NEWSLETTER      -     APRIL 2004

West Carleton Rural Association

WCRA – GETTING INVOLVED:

Since our last newsletter in December 2003, the West Carleton Rural Association (WCRA) has been busy working on a number of issues relating to our priorities:

      1.      Fiscal Responsibility
2.      Challenging Unnecessary By-Laws
3.      Effective Rural Representation
4.      Maintaining the Kinburn Client Centre
       and Rural Services
5.      Protecting Rural Property Rights
6.      Supporting Democratic Public
      Consultations

Here is a summary of our activities:

Meeting with Councillor Eli El-Chantiry

Councillor El-Chantiry attended our January meeting – an opportunity for the executive and members to comment on a number of topics, including:

·         Disbanding of the Agricultural and Rural Affairs Advisory Committee,

·         The boat bypass in Fitzroy,

·         Police and ambulance dispatch issues in West Carleton, and

·         The tree cutting by-law.

The WCRA will continue to seek opportunities to work with Councillor El-Chantiry in support of our priorities.

 

 

2004 City of Ottawa Budget

The WCRA executive and members-at-large attended many of the public consultation and committee meetings and protest rallies, providing valuable input from a rural perspective, on the 2004 City of Ottawa Budget. We promoted fiscal responsibility, asking that spending be reduced, core services maintained and an independent auditor be hired.

Open Air Burn By-Law

When the first draft of the Open Air By-Law was presented at a meeting in West Carleton on February 2nd, it was obvious that farmers and rural residents had not been consulted. We, along with other community leaders, worked with our councillor and the city to change the by-law into one that was more workable. Vice-President Jack MacLaren made a presentation to the joint meeting of the Agriculture and Rural Affairs (ARAC) and Emergency and Protective Services Committees.  These consultations resulted in a much revised version of the by-law being presented at the ARAC meeting in West Carleton on February 26th.  However, despite our intervention, the proposed by-law is excessively restrictive and the WCRA does not support it.  This is another example of loss of rural property rights. A final version of the by-law was approved at the March 10th Council meeting and it comes into effect on May 1st.

 

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Property Assessment Meeting

For many residents, property assessments have increased significantly over the past two years. The assessment system is complex and not easily understood. Two of our members, Alan and Glenda Jones, had attended a number of meetings in other wards on the subject and found them to be very informative. They asked the WCRA to help organize a similar meeting in West Carleton. We contacted Councillor El-Chantiry’s office and they agreed to set up and advertise the meeting. Residents were asked to bring their assessments to the March 6th meeting, where representatives from the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation were on hand to answer questions. Hosted by Councillor El-Chantiry, Lanark-Carleton MPP Norm Stirling and MPAC Vice-President of Property Values Larry Hummel were also there. The deadline to appeal your last assessment was March 31st, 2004 but you can still ask for a review/reconsideration for incorrect information used in your property’s assessment, until December 31st, 2004. The administrative review is done at no charge and if errors are found, a rebate will be given, according to Peter Hume, Ottawa city council’s representative on MPAC, who was also at the meeting.

LLA and the Rural Revolution

At a meeting in Pakenham on March 2nd, the Lanark Landowners’ Association (LLA) kicked off the Rural Revolution, a movement designed to take back property rights from all levels of government.  Speakers included MPs Scott Reid and Cheryl Gallant, Bob Woolham from the Ontario Property and Environmental Rural Alliance (OPERA), Chair Randy Hillier of the Lanark Landowners’ Association (LLA), and Janne Campbell, President of the West Carleton Rural Association.  Since the meeting, the Rural Revolution has organized a series of protest rallies on Ottawa rural roads, where information leaflets have been distributed.  Says LLA Chair, Randy Hillier “We will take back our land”.

 

 

For more information on the LLA and the Rural Revolution, visit http://www.marmora.org/liberty/LLA.

Memberships and “This land is our land / Back off government” signs are available from:

  • Merle Bowes 253-3741
  • John Vanderspank 259-2784
  • Bill Duncan 623-6679
  • Randy Hillier 257-7968


Or send cheques made payable to the Lanark Landowners Association,

c/o Randy Hillier,
RR2 Carleton Place, ON
K7C 3P2

Memberships are $20 per year and include one sign.  Additional signs are $10 ea or 3 for $25. Bumper stickers are $5 ea, and large 4x8 signs are $150.

Munster to Richmond Sewer Pipeline

On Monday, March 8th, several members of the WCRA executive attended a meeting in Richmond hosted by the Richmond Village Association (RVA). Over the last 18 months, the RVA has been actively opposing a sewer pipeline being constructed to service the village of Munster. The pipeline will pass directly over the aquifer in Richmond and could represent significant risk to clean drinking water in and around the village. Given that there is an alternative to the pipeline and that there have been ruptures to the part of the new pipeline already in place, the RVA wonders why the City is rushing forward with construction. Lawyer Bob McKinley has agreed to assist the RVA in making an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB). The WCRA pledged $100 to assist the RVA with the OMB appeal. For more information, visit www.ottawasewergatefiasco.com.

