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West Carleton | Goulbourn | Rideau | Osgoode | Cumberland

West Carleton Rural Association Inc.

| About our Group | Board of Directors |
| Frequently Asked Questions
| Presidents's Report | How to Contact Us |

About our Group

The West Carleton Rural Association, Inc. is a community-based organization that was formed in August 2002 to fight the Ward 5 boundary changes. Along with the community associations from Osgoode and Rideau, we appealed the City of Ottawa's By-law 2002-316 to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). With the support of our many members, we were successful in our challenge. In early May 2003, the OMB ruled in our favour, the By-law was repealed and the ward boundaries remain in effect for the November 2003 municipal elections.

On June 26th, 2003 the WCRA held an Annual General Meeting. At this meeting, the members agreed to continue the Association's mandate "to connect the communities of West Carleton to preserve rural values and to voice our needs". With the election of a  new Board of Directors, the Association is heading in a new direction: we plan to have regular meetings and to provide a central forum for West Carleton residents to bring future issues.  We are committed to holding the City of Ottawa and Council accountable for all decisions and issues that affect our community.

We seek input from West Carleton residents by discussing issues like the boundary changes at local events such as the Carp Fair. We meet with area community associations and local groups, including the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (Arnprior chapter), the Seniors Council, and Historical Societies.

We work jointly with community groups in other Wards including the Osgoode Rural Communities Association and the Rideau Rural Communities Association, Inc. Together with these groups, we aim to support, promote and preserve our rural communities. During our challenge of the ward boundary changes, the West Carleton Rural Association achieved significant visibility for the Rural issues. We blocked the City of Ottawa's restructuring of the Ward boundaries and the City Councillors are now aware that there is a strong Rural voice to challenge Urban oriented thinking.

The future of all rural residents will continue to be affected as City Council makes decisions concerning our taxes, our roads, our fire and policing services, our recreation and social services, our future development policies and many other areas of daily life.

If you value your Rural Lifestyle, we need your support to ensure that the Rural voice remains heard in the City of Ottawa. Please consider supporting the West Carleton Rural Association by becoming a member or making a donation. See How to Contact Us and Memberships for more information.

Board of Directors

The following members are currently serving on the West Carleton Rural Association Board of Directors:

Officers

  • Janne Campbell, President
  • Jack MacLaren, Vice President
  • Marjorie Bifolchi, Treasurer
  • Shirley Dolan, Secretary

Directors

  • Jack Shaw
  • Robert D'Aoust
  • Bob Dechert
  • Steve Logan
  • Mike Demers
  • Doug Cully
  • Bruce Monroe
  • Robert Broomfield

Frequently Asked Questions

Why was the organization formed?
To fight the proposed Ward 5 boundary changes.
Is this organization a one-issue organization?
No! The organization was formed as an umbrella group that would work with the many organizations, businesses, community associations and other groups in West Carleton on issues of importance to the community. Our first challenge is the Ward boundary changes. Now that the ward boundary issue has been addressed, at least until after the November 2003 municipal election, we intend for the organization to move on to other issues.
Was the Ward boundary changes issue a rurals against the urbans issue?
No! Everyone agreed that the Ward boundaries need to be reviewed and changed. We believe that solutions can be found that will address the urban concerns of projected high population growth in Wards such as Kanata, Bell-South Nepean and Gloucester-Southgate and the rural concerns of large geographic areas. We believe that all Wards are interested in maintaining a homogeneous community.
What did the organization do to challenge the Ward boundary changes?
We appealed the changes to the Ontario Municipal Board. The Rideau Rural Communities Association Inc. and the Osgoode Rural Communities Association Inc. also appealed the Ward boundary changes.
Did the Ontario Municipal Board agree to hear the appeals?
The Ontario Municipal Board agreed to hear our appeals and scheduled a pre-hearing for October 17th. The hearing was postponed when, on October 16th, the Ontario Municipal Affairs Minister, Chris Hodgson, stayed the OMB hearings, effectively vetoing the Ward boundary changes. Following a challenge by the City of Ottawa, a Provincial court judge ruled that MPP Hodgson did not have the authority to stay the hearing. As a result, the OMB hearing was rescheduled with pre-hearings  held on December 20th, 2002 and on January 23, 2003. The hearing then began on February 10th and was completed in early March. In early May, the OMB ruled in our favour and the ward boundary changes by-law 2002-316 was repealed.

President's Report for 2002-2003

Our Past President, Adele Muldoon, made the following report at the June 26, 2003 Annual General Meeting.

