final report of the
made a number of specific observtions and recommendations
regarding Rural Issues. Enclosed are specific highlights:
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,
- 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
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.
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.
When Council and its various Committees consider reports, it is
important that the rural areas are part of the decision-making