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

October 17, 2002
For Immediate Release

This is a joint press release issued on behalf of Osgoode Rural Communities Association, Rideau Rural Community Association Inc. and West Carleton Rural Community Association Inc.

Today is an important day in the history of democracy in the new City of Ottawa. The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Chris Hodgson indefinitely stayed the Ontario Municipal Board proceedings ending the rural communities struggle to protect their rights as a minority in the decision making process in Ottawa.

We wish to extend our gratitude and thanks to Mr. Hodgson and our area provincial representatives Brian Coburn, John Baird, Gary Guzzo, and Norm Sterling for their leadership role in ending the ward boundary dispute.

The announcement by the Province to defer the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) dispute on the City's new ward boundary by-law was a welcome decision but not a victory! Victory should come through conciliation and cooperation. Good governance should not come at the expense of effective representation. Effective representation is an issue that impacts both urban and rural wards and is not solely determined by the principle of representation by population. This is the law of the country not just the City of Ottawa. The three rural Associations that launched the OMB appeal acknowledge that there are representation problems in other wards but maintain that the by-law did not address the concerns of the rural communities.

We would like to extend an invitation to Mayor Chiarelli as leader of this Council to open a dialogue with our Associations' representatives to negotiate a more equitable solution to this important issue. Good governance comes from parties working together on common ground and not through litigation.

The Directors;
West Carleton Rural Community Association Inc.
Ottawa Rural Communities
Rideau Rural Community Association Inc.

2002 Ottawa Rural Communities