The City of Ottawa has quietly changed the boundaries of the
rural wards, drastically boosting the urban voters in each rural
As a result, rural representation on Ottawa Council
will soon be a thing of the past. This in spite of the
understanding during Ottawa's amalgamation that there would be 5
rural wards and that each would retain their presence on Council
for at least 2 terms (through 2006).
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
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
Transition Board recognized the unique aspects of Ottawa's
rural communities and insisted upon the structuring of 5 rural
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
We, the community groups, businesses, farms and residents of
Rural Ottawa, are losing all influence, representation 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
Without Rural representation on Ottawa Council, our communities
will have no voice - we will continue to be subjected to one size
fits all urban decisions and the sledgehammer initiatives of Urban
elected councilors that lack a common sense rural perspective.
These Urban decisions include:
- funding cuts to local community programs;
- decreased police presence;
- excessive firearms restrictions;
- increased hunting restrictions when deer populations are
- banning all burning and fires;
- unreasonable restrictions on herbicides, pesticides and
other farming practices;
- doubling of development fees in Rural Communities with no
increase in service;
- the abandoning of historically significant names and
regions, i.e. the complete elimination of Rideau and the
re-naming of Osgoode;
- a moratorium on any rural subdivisions or any further rural
severances, even where owners are now entitled to seek and
obtain approval in conformity with the current Regional Official
- new operating fees for rural businesses such as garages and
- introduction of snowplowing licenses;
- reduced roadside grass cutting in rural areas increasing
- and that indicator of just how far Ottawa will go? licenses
and leashes on cats!
Concerned residents from the Ottawa Rural Communities of
Osgoode, Rideau and West Carleton are joining together to create a
lobby voice capable of defending Rural interests in the City of
To date, each of the three Rural Associations has filed appeals
to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) and has jointly retained
legal representation to present our case.
We need your support to preserve our rural communities, our
heritage and our rural voice. If we're silenced now? ?we'll be
If you share our concern over the City of Ottawa's blatant
disregard for Rural representation on Council, please assist us in
this fight by contacting any of the above mentioned groups. We
need your financial support and any other help you can provide.
What Else Can You Do?
Write Mayor Bob Chiarelli at City Hall expressing your opinion
on how he and his council have robbed you of your Rural voice.
Mayor Bob Chiarelli
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Ave. West
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1