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[Logo - Ottawa Rural Communities]
West Carleton | Goulbourn | Rideau | Osgoode | Cumberland

Warning:

The City of Ottawa has quietly changed the boundaries of the rural wards, drastically boosting the urban voters in each rural ward.

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 wards.

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 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 rural representation.

Effect:

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 exploding;
  • 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 Plan;
  • new operating fees for rural businesses such as garages and restaurants;
  • introduction of snowplowing licenses;
  • reduced roadside grass cutting in rural areas increasing visibility risk;
  • and that indicator of just how far Ottawa will go? licenses and leashes on cats!

Response:

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 Ottawa.

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 silenced forever.

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
 

2002 Ottawa Rural Communities


 

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