Rural Council protest
on steps of City Hall falls on
Rally focused on
City's failings during two hour lead-up to Council's
boundary vote against effective rural representation.
Rural Council of Ottawa-Carleton RALLY
Wednesday, June 8th, 2005
In spite of
threatened rain, and timing of Rally during peak planting
season, the rurals who were able to attend were treated to
excellent speeches from numerous individuals representing
themselves or their organization.
Campbell, President of the Rural Council of Ottawa-Carleton :
opened the rally with greetings to all of the participating
organizations, invited speakers and guests.
All of the speakers at the
Rally were either members of the Rural Council, or endorse the
principles which the Rural Council stand for. As Ms. Campbell
explained, these principles are best summed up in the Rural
Council's Mission Statement:
Rural Council of Ottawa-Carleton is a coalition of rural
citizens and organizations representing communities, property
owners and small business, dedicated to the preservation and
protection of rural rights, values and freedom from unwarranted
urban regulation, through education, advocacy and political
Campbell addressing crowd.
McGarry, Ottawa businessman, and Mayoralty candidate in the 2006
First guest speaker, Brian McGarry,
opened by noting,
“I see many of you holding
signs, ‘If you ate
today, thank a farmer’.
I had breakfast today. Thank you. - I thank YOU, the farmers!"
Getting right down to business, he
"After the next election, you need a
Mayor who has been able to earn your trust and not just seek
your votes when convenient. - I hope to earn that trust.
I will help you, and not leave your
interests ignored, as is presently the case.
I will continue to seek your help,
input and advice to make life better for you in this city."
Mr. McGarry also expressed, that with respect to the rural
community, what is needed is a change in governance. "One size
does not fit all. We need to return to local
McGarry, is a prominent Ottawa businessman, with former
School Board Trustee and former Regional Municipality of
Ottawa-Carleton (RMOC) Councillor experience.
decision-making. We need a change of governance within the
context of the one city system."
His views regarding tax sharing:
Ottawa is part of the City and deserves its fair share of any
new revenue. I will not allow it to be used entirely for an
O-train that serves no one from the rural areas."
On City Budgets: "I
believe in controlled, sensible spending and in balanced budgets
–as you rural business people and farm-business operators have
been practicing for years."
PROPERTY RIGHTS ARE
McGarry stated, "Property rights
need to be respected, and fair market value needs to be paid if
your land is taken from you."
Also, "Rural residents should not be
subjected to overwhelming regulations and bureaucracy."
Brian McGarry closed by saying,
"These are just some of the issues I intend to resolve, given
the opportunity in 2006."
He thanked the Rural Council for
inviting him to speak, and wished the Rural Council and Rally
attendees future success in their battles for fair and effective
Mayoralty candidate in the 2006 Municipal Election:
opened with, “I would like to thank The Rural Council for organizing
this meeting and commend Councillors Brooks and Thompson for
supplying buses. I would also like to thank Bob McKinley and Janne
Campbell for inviting me to speak today.”
He then raised
the issue, “It is a shame that a city would present ward boundary
changes to be adopted with one rural Councillor disappearing,
weakening the rural voice and going against previous O.M.B. ruling.”
Kilrea stated that the performance of the Mayor and
about 14 Councillors have been a “total disgrace”, but
with the Mayor being about “70%” of the problem. He added, on the brighter side though, November 10, 2006 will cure
Kilrea ran for Mayor in 2003
He emphasized the foolishness of the city’s rural
policy by saying, “Imagine a rural resident needing a permit to cut
down a tree or a permit to sell roadside fruit and other products.
One size does not fit all, so why do they keep trying!”
He added that he had worked with the Willola Beach
residents to help defeat the Chats Dam By-Pass, and added, “We must
continue to stand up to a City Council that does not speak for all
residents, including those in the rural area.
Kilrea thanked the crowd for listening and concluded by saying, “I
have not stopped fighting since last election and will not stop
until Nov. 2006”.
Past President of the Rural Council (retired municipal lawyer):
Bob McKinley said
that the Rural Council had chosen this day to hold the Rally,
"because Council was going to make a determination on our right to
participate in the democratic process of the governance of Ottawa
and that they would be reducing our presence at the Council table by
more than 40%".
He went on to
state, "A strong voice
at Ottawa Council is fundamental because of the many issues coming
forward that would seriously impact on the rural way of life.
compelling example is the City's decision to destroy farm practices
by taking farmers to the Ontario Municipal Board under their
Intensive Farming Bylaw. They've already spent more than $1,000,000
of taxpayer's money on this issue in unsuccessful litigation to the
Ontario Court of Appeal.
