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A Message from the Osgoode Rural Communities


We need your help to preserve our rural communities!

On July 24, 2002, with the adoption of the new Ward Boundaries recommendations, Ottawa City Council voted to eliminate meaningful rural representation through the urbanization of each of the rural wards. The projected size of Osgoode Ward (20) under the new structure will increase from 18,800 to 50,000 people by 2009, making it one of the most populous wards in the city of Ottawa. The majority of the Ward's population will reside in the newly annexed Riverside South and Findlay Creek suburban developments, diluting our already fragile rural voice at City Council.

Glen Shortliffe, in his report on "Local Government Reform in the Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton" stated that there should be no reconsideration of rural representation until the completion of two full terms of City Council. The Transition Board recognized the unique aspects of Ottawa's rural communities and insisted upon the structuring of 5 rural wards.

The Ontario Rural Council, in their October 2001 The Rural Campaign stated, "Increasingly elected officials and provincial decision-makers bring the suburban experience to the table. Because rural Ontario is diverse, it is a challenge for non-rural representatives to fully appreciate and understand the wide-ranging degrees of 'rurality'. The situation is critical as the 'divide' between urban and rural experience grows, and rural influence declines."

We, the community groups, businesses, farms and residents of Osgoode Ward, are apparently unworthy of attention and status in the new city of Ottawa. Contrary to Mr. Shortliffe's and the Transition Board's recommendations, contrary to the trust we placed in the process, the rural voice is being silenced by the arrogance of a largely urban council. No longer will there be true rural representation.

The Osgoode Rural Communities Association (ORCA) is launching an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board to overturn the City of Ottawa's new ward restructuring. We need your help and support to be successful in our fight. Financial contributions will assist in funding our appeal; cheques can be made out to ORCA and mailed to 2452 Yorks Corners Rd, Edwards, ON, K0A 1V0. We also require the names of organizations in support of this cause and the respective contacts.

Thank you,

Directors of the Osgoode Rural Communities Association - ORCA

2002 Ottawa Rural Communities