Police cordoned off this area just off Hwy 105 near Patrick Road in Chelsea after the April 8 landslide.

Police cordoned off this area just off Hwy 105 near Patrick Road in Chelsea after the April 8 landslide. Joel Balsam photo

While saying sayonara to the snow brings elation for most, residents of Chelsea know all too well that rain run-off can also wash away sensitive soil, resulting in landslides. And that’s exactly what happened on the evening of April 8 when a huge chunk of land slid away at the side of Hwy 105 at the corner of Patrick Road in Chelsea.

Traffic has been restricted to one lane, but the road itself was not damaged.

The latest from the Ministry of Transport (MTQ) is that emergency roadwork has been completed to ensure the water drains safely, but it will still keep a close eye on that stretch of road. “We [will] keep monitoring the site closely since heavy rains [have] been announced for the next few days,” explained MTQ spokesperson Karine Sauvé in an email on April 13.

Sauvé says traffic will remain restricted to one lane until geotechnical experts give their recommendations that it is safe to re-open Hwy 105. “Following those recommendations, major roadwork will be done in order to solve the [landslide] problem permanently,” said Sauvé.

This situation has left many Chelsea residents scratching their heads, wondering if the MTQ and the Municipality of Chelsea are prepared enough to make sure landslides like this won’t happen again.

Jacques Patenaude, an avid hiker and engaged Chelseaite, says for three or four years he has seen cracks growing in the area where the landslide happened. One of the neighbours already had to remove their garage due to the risk, but Patenaude questions why there is a home there at all.

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Cops, quotas, and community – a delicate balance

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by Joel Balsam on April 9, 2014

No MRC – no merci – no thank you. A Chelsea business owner who wishes to withhold her name out of fear of being targeted made this bumper sticker to protest ticketing by the local police. Would you slap this on your bumper?

No MRC – no merci – no thank you. A Chelsea business owner who wishes to withhold her name out of fear of being targeted made this bumper sticker to protest ticketing by the local police. Would you slap this on your bumper? 

Just like the saying ‘nothing is certain but death and taxes,’ nothing is certain but tickets from the police if you break the law. Yet several businesses in the Hills contest that the MRC des Collines de l’Outaouais police should stop ticketing customers in their parking lots for having expired license plates or unlocked car doors.

“We understand it’s a great income for them, but its also hurting tourism,” said Marianne Trottier, spokesperson for Le Nordik. She said she sees MRC police at least once a month in the Le Nordik parking lot looking for expired plates, particularly the Ontario customers since they have stickers directly on their plates that show the date they expire. “Guests think it’s our fault, they don’t understand that they got the ticket from the police,” said Trottier.

Sara Jordan from Ottawa was one of these unlucky Ontario residents who got slammed with a $459 ticket for forgetting to renew her plates six days after they expired on March 6. Two days later, Jordan renewed the plates not knowing she had already been slapped with a ticket, which ended up coming in the mail 10 days after her visit to Chelsea. “It seems a little heavy handed,” said Jordan, who still plans to return to Le Nordik, but said she will be more cautious next time.

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Unattended election boxes raise eyebrows in Wakefield

April 9, 2014

At around 5:00 p.m. on election day, Wakefield resident David Irvine, who works at Kaffe 1870, went out back of the restaurant for a mid-shift smoke when he saw what appeared to be ballot boxes unattended outside 1 Valley Drive – the location where voters left off the list could register and where advanced polls […]

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Neighbours of dog rescue say community called them ‘monsters’

April 9, 2014

Patrice Pharand, the only neighbour to speak out in a Low Down report on the dispute surrounding the Valley Mastiff dog rescue in Masham, said the residents on the private road are the ones being intimidated, not the other way around. Pharand, his wife, his daughter and her boyfriend, and another neighbour who withheld his […]

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From Chelsea to Nunavut armed with a spray can

April 2, 2014

By Anastasia Philopoulos When you look at a photo of the building, it resembles an old Costco with its dull grey and concrete walls separated by a bright stripe of red paint. It’s almost difficult to picture this building as the site where imagination, community, and art will convene. And yet Patrick Thompson has big […]

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Thinking far, far, outside the box

April 2, 2014

By Perry Zavitz Bradley Robinson, local builder researcher in built environments and self-directed mathematician, is building a house. It’s not an ordinary house, nor is it Brad’s first – he has built two in the Wakefield area of late incorporating new building technologies that he has been developing over the past number of years. What […]

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‘Incomplete from beginning to end’

April 2, 2014

WQSB audit finds gaping holes By Anastasia Philopoulos The West Quebec School Board released an external audit last week highlighting a number of issues with contracting procedures within the provincial body. The 23-page report analyzed 35 contracts for various services from the Buildings, Transportation, and Technology departments to determine whether procedures complied with legal and […]

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Arsonist hits Camp Fortune

March 26, 2014

Sometime between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. after a busy Saturday of great March riding conditions, Robb Whitla got a call informing him that the small cabin he built off a glade run at Camp Fortune had been torched. “I guess they had big balls to do it in the middle of the daytime,” said […]

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Mamma mia, it’s pasta for Chelsea!

March 26, 2014

During the night of March 19, a sign was posted over Chelsea’s hottest new restaurant to notify the community that, after five months of preparation, Mamma Teresa’s would finally be having its grand opening. The next day, just an hour before the hungry and excited dinner rush started to pour in, the Low Down was […]

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Strange bedfellows rally for Vallée

March 26, 2014

It’s not often you see avowed Conservatives, NDPers, and Liberals agree on much of anything, but four Hills residents have done just that to fight for the re-election of Provincial Liberal candidate Stéphanie Vallée. Scott McDougall, President of the Pontiac Liberal Riding Association, Richard Hofer, President of the Pontiac Conservative Riding Association, Judy Grant, former […]

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