Even though they have lost at
every step, and the City's own legal department refuses to
represent them, the City has decided to spend a further $300,000
challenging the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Ministry of
Municipal Affairs and Housing
Retired Lawyer, Bob McKinley, is Founder
and Past President of the Rural Council, and has proven most
helpful to rural ratepayers in defending against City abuses of
citizen rights, mismanaged rural affairs, and general City
and Ottawa farmers by pursuing their position.
This is a typical example of how
Ottawa's City Council refuses to obey the law or respect the
fundamental needs of its rural component."
Chair of the Goulbourn Landowners Group:
Mr. Walker introduced himself
"I’m from a new group called the
Goulbourn Landowners Group," then quickly added that perhaps he
should use the the more descriptive, short version, 'the GuLaG'.
"We think ‘gulag’ accurately reflects the city’s view
of us as slaves with no rights and no need for consideration."
He followed with, "Those of us who live in rural areas
are ALL environmentalists. We live in rural areas because we
enjoy the natural environment, and we have a very direct
interest in preserving it."
"So why am I opposing the wetlands
designation?", Walker asked.
"For three reasons."
(1.)The "underhanded and
arbitrary process" that was used:
Tony Walker, is President of the Goulbourn Landowners Group, a
collection of about fifty property owners in the area to the
southwest of Stittsville. Residents feel they are betrayed and
undermined by a clandestine process that was started without
a.) While it appears that the study
was started in 2003, that around September of 2004 City
environmentalists flew over the properties at 2000' to 'identify
wetland plants', and in February of 2005 the City sent their
report to MNR for designations to be applied, the
landowners were not informed until April of 2005.
The public meeting in April of 2005 was billed as an
"information" meeting. There was no opportunity for prepared
According to the city, there was no detailed justification for
designation, just lines on map.
(2.) The residents are struck
by the bizarre
definition of wetlands:
doesn’t have to be wet to be a wetland:
Quote from Susan Murphy (city’s environmental planning dept.) on CBC
Ottawa Morning show, Wed. June 8th (Dave Stephens
report): 'Land doesn’t have to be wet to be wetland'.
This is bureaucracy gone crazy!
b.) MNR doesn't care if property is wet. MNR doesn't care why property is wet - e.g. city drainage policies:
In fact, problems on some of our properties are caused by spring
flooding. City is draining areas to north of us but making no
provision for the increased water flow to pass through our area.
Isn’t that illegal? Yes it is. Does city care? Apparenty not.
- City fails to provide drainage
- Causes spring flooding on our properties
- Causes wetland plants to thrive
- City sees wetland plants
- City designates property
Another example: In the late 80’s, tree planting was in vogue – “We
need to plant more trees”. Some owners have areas of tamaraks,
recommended by MNR and planted under MNR’s Managed Forest Program.
Guess what? Tamaraks are an indicator species for wetlands So:
Province recommends tamaraks
Owner plants tamaraks
City sees tamaraks
City designates property as wetland
There are two wetlands designations. Provincially Significant designation
properties not Provincially Significant in their own right; at
best, a few may be considered very marginal wetlands. To get
around this, MNR has
‘complexed’ our land with existing Provincially
Significant Wetlands (PSW) to the North;
This means our properties would have all of the restrictions of PSW, but don’t have to meet
- This is a
While the city is doing this, it’s talking about allowing building
on genuine wetlands like the Carp river floodplain. If you were
cynical, you might think this is all smoke & mirrors.
They’re developing the Carp River floodplain and need to
find wetland somewhere else to replace it. However,
designating new wetlands does not create wetland – they
were there before (or not), whereas paving over wetland
destroys it permanently.
(3.) This is a Violation of Property
Property values would be reduced from $2500/acre to $200/acre
This amounts to
$250,000 on 100 acres!
- If these are to be
artificially created as 'Wetlands"
as a communal benefit, why are Landowners being asked to foot
We can no more absorb these losses than can urban property owners.
City’s first response is to deny there is any reduction in property
City’s second response: no property tax on wetland areas (acreage
only, not home value).
That’s about $10 - $20 /acre/year.
Gross violation of property rights. City & province should either
provide adequate compensation or back off.
Not democracy – democracy respects
minorities, respects property rights
Augusta Township Councillor:
Councillor Pauline Cyr, of Augusta
Township told of how she and her fellow councilors found the need to
stop abuses by their own municipality against private landowners,
through their Planning Department’s arbitrary re-designation of
Ms. Cyr noted that she felt the need
to talk to the Rural Council’s Rally because the same types of
abuses they put a stop to in Augusta Township, are occurring on a
huge scale in the vast expanse of Rural Ottawa …such as those
described by previous speaker, Tony Walker.
