EORN issues cell service project call

A better “dead zone-free” cellular service project for all of Eastern Ontario is another stop closer to launch.

The Eastern Ontario Regional Network (EORN) issued its first request for proposals (RFP) for companies to present competitive bids aimed at building a new cellular service system for the Eastern Ontario region. The goal is to eliminate “dead zones” for cellphone calls in the region, which create potential public safety risks where fire and accident situations are concerned and which also hamper some businesses in competition with other outfits that can offer cellphone contact for orders and deliveries to their customers.

“EORN has been planning this work for several years and we are pleased to finally launch the bidding process,” stated EORN chair J. Murray Jones. “This is an important first step in building the project. We are looking to build on the investment we’ve already made in broadband infrastructure with partners who will deliver value and quality in closing the gap in mobile service.”

The $213 million public-private partnership includes $71 million each from the federal and provincial governments in support funding and a $10 million contribution from the Eastern Ontario Wardens Caucus (EOWC), which represents Eastern Ontario’s rural municipalities and smaller urban centres like the City of Cornwall. The private sector is expected to provide its share of the project cost through in-kind contributions of technology and infrastructure development.

Critical need

EORN, through its research, has determined that 40 per cent of the Eastern Ontario region has no access to high-definition cellular service that allows streaming HD video, 20 per cent of the region has no access to standard definition video, typical mobile app use, and video app calling, and 10 per cent of the region has no cellular phone voice calling service.

“The gaps are the result of market failure,” states the EORN news release. “Rural areas don’t generate enough revenue for mobile carriers to build adequate services.”

The CRTC has declared mobile and fixed broadband as “basic services for all Canadians” and the EORN Cellular Gap project aims at closing the gap in mobile service for the region through a public-private partnership that will reduce the infrastructure cost for carriers and meet the CRTC’s basic service goals.

“At this critical time, it’s important that all Canadians stay connected through reliable cell service and high-speed Internet,” stated Maryam Monsef. Federal rural economic development minister. “This important project will bring mobile service to more than 100 communities and over 1 million people across Eastern Ontario and ensure that residents and businesses alike have better access to online services and tools.”

The City of Clarence-Rockland is once again postponing the deadline on property tax payments to help homeowners and business owners get through the pandemic situation.

City council approved a proposal during its Wednesday (May 20) teleconference session to again push back the date for property tax payments and water supply fees that were due on April 30. The payment due date is now June 30 this year.


The City of Clarence-Rockland will have a new fire chief in June.

City officials confirmed the appointment of Pierre Voisine as the new municipal fire chief and protection services director. He takes charge June 23 from Fire Chief Brian Wilson, who is retiring as of June 30.


Un cas de COVID-19 a été confirmé chez un employé du supermarché Parent’s Independent situé  à Rockland a annoncé le Bureau de santé de l'est de l'Ontario, ce matin (le dimanche 17 mai).

L'employé a été placé en isolement, selon le communiqué du BSEO.

Toujours selon le même communiqué, le BSEO travaille activement en collaboration avec le magasin d’alimentation afin d’évaluer le risque encouru par les employés et retracer les contacts de cette personne.

Now anyone who thinks they may have COVID-19 can go to one of the regional health unit’s assessment centres and find out.

“Effective immediately, our testing centres will be open to anyone with symptoms,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, chief medical health officer for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), during his Thursday (May 14) teleconference with regional media.


La Fondation franco-ontarienne (FFO), en partenariat avec le trio les Chiclettes, encourage les femmes à retourner aux études grâce aux bourses du fonds «je m’aime».

La FFO a lancé, le 30 avril dernier, son fonds «je m’aime», qui favorise le retour aux études des femmes à travers des bourses en collaboration avec le trio d’artiste les Chiclettes.


Local and visiting hikers and cyclists have reason to celebrate during the May long weekend as the Larose Forest trails reopen for recreational use.

The United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR), which owns and manages the community forest, announced that some of the Larose Forest trails will be open for users starting Saturday, May 16.

Les sentiers de la Forêt Larose ouverts ce weekend


It will be a very quiet June for members of the Class of 2020 in the Upper Canada District School Board region as their official graduation ceremony won’t take place until next year.

The district has sent out a letter from John McAllister, Upper Canada District School Board chair (UCDSB), and Stephen Sliwa, UCDSB education director, to Grade 12 students and their families regarding plans to postpone all official graduation ceremonies until next year. A copy of the letter was also issued to local news media.

Sad news from Plantagenet with another death due to COVID-19 at the Pinecrest Nursing Home.

“This is a very fragile situation,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, as he confirmed during his Tuesday (May 12) media teleconference, that a ninth resident at the long-term care facility has died from complications due to COVID-19.

Six more residents at the Pinecrest Nursing Home in Plantagenet have died due to complications from COVID-19.

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, chief medical officer for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) confirmed the most recent deaths at the long-term care facility during his regular media teleconference.

Quatre autres résidents de la Maison de soins de longue durée de Pinecrest, à Plantagenet, sont décédés. 

C’est ce qu’a confirmé le Bureau de santé de l'Est de l'Ontario (BSEO), lors de son point de presse quotidien.

Lundi, le BSEO a confirmé les décès d'une sexagénaire et d'un octogénaire. 

La résidence Pinecrest est aux prises avec une flambée de la maladie depuis la fin avril.

De plus détails à suivre.

Premières victimes de la COVID dans la région


Essential service workers now have six childcare centres available to them as they maintain front-line service for residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) announced Friday (May 8) that it now has arranged a total of six emergency child care centre operations to support front-line workers providing essential services for Prescott-Russell residents during the current pandemic situation.


