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West Carleton | Goulbourn | Rideau | Osgoode | Cumberland

The final report of the Transition Board made a number of specific observtions and recommendations regarding Rural Issues. Enclosed are specific highlights:


BACKGROUND

In his report, Special Advisor Glen Shortliffe recommended:

  • that the existing 18 regional wards, their names and boundaries be continued as the electoral wards of the new City, and
  • that for the first two terms of the new Council the representatives from the Western Townships and Cumberland / Osgoode will have 2 votes each on all matters before Council, and on the proposed Standing Committees, in order to ensure enhanced representation of rural interests.

Bill 25, The Fewer Politicians Act, 1999, stipulated that the municipal area would be divided into 20 wards as established by regulation.

On April 13, 2000, Tony Clement, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, announced that the total number of wards in the new City would increase from 20 to 21, to allow for five rural wards, one for each of the rural townships: West Carleton, Goulbourn, Rideau, Cumberland, and Osgoode.

The following summary of major rural issues was taken from a report prepared by Dennis O'Grady, Rural Issues Project Leader and presented to the Board on June 2, 2000.

1. Having A Rural Voice

This is the one issue that took precedence among all others. The ability to have an effective, rural voice in decision-making, and to have their concerns dealt with quickly in the new City are very important issues in the rural part of the new City. There is a concern that the 17 urban councillors will outvote the rural 5, that the rural issues will get lost in the debate, and that the rural citizens will simply be forgotten.

2. Rural Planning Issues

A mechanism to deal with rural planning would handle many of the land use planning issues that arise in the rural areas. People do not want to go downtown to resolve small things like severances, septic approvals, minor variances, etc. The needs of many rural landowners, and their knowledge of the planning system, are different than urban residents. A way to deal with rural planning issues will therefore help the City's rural residents.

3. Staff Who Understand Rural Issues

There is need in the new City for staff who understand rural issues, and who can help rural residents the new organization. There is a feeling that without staff who have this knowledge, just like staff with knowledge of planning, engineering, human resources, etc., it will be harder to coordinate and resolve rural issues.

4. Satellite Offices Must Have Power To Make Decisions

Rural people do not want to go downtown. Satellite offices must have the power to make decisions, issue permits, and give service to the rural areas. They should also have councillor offices that have meeting space for rural groups.

Recommendations:

Recommendation 5:

When Council and its various Committees consider reports, it is important that the rural areas are part of the decision-making process.


 

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