West Carleton Rural Association Inc.
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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May 2003, the OMB ruled in our favour, the By-law was repealed and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
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
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.
The following members are currently serving on the West
Carleton Rural Association Board of Directors:
- Janne Campbell, President
- Jack MacLaren, Vice President
- Marjorie Bifolchi, Treasurer
- Shirley Dolan, Secretary
- Jack Shaw
- Robert D'Aoust
- Bob Dechert
- Steve Logan
- Mike Demers
- Doug Cully
- Bruce Monroe
- Robert Broomfield
- Why was the
- To fight the proposed Ward 5
- 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.
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
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
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
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
To reach us, call Janne Campbell at (613) 832-4290 or by email
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
The membership fee is $10.00.
Please send the fee along with your name, address and telephone
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