power.

EDP Renewables Canada has filed an application with the Ontario Superior Court for a judicial review of the provincial government’s revoking of the company’s Renewal Energy Approval licence (REA) for its Nation Rise wind farm project. The 100-megawatt project is located in North Stormont Township, with several of the 29 wind turbines erected near the border of North Stormont, The Nation Municipality, and Russell Township.


«Aquatria a été construite sur mesure pour répondre aux besoins des retraités de l'Est ontarien. Nous sommes bien fiers que nos efforts aient été reconnus au niveau national, une bonne nouvelle pour la résidence, les investisseurs, les résidents et la communauté»

C’est avec ces mots que la directrice des soins de la résidence, Rose Cohen s’est exprimée pour décrire sa joie après l’obtention du prix Most Outstanding Bespoke Retirement Community in Canada 2019.


Les enseignantes et enseignants franco-ontariens, membres de l'Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO) seront en position légale de faire la grève à compter du 16 janvier 2020. Il s'agira d'une grève du zèle qui touchera principalement les tâches administratives.

Les parents devront composer avec ce fait dès ce jeudi, à la suite de l’annonce du président de l'AEFO, Rémi Sabourin. Ce mouvement, qui est une première phase, survient après de longues discussions entre l’AEFO et leurs membres, qui, rappelons-le, s’étaient prononcés à 97% en faveur d’une grève, lors d'un vote qui s'était déroulé du 18 au 20 décembre 2019. Selon Marilyne Guèvremont du service des communications de l’association, cette grève débutera le 16 janvier sans savoir quand elle prendra fin.

Russell Township

Russell Township council will have more planning help in 2020 with the creation of two new advisory committees.

One of the last items of business before the Christmas break for council, during its December 16 session, was to approve plans for creating advisory committees to represent Russell Township’s youth and senior’s sectors. The first step was to amend the bylaw dealing with council’s advisory committees, to allow creation of the two new committees.


Prescott-Russell’s emergency services’ director is optimistic about seeing an end, some day, to the ambulance dispatch problem between Prescott-Russell and the City of Ottawa.

“Now, we are actually working with the Ministry of Health and the dispatch centre for new solutions,” said Marc-André Périard, emergency services director for the United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR).

Eastern Ontario

The year 2019 presented old and new challenges for the South Nation Conservation Authority as it looks ahead to the new year.

“The past year was anything but dull for South Nation Conservation (SNC),” said Terry Campbell, SNC communications liaison, in year-end summary, “as it continued to work closely with its 16-member municipalities, community partners, and local residents, to protect and restore the local environment, protect people and property from natural hazards, and support sustainable development activities.”

Someone in the Prescott-Russell region has a lottery ticket worth half a million dollars.

The Friday night LottoMax prize of $70 million in the January 3 draw is still unclaimed but there were lots of smaller prizes for winners holding tickets for the Maxmillions extra draw.

Est ontarien

Les résidents de l’ensemble de Prescott-Russell peuvent désormais syntoniser sans friture le 92,1 une chaîne de radio francophone qui, jusqu’alors, ne se rendait pas toujours jusqu’à eux.

« On nous dit que le signal se rend presque partout », affirme avec enthousiasme Mathieu Manning, le directeur général de la station FM 92,1 Est ontarien.  


Les résidents de Casselman subiront une légère augmentation du taux d’imposition de 2 % pour l’année 2020. C’est ce qui ressort du budget qui a été adopté par le conseil de la municipalité le 10 décembre dernier.

Plusieurs points sont à retenir dans ce nouveau budget. D’abord, la municipalité a été sur ses gardes ces derniers temps puisque la réserve des coffres atteint un montant de 557 274 $, ce qui permettra d’aller de l’avant, en 2020, avec les projets d’amélioration dans divers secteurs pour lesquels la municipalité compte bien obtenir des subventions.


Anyone with old bricks sitting in their garage, storage shed, or basement should examine them because they may be needed for the Welcome to Russell sign project.

The Russell Kin Club and the Russell Historical Society are working together to locate and salvage any heritage-quality bricks, which were made in Russell back when the village had its own brickworks. The old bricks will become part of the Kin Club’s Welcome to Russell signage project.

North Stormont

The provincial government has pulled the plug on a wind farm project under construction in North Stormont but may end up having to justify its actions in court.

Ontario’s environment minister, Jeff Yurek, announced December 9 that he is revoking the Renewable Energy Approval (REA) for the Nation Rise wind power project under construction in North Stormont. The project, one of several for EDP Renewables Canada Ltd. (EDPR), is a 100-megawatt wind farm, with 29 turbines, approved by the previous Liberal government under its alternative energy program.


It was cold outside Thursday night, but inside the Embrun Community Centre, the atmosphere was warm and caring as an audience of several hundred celebrated the courage of one Russell Township child.

Singers and musicians, both local and from the Ottawa-Orléans area, came together to offer their songs and talents for the Holiday Benefit Concert, in memory of Butterfly Child Ambassador Jonathan Pitre. Tara Shannon, a Russell Township resident who has become an award-winning member of Canada’s music community, organized the event in recognition of young Jonathan Pitre, a local child who suffered from epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a rare genetic disorder that left his skin super-sensitive to touch.


The Ontario Provincial Police is asking the public for help in solving a drugstore theft case in Embrun.

Early Sunday afternoon, over the December 8 weekend, police received a complaint about a theft at a drugstore in Embrun.


Jonathan Pitre inspired people all over the world with his courage and optimism in the face of a terrible disease. Now Russell’s “Butterfly Child” has inspired a benefit concert in his memory to help others like him.