On April 11, 2005, the Augusta Township Council passed a
resolution to add the preamble suggested by the Leeds & Grenville Landowners Association, (LGLA),to
the Zoning bylaw and the Official Plan. The resolution
Cyr of, Augusta Township, has demonstrated exceptional
leadership and desire to serve the public interest. The world
needs more 'Pauline Cyrs'.
“Whereas an individual cannot
re-designate or rezone the use of his/her private property without
the written consent and approval of the municipality, it is a
fundamental requirement that the municipality not rezone or
designate the use and opportunities of private land without the
landowner’s prior written approval and consent. This principal can
only be abridged for the public good, with fair, just and timely
Paulene explained that, prior
to the successful vote of Council, over 300 residents of Augusta
Township had signed a petition that was circulated by the LGLA,
demanding that Council add the above preamble to the bylaw
By Council’s approval of the
inclusion to the bylaw, protecting landowner rights, Augusta Council
clearly demonstrated that it placed the public interest foremost,
and not some self-serving interest to its own bureaucracy.
Hurrah to Augusta Township
and bravo to Councillor Pauline Cyr!
for Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA):
Mr. Kamenz opened with the comment
that with this city, being the Capital of Canada, surrounded by such a
large rural expanse of lush greenery:
"Ottawa is the #1 city in Canada."
"But," he adds, "being #1 has its
responsibilities, because if Ottawa doesn't keep improving --to
keep that position-- the only direction it can go, is down."
"This city has huge diversity
of culture. Many ethnic groups, speaking in a variety of
languages, call this home. Many urban residents go about their
business without much awareness of how the large rural sector
works and lives. And many farm business (employing more than
10,000 people and generating over $400 million in annual sales) operate
within the municipality of Ottawa. The countryside, where they
work, play, raise their children -- within the boundaries of
Ottawa-- is their home, too.
So, why don't we all
live-and-let-live? Let's all do what we're each best at, and not
tell the other how
Kamenz, representing the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA),
gave an animated and powerful speech about the need for City
Hall to live up to its obligation as the administrator of the city
with the largest rural/farm component of any city in Canada.
to do his or her business, or live
their life. The rural community is far too independent and
proud, than to exist as a mere serfdom of urban Ottawa.
serfdom is unsustainable! ...It's not an option"
"You know, right
behind me here, in this edifice called 'City Hall', we have a Mayor
who is asking the Province and the Federal Government for more
authority, for the City to be allowed to make its own decisions. The
reason he cites, is that the City knows better how to direct many
matters concerning its day-to-day operations, than the Province or
the Feds can do.
All we're saying,
is that the same principle applies to the rurals. In matters of
day-to-day function, regarding issues relating uniquely to the rural portion
of the City, we should be given the democratic right to govern our
own local affairs:
best decisions pertaining to the rural area are going to be made by
the people living in the rural community, where there is a history
of problem-solving in rural matters that goes back for generations."
Just think how
much simpler, more pleasant and efficient, the functioning of
City Council would be, if there weren't all those 'confusing rural
matters' to deal with, that urban councillors know nothing about.
the City could and would operate a lot more smoothly, and a lot more
efficiently, if rural-related decision making was handled locally."
To thrive as a
rurals need the to reclaim the role of rural-specific decision making in this city.
Anything less would be downright undemocratic.
So, in closing,
let's make sure that we properly utilize the vast energy and unique
talents of the residents of the large rural component of this great
city, so that we can use all of our diverse and cumulative talents
in a unified, positive and synergistic way ...to ensure that we
continue to remain the #1 city in Canada."
of West Carleton, is an Ottawa-resident representative of the Lanark Landowners Association (LLA):
Jack MacLaren opened with the blunt
declaration of something acutely apparent to all those who were
MacLaren, who is a farmer in West
Carleton, serves on many agricultural committees, as well as being
an Ottawa-resident representative of the rapidly growing “Rural
Revolution”, which was started by the Lanark Landowner’s Association
(LLA). Now, he and another 500 Ottawa residents are members of the LLA.
Mr. MacLaren attributes the rapid
growth of the LLA, in no small part, to the city’s bungling of rural
affairs and mismanagement of city finances and operations --on a
MacLaren, a well known and respected West Carleton farmer,
who is an active member of several organizations, spoke at the
rally on behalf of the LLA's "Rural Revolution".
spends $100M more every year than it takes in!