With a little help from her friends, Manon Diotte will have somewhere to live after a fire left her homeless.

Diotte is a paramedic with the Prescott-Russell Emergency Services. Day and night, she is available to help people in distress at accident scenes, fires, and other emergency situations, and get them to the nearest hospital as fast as possible.


There are more cases of COVID-19 confirmed at the Pinecrest Nursing Home in Plantagenet.

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, chief medical officer for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) announced seven more people testing positive for COVID-19 at the nursing during his Wednesday (May 6) media briefing teleconference.


The three chambers of commerce for the Prescott-Russell region launched a new virtual conference project to help keep their members informed of important business news items during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I think it exceeded our expectations,” said Stéphanie Simard, president of the Clarence-Rockland Chamber of Commerce. “We’re certainly going to continue it.”

Lancement d'un projet de conférence virtuelle des affaires

The first deaths due to COVID-19 are confirmed for the Prescott-Russell region.

Two residents at the Pinecrest Nursing Home in Plantagenet have died as a result of complications related to COVID-19. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) confirmed the deaths in a May 4 email news release sent out to local media.

La COVID-19 fait ses premières victimes dans Prescott-Russell


Les résidents de Clarence-Rockland pourront à nouveau apporter leurs déchets supplémentaires au dépotoir municipal.

La Cité a rouvert le site d'enfouissement du chemin Lalonde à Bourget le 5 mai. Cela comprend également l'accès au dépôt de recyclage pour l'élimination des métaux recyclables, l'entreposage sécuritaire de certains types de déchets ménagers dangereux, la disposition des pneus usagés aux fins d’élimination ou de recyclage, et aussi la disposition de gazon et de rognures de jardin pour le compostage.

Clarence-Rockland landfill reopens


Clarence-Rockland homeowners doing spring cleanup for their yards have a place again for their grass clippings.

The municipal garbage transfer station on Industrielle Street in Rockland reopens Saturday, May 2, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Anyone wanting to stroll along the Prescott-Russell Recreation Trail will have to either walk or ride a bike to get there.

All the vehicle parking lots at the trail access points are now closed as the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) follows the provincial government’s pandemic prevention plan.


The regional health office says people can drive up for their takeout coffee order but then they should drive away with it, instead of standing around in the parking lot with other people, drinking coffee and chatting.

“It’s a drive-through,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU). “You drive through, pick it up, and leave.”


About half of the people in Eastern Ontario who contracted COVID-19 have recovered from the disease.

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Eastern Ontario totalled 91 as of April 28. The Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) reported 45 cases of people who recovered from the disease after they were first diagnosed.


The first outbreak of COVID-19 in a seniors’ home in the Eastern Ontario region is confirmed.

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, chief medical health officer for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), confirmed the first COVID-19 outbreak in a long-term care facility in the region. Eight residents and three staff members at the Pinecrest Nursing Home in Plantagenet have tested positive for the disease, though the residents and two of the care home employees are not showing symptoms.

Homeowners in Alfred-Plantagent Township with extra garbage to get rid of can now take it to the Alfred landfill on Saturdays and Tuesdays.

Mayor Stéphane Sarrazin got the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) to recognize public access to the landfill is an “essential service” after he raised the issue with Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, the regional medical health officer.

Eastern Ontario’s chief medical health officer wants to get the infant vaccination program back on track.

“It’s time we have to look at this,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, chief medical officer for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), during his Wednesday (April 22) daily media teleconference.

Le BSEO relancera le programme de vaccination des nourissons

Eastern Ontario

The pace of the COVID-19 pandemic for the Eastern Ontario region seems slower now but the region’s chief medical health officer is not calling it a victory yet.

“We are still waiting to see how the curve flattens out,” said Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, chief medical health officer for the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), during his regular media teleconference.


Someone either cannot read or chose to ignore the "clothing only" notice on the Canadian Diabetes Association’s collection box at the corner of County Road 17 and Landry Road in Clarence-Rockland.

People using charity dropoff sites as unofficial dumping grounds for household garbage are a continuing problem for many non-profit groups.


The City of Clarence-Rockland joined its fellow Prescott-Russell municipalities with a health state of emergency declaration but it won’t change how the city has been handling its business during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“No, not really,” said Mayor Guy Desjardins during a phone interview today (April 22).


Across the Prescott-Russell region, flags fly at half-mast as local municipalities, school districts, and others express sympathy and support for the residents of several Nova Scotia communities in the wake of a weekend murder spree which claimed the lives of 22 people.

All eight mayors took a moment during the April 22 session of the United Counties of Prescott-Russell (UCPR) to reflect on the incident and express their condolences for their counterparts in five communities in the province. Residents in Portapique,  Wentworth, Debert, Shubenacadie, and Enfield are still suffering the psychological aftershock of a series of killings and arson incidents that began Saturday April 18 in Portapique and ended Sunday April 19 100 kilometres away in Enfield when Gabriel Wortman, 51, the man responsible for the murders died during a shootout with RCMP.

Food and agriculture

A regional food processing plant for both local meat and vegetables may be part of Prescott-Russell’s commercial agricultural profile soon.

The United Counties of Prescott-Russell council (UCPR) gave unanimous support during its video-teleconference session today (April 22) to a proposal from Economic Development and Tourism Director Carole Lavigne for a $36 million project to create a regional food hub and processing plant for local produce and livestock.

Canada Day in the City of Clarence-Rockland may be very quiet this year.

City council has decided there will be no official Canada Day celebration events this year in case the current health emergency orders are still in place to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic situation.