There are two Canadian Note 2 models: the I317M (yours) and the T889V (mine).
So long as you don't try flashing a non I317M modem on your device, you can pretty much flash any t0lte/t0lteatt/t0ltetmo a.k.a N7105, I317(M) or T889(V) ROM out there. Along the same lines, do not flash anything meant for the N7100.
For a nice belt and suspenders approach: make backups of your EFS partitions with all known methods: EFS Professional text format, QPST qcn, "Synergy ROM" method recovery script. (I adapted the latter for the T889V and it should work as is for your device.)
Assuming your device already has the stock 4.3 ROM, you will burn the KNOX fuse by flashing anything custom or generally trying to root.
(There may be more steps involved for KNOX, you're on your own for that part: the only thing stock 4.3 I've flashed is the modem.)
To root, get the latest t0lte Odin-flashable TWRP image, apply SuperSU or superuser zip from there as desired.
There's still a fair amount of activity out here, I've been running Omni nightlies for a while now.
It's normal for things to slow down: Bugs get squashed, ROMs on a manual release schedule slow down because they've implemented what they wanted, automatically built ROMs get smaller incremental updates from upstream. There's been an uptick with the stock TouchWiz 4.4 releases in the pipeline (the N7105 Nordic Countries CSC has been pushed, others are incoming) and kernel sources also trigger some action. Another factor for slow down is that early adopter devices are going on two-years and people upgrade.
I hardly use the S-Pen so I can't help you that much with it. There's a couple open source apps that support it and that can be added to your choice of AOSP ROM to enable things like gestures or hand-drawn notes.
My phones: Galaxy Note II SGH-T889V (with LTE enabled
/ ext4 SD card support on TouchWiz ROMs
), Motorola XT-1045 Moto G LTE (TWRP
Previous phones: Nexus S GT-I9020A, Galaxy Gio GT-S5660M (Arpeggiomod ROM
/ Discussion, stock rooted ROM
), Motorola XT-1032 Moto G.
Phones for which I play "tech support" for family and friends: Galaxy Nexus GT-I9250, Galaxy Q SGH-T589R, Galaxy 551 GT-I5510M, LG C-800G Eclypse, Motorola XT-1032 Moto G