 

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Rural Council

On March 23, more than 500 rural residents met at the Nepean Sportplex to discuss the creation of a new affiliation known as the Rural Council – a stronger, collective voice in the City of Ottawa for rural residents.  Heading the effort to form the organization is Bob McKinley, who you may recall greatly assisted the rural Wards of West Carleton, Rideau and Osgoode in successfully challenging the Ward Boundary changes.  Representatives from many rural businesses and community and farming groups spoke in support of the Rural Council. Memberships to the new organization were being sold at the meeting and many of the attendees signed up. The next steps for the Rural Council are fundraising (memberships are $10 per household), developing a questionnaire, drafting a constitution and forming a network of volunteers.  To join the Rural Council, to get involved and for more information, visit their website at www.ruralcouncil.ca.

Your Feedback

In our December newsletter, we asked you to let us know what issues concerned you. Here are the top ten issues that you told us were important to you:

1.      Over-regulation and excessive by-laws

2.      Maintaining effective rural representation

3.      Protecting our rural lifestyle and identity

4.      Property and municipal tax increases

5.      Reduction in services since amalgamation

6.      Property rights

7.      Fiscal responsibility

8.  De-amalgamation

 

9.  Urban sprawl/rural development

10. Wildlife problems

Thanks for your feedback. We will keep these issues top-of-mind at meetings and discussions with the City of Ottawa.

Coalition for a Successful Ottawa Economy (CSOE) – Survey Results

In January, the WCRA emailed out a survey designed by the CSOE asking for your input on the proposed 2004 City of Ottawa budget. Your responses, along with those of other CSOE members were compiled and presented to Ottawa councillors on March 15th, as part of a presentation from the business community.  62% of respondents said they were aware of the budget process. 89% were in favour of freezing taxes and reducing municipal spending.  Respondents were asked to select one of the four options offered to residents at the budget consultation meetings. 83.9% choose no tax increase; 12.1% selected a 3% increase; and lastly, 3% and 6% choose a 6.3% increase and a 9.7% increase, respectively.

CSOE has asked City Council to support small and medium sized businesses, to start and complete their annual budget review before the end of their fiscal year and to hire an independent auditor.

The WCRA is a member of CSOE and supports their recommendations of fiscal responsibility.

Membership Renewal

Our membership drive for 2004 is coming to a close and we will soon be updating our membership lists and removing those who have not sent in fees for this year. BUT there is still time to renew. If you have not already renewed, please fill in the membership form

 
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at the bottom of this newsletter and return it.

For questions about your membership, please contact Shirley Dolan at 623-0675 or by email at sjdolan@storm.ca.

If you have joined up for 2004, why not pass on the membership form to a friend or neighbour.  There is strength in numbers and a strong voice can be effective.

Tree Cutting By-Law

Public consultation meetings on the Good Forestry Practices by-law, also known as the Tree Cutting by-law, have been completed and City staff is reviewing feedback. A revised by-law and report will be submitted to the Planning and Environment Committee and the Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee in June. According to Councillor El-Chantiry’s office, he is interested in more public consultation on the topic.  The WCRA will monitor the process and try to ensure that West Carleton residents have to opportunity to provide input.

You can see a copy of the by-law under By-laws on the City of Ottawa website at www.city.ottawa.on.ca .

Annual General Meeting

The WCRA is planning an annual general meeting in October 2004. During this meeting, we will ratify our constitution, hold elections for the executive and board of directors, report on our financial situation, and invite feedback from you, the members. Our President, Janne Campbell, will also report on the association’s activities over the past year.

Remember! Only members in good standing (fees paid) can attend and vote.

Please visit our new website at www.wcra.ca to see a copy of our constitution. If you would like us to mail

 

you a copy, please contact Shirley Dolan at 623-0675.

Provincial Water Regulations

Following the Walkerton tragedy, Ontario Regulation 170/03 came into effect in 2003, with the goal of ensuring safe public water supplies. It imposes new standards on businesses that provide water in any manner to the public, from nursing homes to schools, churches and meeting halls to gas stations, trailer parks to resorts and bed-and-breakfast operations. There is some speculation that this regulation will be extended to private home owners, with the cost of water safety equipment and water testing being the responsibility of the homeowner. The WCRA will pay particular attention to any extensions or changes to this provincial regulation.

Committee to Free Flamborough (CFF)

The Committee to Free Flamborough (CFF) is hosting a conference for all towns that were forcibly amalgamated under the Conservative government. The Conference for Ontario Local Democracy (COLD) is scheduled for:

May 15, 2004 at the Rockton World Fair Building, Rockton, Ontario

"Local Democracy" and "Moving away from Amalgamation" are the topics. Hazel McCallion, Mayor of Mississauga, is one of the key speakers.

This will be a day for building a stronger, louder voice for Democracy in Ontario.

Pre-registration is required. $20 includes refreshments all day long, lunch and entry.

For more information or to register, visit the Committee to Free Flamborough website at http://www.freeflamborough.org/.

 
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West Carleton Rural Association - 2004 Membership Renewal

 

The West Carleton Rural Association seeks your continued support to help preserve our rural communities and values.

Membership valid for the 2004 fiscal year (from date of application to Dec. 31, 2004)

 

 

Name:
Address:
 

 

 

 

Phone:
E-Mail:
I would like to volunteer (Yes/No): ______
MEMBERSHIP DUES:    $ _________ ($10.00 per person / $15 per family)

DONATION:                      $ _________

TOTAL (enclosed)           $ _________


Please make cheque payable to:
West Carleton Rural Association.
Detach and Mail Form to:

West Carleton Rural Association
PO Box 95, Dunrobin ON,
K0A 1T0

 
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