Rural Council of Ottawa-Carleton holds its first
Annual General Meeting April 1, 2006
 
 
 
Acting President of the Rural Council, Bruce Webster, was re-elected to serve as President on the new board.

In his opening remarks, he stated that Ottawa's rural residents are the beneficiaries of the "most esteemed" city manager this city's ever had.

He attributed the improved rural relations with the city to Mr. Kirkpatrick's solid commitment to work productively with the rural community.


 
 
 

SPEAKING NOTES - for City Manager's address to the Rural Council

 


From the April 5th, 2006 issue of the...

 

Manotick Messenger



Local politicians praise Rural Council for activism

By Jeff Esau
Manotick Messenger

Prominent local politicians heaped praise on the Rural Council for its activism and contributions to rural-urban understand­ing during its 1st Annual General Meeting at the North Gower Community Centre on Saturday, April 1.


Treasury Board President
John Baird, Nepean-Carleton MP Pierre Poilievre and newly elected Nepean-Carleton MPP Lisa MacLeod were among those who congratulated the Rural Council on its work since its inception in March 2004.


Keynote speaker Baird
said "it is tremendously important for the rural part of the city and in rural Ontario to play an active and important role in the public policy process." He said citizen's groups like the Rural Council have kept key issues on the public agenda, and he urged them to educate urban Canadians about the "huge and profound concerns that are being expressed in rural Canada." The "Farmers Feed Cities" campaign, he said, is a good example of how to take the rural and agriculture messages "right out to the Canadian people."


Hon. John Baird, President of the Federal Treasury Board
 
He said the Harper gov
ernment is "one of the most rural-dominated caucuses of any government in Canadian history," pointing to Tory successes in rural ridings in every region of the country. Safeguarding property rights in the public policy process is a priority of the new government because "there is no value more important to the people of Canada than the right to own property."  Stepping outside the federal sphere, Baird blasted the McGuinty government for rezoning land in northern Ontario and the green-belt in the Hamilton-Toronto-Durham region without "a single, solitary thought of compensation." He said "made in Toronto" policies are emerging from Queen's Park because of a preponderance of cabinet ministers from that city. Baird also criticized the recent Ontario budget as unfriendly to farmers and their plight because it cut the agricultural budget by $200M.
 
Newly-elected Rural Council President Bruce Webster welcomed city manager Kent Kirkpatrick, who he described as "our main supporter in the city" and "the most esteemed city manager this city's ever had." In his remarks, Kirkpatrick said the city was well on its way to making good on all initiatives arising from the rural summit held last November. "A big part of the rural summit success was the participation of the people who make up the membership of the Rural Council," he said, adding that success in moving forward on rural summit initiatives would be "heightened" with continued participation of the Rural Council.

 
Kirkpatrick summarized progress to date on numerous
 


City Manager, Kent Kirkpatrick

activities affecting rural residents, including the    
establishment of a full-time rural advocate reporting directly to him and the expansion of the
powers of the Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee, which will shortly be the key City body approving issues such as rural planning and transportation affecting rural Ottawa.


 
 
With regard to wetlands, Kirkpatrick said a stake­holder group, including landowners, has been convened to sort "real wetlands from land flooded from bad drainage and maintenance issues. I'm personally very committed to resolving this, and I'm confident we can fix the problem in Ottawa."

 
 

Kirkpatrick also announced a pilot project to establish a farmers' market at Lansdowne Park this summer featuring locally grown produce. "There is a strong desire in the urban area for this type of market," he said.

With regard to wetlands, Kirkpatrick said a stake­holder group, including landowners, has been convened to sort "real wetlands from land flooded from bad drainage and maintenance issues. I'm personally very committed to resolving this, and I'm confident we can fix the problem in Ottawa."

Additional training of frontline staff will mean "better answers, shorter waiting times and more accountability" for rural res­idents dealing with city service staff, said Kirkpatrick. Rural business­es can also expect better access to city contracts once procurement bylaws are amended by City Council in May. Toll-free calling throughout Ottawa could happen by next January, and access to broadband internet for every rural resident and business will be a reality by 2008.

Rideau Ward Counsellor Glenn Brooks said he was "very impressed with the city manager's willingness to take the extra three or four steps to make sure those issues that came out of the rural summit will work."