He stated that, in terms of
financial mismanagement -- the city spends $100,000,000 more every
year than it takes in. It has spent almost all of the $400 million
reserve fund that it started with four years ago -- with only $37
million left. And, it has taken $200 million of cash equity out of
In terms of the city’s management of
rural affairs, Jack stated, “Urban councilors should never have been
given the role of governing rural townships. The ensuing disaster
According to MacLaren -- with
everyone present agreeing:
“The only way to establish effective
rural representation and good rural government, is for us to govern
He closed with the not so
far-fetched idea, in the light of the city’s treatment of rurals,
“We must ‘Go Back To The Future’ and re-establish ‘CARLETON
founder of “Hay West” and “Food Aid”:
Mr. McWilliams received a loud
ovation, as soon as he was introduced.
He was the founder of "Hay West",
which was helped western farmers last year with
shipments of local hay, while the western provinces suffered
from a severe drought.
On May 27th, Wyatt along
with may other individuals and organizations --and with all-day support from Radio Station CFRA---
managed to raise $108,000 to supply the Ottawa Food Bank with
East Ottawa farmer, Wyatt
McWilliams is considered a local hero for his contributions to
western farmers, and to the Ottawa Food Bank. A couple of non-farmers in the
audience were heard commenting, "Wyatt McWilliams typifies
the generous nature of farmers in general. It's too bad they are
so badly treated by a City that doesn't understand them, and
doesn't care to understand."
Mr. McWilliams said that he hopes
that the 'Food Aid' idea catches on in communities across the
country, "It would do a huge amount of good".
He closed with the modest comment
that he only came up with the "idea". His "success was based on
the work of a whole lot of people." He said that is why, "We
have to work together," adding, "We need to look out for
'No farmers, no
food, no future'!"
(View press coverage of "Food
Aid" day, May 27, 2005-
Eve Yantha, President
of the Arnprior Regional Federation of Agriculture (ARFA)
While the President of ARFA,
Eve Yantha, addressed her comments to, "all the supporters of
the rural and farming community," she also made the point
that she was also directing her remarks
to, "Mayor Bob Chiarelli
and Councillors of Ottawa."
And, while the Mayor was
conspicuously absent --for someone who professes having an
interest in solving rural concerns-- three rural
Eve Yantha, President of the AFRA, does not like the
negative impacts of amalgamation on rural life, but still sees Ottawa
becoming a great community if City officials maturely treat
rural residents as partners, with unique talents and
abilities, and capable of making most of their own
Councillors, Glen Brooks, Doug
Thompson and Rob Jellet, were present, and had been
recognized and thanked earlier by Rural Council President
Janne Campbell for their attendence and interest.
explained that the, "Arnprior Federation covers a number of
former townships, of... Nepean, West
Carleton, Fitzroy/Torbolton, Pakenham and McNab Township."
that, "We have a membership of almost 400 representing mainly
farmers of many commodity groups, including, beef, dairy, pork,
horses, deer/elk, etc. The issues we deal with are mostly farm
issues but many issues cross almost all boundaries, and are
dealt with by a democratic process, through resolution and vote
by the membership nominated Board of Directors."
Eve said that
it was her opinion that there are no real savings to be had with
amalgamation: "Bigger is not Better!!"
She said that
if the City had kept a consistent open dialogue with its rural
components, answered letters addressed to the City politicians
and staff more promptly, and held more meetings with all the
stakeholders concerned, things might have worked more smoothly.
Yantha admits, "Since Amalgamation, I have kept a close eye on
the happenings between the City and rural and farming community.
I also kept clippings with headlines that show much frustration
on the part of these hardworking folks." To read only "a
few", she cited the following: "'Rural Voters have many
complaints with merged city', 'Anger in the Back
Forty', and of recent: 'Rural residents ill-served by
city' and 'Farmers, city hall clash over selling roadside
that the new 'ward boundary issue' is, "of dire
importance to everyone," as well. She exclaimed, "I cannot
believe your Council would go ahead and vote for something that
your guide, the OMB, would object to? Explain that to me
that the many negative headlines give reason to ponder the
problems rurals are being saddled with, by the City of Ottawa.
-- "Think about them!"
your response be to an outsider, or newcomer, looking to locate
Farming is a
'Way of Life' that must be preserved.
understand a saying, we all know, 'One size
does not fit all'.”
solution to the many frustrations and problems building in these
communities since Amalgamation can be remedied, if the City is
up-front, willing to be flexible, willing to communicate openly,
and address the concerns with respect, and expediency."
by-law these folks to death, but, as you know, we farmers come
from very strong willed, 'never give up,' backgrounds. So
be prepared to hear from us, often, loud and long to get our
there is something that disturbs the rural way of life, or the
'right to farm' legislation, we will be at your
"I tend not
to dwell on the negative, but look to past considerations given
to O.F.A. by the City on The Agricultural Advisory Committee
(now defunct), which had at least a hearing of the rural
issues." Now that's gone.