Russell Township’s own award-winning star on the Canadian music scene, Tara Shannon, is the host of tonight’s Holiday Benefit Concert in Memory of Butterfly Child Ambassador Jonathan Pitre. Shannon spent time with young Jonathan during his hospital stays for treatment of epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a genetic skin disorder.

Politique fédérale

Quels enjeux vont davantage retenir l’attention du député fédéral Francis Drouin de Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, au cours des prochains mois?

« Nous avons un grand manque de main d’œuvre », a déclaré d’emblée M. Drouin, lors d’une récente entrevue qu’il accordait à EAP. On a une population grandissante dans l’ouest du comté, mais dans l’est, elle est stagnante. De plus, la population est vieillissante dans l’est.


La Municipalité de Casselman se dotera d’une nouvelle caserne de pompiers en 2020.

C’est ce qu’a annoncé le maire Daniel Lafleur lors de la réunion du conseil hier soir. La construction de la nouvelle caserne, qui sera située sur la rue Brébeuf, derrière l’ancienne école Sainte-Euphémie, devrait commencer au début de l’année prochaine. On espère que le nouvel établissement ouvrira ses portes en décembre.

La facture de 3 millions de dollars sera entièrement payée par la Municipalité.


Comme à son habitude, il a séduit son public venu en grand nombre pour assister à son spectacle interactif à l’église Saint-Jacques d’Embrun. Grégory Charles, l’artiste aux mille talents, a donné une solide prestation, qui méritait qu’on réserve son après-midi juste pour lui.

Dimanche dernier, une heure avant le spectacle de 14 h, on se bousculait aux portes de l’église afin d’obtenir la meilleure place possible. On se serait cru à un show de rock où les admirateurs feraient n’importe quoi pour se rapprocher de leur idole. Plus de 825 personnes, provenant de la région, mais aussi de Gatineau et d’Ottawa, ont pris possession des lieux. Toutes étaient fébriles et excitées à l’idée de voir en chair et en os LE Grégory Charles dont la réputation de chanteur et de musicien n’est plus à faire.


Il y a 30 ans, le 6 décembre 1989, 14 jeunes femmes étaient froidement assassinées par Marc Lépine à l’École polytechnique de Montréal. Ce geste, que l’on appelle aujourd’hui féminicide, a été fait, car le tueur disait ne pas aimer les féministes.

Depuis cette date fatidique, on se réunit partout à travers le pays pour se rappeler que ce fameux 6 décembre tout a basculé. Ces 14 femmes pensaient alors que filles comme garçons pouvaient vivre dans un monde où on pouvait avoir la possibilité d’exercer la profession que l’on désirait. Le chemin le plus laid fait toujours partie de ce monde. Le plus beau reste encore à venir.

En mémoire des victimes de violence conjugale

Municipalité de Russell

La Municipalité de Russell a rendu hommage à deux résidents qui ont aidé à sauver la vie d'une femme.

La veille du jour de l'An, en décembre 2018, Elaine Bourget sort de chez elle pour prendre l'air et glisse sur une plaque de glace. Ne pouvant se remettre sur pied, elle est restée étendue au sol pendant six heures, dans le froid glacial, blessée et en danger de subir des engelures.

Good Samaritans receive service awards


Casselman a rayonné de joie et de bonne humeur pendant quatre jours. Et le froid n’a pas empêché des milliers de visiteurs à prendre part aux diverses activités que cette 12e édition du Festival de Noël proposait.

Du 28 novembre au 1er décembre, la Corporation de la revitalisation du centre-ville de Casselman, avec la présidente à sa tête, Jovette Richer, n’a pas déçu une fois de plus. Du marché de Noël, en passant par le hockey de rue, la course du père Noël pour terminer avec son défilé, le Festival de Noël est devenu, au fil des ans, une institution, un évènement qu’il ne faut surtout pas manquer. Mais la soirée qui marque solidement l’ouverture des festivités affiche année après année de grands noms de la chanson.


Des entreprises du secteur de la technologie de Prescott-Russell reçoivent de l'aide financière du gouvernement fédéral pour demeurer concurrentielles sur le marché mondial.

« Nous sommes très reconnaissants, a déclaré Barney Bangs, fondateur et chef de la direction de Tulmar Safety Systems Ltd, parce que vous nous aidez à faire connaitre notre entreprise à l'échelle mondiale. »

Tech industries receive federal upgrade aid


Les élèves de certaines écoles de Prescott-Russell ont une journée libre aujourd'hui, alors que des membres du personnel de soutien des écoles françaises ainsi que le personnel enseignant des écoles secondaires anglaises participaient à une grève d'une journée.

La Fédération des enseignantes et des enseignants des écoles secondaires de l'Ontario (OSSTF/FEESO) a déclenché, ce matin, une grève d'une journée à l'échelle de la province, pour forcer le gouvernement provincial à aller de l'avant dans les négociations sur ses décisions de planification budgétaire touchant les programmes, la taille des classes et le personnel dans les écoles ontariennes.

Teachers and support staff walk out


Pierre Leroux aura un emploi supplémentaire l'an prochain. En plus des ses tâches en tant que maire de la Municipalité de Russell, il sera le nouveau président des Comtés unis de Prescott et Russell (CUPR).

« J'aimerais accroitre la communication et le développement économique », a déclaré M. Leroux, mercredi matin, au sujet de certains de ses objectifs en tant que président élu.


Le Centre de santé communautaire de l’Estrie (CSCE) a récemment rendu hommage à ses bénévoles d’Embrun, Crysler et Limoges.

Cet évènement visait à souligner leur engagement au sein de leurs communautés respectives. En tout, une vingtaine de bénévoles ont été reconnus lors de la fête organisée par l’équipe de santé communautaire du CSCE. En guise de remerciement, le CSCE leur a offert un goûter, des témoignages de remerciement et des prix de présence.