-Manotick Messenger-

 

 
Plus...

 
 
Re-elected MP, Pierre Polievre, and newly-elected, MPP, Lisa McLeod, both spoke highly of the Rural Council's determination to fight for rural democracy and property rights ---adding that they will vigourously defend such interests in their respective jurisdictions.

A few good jokes were enjoyed, as well.
 
 
 

 
 

 


LEFT
Karen Secord, Editor of the Ottawa Valley News, and Shirley Dolan, RCOC Secretary

RIGHT

Rich McDonald talks with MPP, Lisa McLeod

 

 


From the April 6th, 2006 issue of the...

--------------  Ottawa Valley News  --------------


Rural Council’s 1st AGM attracts political interest

By Karen Secord
Ottawa Valley News

The Rural Council marked its first Annual General Meeting with an event that attracted the attention of municipal, provincial, and federal politicians.

“Our mandate is to improve working relations with the city,” said newly acclaimed Rural Council president Bruce Webster. “We believe that the Rural Council brings to the table ideas and initiatives that will benefit the city.”

Speaking in front of a room of about 70 of its 160 members, Webster listed some of the issues the Rural Council has been involved in – such as the Village of Richmond pipeline, Goulbourn wetlands, and Chat’s Falls Boat Bypass.

Founding members Bob McKinley (not present), Don Steeves, Adele Muldoon, Bill Buckland, Bev Millar, and Richard Bendall were introduced and thanked for helping to make rural needs part of the city’s agenda.

 

Rural Council's new Board of Directors

Joining Webster on the new Rural Council are: Catherine Swift (vice president), Shirley Dolan (secretary), Don Steeves (treasurer) and directors Dave Baxter, Richard Bendall, Bill Buckland, Glyn Chancey, Bruce Collier, Rich McDonald, Bev Millar, Bert Molensaar, Theo Van Munstren, and Gerry Jette.
 

Present for the AGM were City of Ottawa councillors Eli El-Chantiry, Glen Brooks, and Doug Thompson; city manager Kent Kirkpatrick and his assistant Gabe Miller; M.P.P.’s Pierre Polievre and Lisa McLeod; councillor candidate J.P. Dorion; mayoral hopeful Alex Munter; and M.P. John Baird.

 
 



“From an administrative perspective there is a commitment to the Rural Council. There has been a commitment to definitive change in how services are provided and how the city relates to rural areas.”

“We are going to make sure rural views influence decisions on rural issues."

                                                     
- Kent Kirkpatrick, Ottawa City Manager

 

 
 

Webster credited Kent Kirkpatrick’s personal commitment to the city’s rural areas for the improved relations between the two. 

And Kirkpatrick reciprocated.

“A big part of the Rural Summit’s success was because of the participation of the Rural Council,” Kirkpatrick told the audience. “From an administrative perspective there is a commitment to the Rural Council. There has been a commitment to definitive change in how services are provided and how the city relates to rural areas.”

“We are going to make sure rural views influence decisions on rural issues,” continued Kirkpatirck.

He pointed to training for frontline staff, the development of a rural website (mid-August launch), access to broadband for rural residents and businesses by 2008, toll-free calling across the city, and the hiring of local livestock valuers as indication that the city is taking rural needs seriously.

“I hope that you’ll be able to say that your experience with the city in 2006 was better than in 2005.”

Conservative M.P.P. Polievre was clear that his party will continue to work towards its long-term goal of entrenching property rights in the constitution. He also said that he would be speaking to Kirkpatrick to “see how we can move those issues forward (from the Rural Summit) that require changes in provincial legislation.”

Ottawa West Nepean’s M.P. John Baird began by saying; “I can tell you that I know first hand the importance agriculture plays in our nation. Our new federal government is probably one of the most rural dominated caucuses of any government in Canadian history, both in numbers and in percentage terms. We took just about every rural seat in Canada outside of the province of Quebec.”

And, Baird said, other M.P.’s in the Conservative government have been “sensitized” to the concerns of rural Canada.

“There is a tremendous need in my judgment,” he said “to get out there and provide direct pressure, to send a clear, tangible and

 


MP, John Baird, right on topic with his audience.

reasonable request for the things that are needed.”

The evening at the North Gower Community Centre finished with dinner and a band.

Ottawa Valley News

 

 

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