"It has been an amazing year. For me, the story began June 12, 2002, the day that I learned that the task force on the Ward Boundary Review had presented its report and had recommended that Ward 5 be extended to Terry Fox in Kanata. Six days later I was down at the Corporate Services Committee Meeting to present a petition of 350 signatures of West Carleton residents opposed to the boundary change. I asked the committee to give us at least a month to inform residents about what was planned and to respond to the report. My request was denied.

The report was passed on to council where it was discussed and ammendments requested by urban councillors were adopted while those put forward by rural councillors were defeated. That was when I met with Bob Mckinnley to discuss what options were left to the rural communities. There was only one. The by-law to change the ward boundaries would have to be appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board.

A meeting of concerned citizens was called for July 30, 2002 and it was agreed that the West Carleton Rural Association would be formed for the purpose of appealing By-law 2002-316 of the City of Ottawa. Bob McKinnley was retained as our lawyer. Close to one hundred people attended that meeting and we had over eighty members signed up that night.

Two other rural communities, Rideau and Osgoode, also appealed the by-law and we met with them for the purpose of forming a joint committee, The Ottawa Rural Communities. A web site was established and a recruitment pamphlet was printed up.

At the Carp Fair we signed up one hundred new members and our membership continued to grow through a mail in campaign to over 570. We were the envy of many other community associations.

The OMB proceedings lasted much longer than we expected and more than once we tried to engage the city in dialogue in order to reach a settlement that was fair to all, and in a less confrontational manner, but they refused. In the end Ward 5 boundaries remain as they were. This was even better than we had hoped for or asked for, as we were prepared to extend our boundaries to take in rural Kanata. We also supported the large suburban communities' request to be split and to have two new wards created but this was not done.

There is no doubt that this issue will be revisited in the coming term and rural residents will need to be vigilant and give strong support to the WCRA as it continues in its resolve to protect the rural voice at city council.

During the year I also spoke on behalf of the association in fighting to keep the Kinburn Client Centre open. Again we were successful.

I made a presentation to the city committee considering advertising issues and had an ammendment made to the staff report to assure that in the future when boundary changes are being considered. Notices will be published in the local community papers of the areas affected as well as in the large daily papers.

I attended numerous workshops all over the city on different aspects of the city's new Official Plan and gave a rural perspective when warrented. I also made a presentation to the Planning and Development Committee on the Official Plan and outlined rural concerns in the following areas: the villages, affordable housing, estate lot development, and the future of agriculture and other rural businesses. I will be happy to provide any member with a copy of this presentation if you wish to see it.

I have taken every opportunity available to me to point out to the city, both staff and urban polititions, that if they continue to involve themselves in agricultural matters without considering the farmer's point of view they will soon bring the $400 million dollar industry to its knees. We can't let that happen.

More recently, I have written letters to council and to the newspapers concerning housing issues, the push to have Ottawa Hydro take over rural customer service from Hydro One and the scramble to cut costs by cutting services when the real waste is in spending Ottawa taxpayers money to conduct studies and prepare reports in areas such as nutrient waste management which the province has already undertaken; also using our tax dollars; persuing court cases that could end up costing tax payers millions of dollars and adopting new policies that require unspecified amounts of money and end up costing a small fortune. ( I believe the next one to be considered might be official bilingualism).

This past Tuesday morning I attended a meeting of the Coalition for a Successful Ottawa Economy whose members are mostly orgaizations representing small and medium business groups and sent copies of a letter that they sent to Mayor Chiarelli on June18, to our two local papers and I hope you will find it there tomorrow.

As I said at the beginning it has been an amazing year and I could not have accomplished all that I have without the support of all of our members. I especially want to thank my executive, my Board of Directors and members of the working committee. I also want to thank all the people who manned phones for us and Fabian Neville and Louise Jutras who volunteered to be our representatives on the committee to study new waste management proceedures.

How to Contact Us

To reach us, call Janne Campbell at (613) 832-4290 or by email at janne@comnet.ca.

Memberships

You can join the West Carleton Rural Association, Inc. and add your voice to those who are interested in ensuring that our views and values are heard and understood by the City of Ottawa and Council.

The membership fee is $10.00.

Please send the fee along with your name, address and telephone number to:

West Carleton Rural Association Inc.
PO Box 95,
Dunrobin, Ont. K0A 3M0

Businesses are also encouraged to join and may do so by providing their business name, address and telephone number.

Include your email address if you would like to receive electronic news and updates from our group.

Letters may be sent to the group at the same address noted under Memberships.

2002 Ottawa Rural Communities

 
 

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