themselves, have been working on solutions to help us out of the
devastating situation BSE has put us in.
worked with Wyatt McWilliams and the Ottawa Food Bank, with,
CFRA and Rob Jellet’s help in a win win situation.
in Fitzroy have formed a company to take the excess of cows to
beef products to alleviate some of the overburden on the
finished her talk with,
"We are mature people. Maturity means, walking hand in
hand, but not necessarily seeing eye to eye."
together, can build an even greater City, if we work
Webster, resident of Richmond
Mr. Webster acknowledged the
presence in the audience of the two rural Councillors, Glen
Brooks and Doug Thompson, who had both provided busses so that
Osgoode, Rideau and Goulbourn residents could attend. He thanked
them. He also noted that the Goulbourn Councillor was asked if
she would be kind enough to provide a bus --as she has with
other groups in the past--- but that request resulted in a flat
Bruce added that, in fact, Goulbourn, for that matter, does not
have ANY rural representation. If anything, the opposite is
true, "The Councillor has had a history of sabotaging rural
interests at every turn."
He added, "Two classic examples
of how Councillor Stavinga has worked against the public
1.) She fought the Village of Richmond all the
way, by siding with the Mayor and a pipeline contractor/campaign
supporter who pushed for a pressurized sewer line to go through
the very middle of Richmond's shallow-well drinking water
source. This violates every precept of 'source water
protection', presenting a flagrant case of public
endangerment and representing a serious breach of
the public trust."
Richmond resident, Bruce Webster has worked with the Richmond
Community Association, attempting to protect Richmond's drinking
water supply from future, city-caused contamination. "The city
is guilty of public endangerment and is in breach of
public trust," he states.
"The risky forcemain was not
even built for the sake of saving money. What could have been
done safely with an on-site treatment plant at Munster, for
under $4 million, got illegally switched to the forcemain,
at a Capital Cost in 2004, alone, of over $23 million.
(There is still an additional $5.5 million in work
remaining to complete the forcemain!) As one other Councillor
has stated, 'Something really smells here, and it's not
just the sewage'."
2.) "As reported by
earlier speaker, Tony Walker of the Goulbourn Landowners Group,
some fifty-or-so land owners are being treated very badly by the
City of Ottawa, and Councillor Stavinga is actually working in a
conflict situation against the interests of her ratepayers.
The city has invited the Rideau
Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) and the Ministry of Natural
Resources (MNR) to create new wetlands on private property
(where there was not wetlands before). While Councillor Stavinga
is the Councillor of Goulbourn, who is paid by the city to
represent her ratepayers ---she, instead--- sits as Vice-Chair
on the RVCA, appearing to be working solely for its interests,
and sabotaging the ratepayers' interests at every turn.
Meanwhile, she has not responded to almost all of the pleas for
her assistance in the two months since this has been public. She
secretly worked against the ratepayers' interests for more than
two years, without disclosing to them what she was up to."
"So, if you ask me if we need MORE
councillors at City Hall, I would say NOT like Goulbourn's:
We need BETTER
We need better
"When you experience, from the
rural perspective, such consistently wasteful and
counter-productive activities by City Council, in the context of
our rapidly diminishing "effective representation," it is
patently clear why there is a 90% level of rural dissatisfaction
survey results), and why Amalgamation is perceived to be
an abysmal failure."
LeBlanc, NDP Candidate for Carleton-Mississippi Mills
thanked the Rural Council of Ottawa Carleton "for putting on this
We're here today
because of what NDP Agricultural critic Charlie Angus has coined a
"political walk away" from rural Canada. In the May 2nd edition of
The Hill Times, Charlie writes that: 'For the last
dozen or so years, farmers have been left on their own to compete
and to cope in the face of increasingly growing international and
domestic obstacles. Farmers have adapted. They've grown more
efficient, and have
moved towards increasing economies of scale. But the fact is,
they've hit the wall and there just doesn't seem to be any
political inclination on the part of the ruling Liberals to find
a new way forward.'
I think Charlie
is being optimistic: the political walk-away is more like a run,
that's brought our farmers out of the fields and off the land to
stand up and make their voices heard.
by Bruce Collier
LeBlanc, NDP Candidate for Carleton-Mississippi Mills, and
resident of West Carleton, points out that the democratic deficit
facing rurals across Canada, is made all the worse in
Ottawa by City Council's Ward Boundary Review-vote to reduce effective
rural representation by another 40%.
While, economically, rural Canada is being marginalized,
politically it is being disenfranchised.
City Council will vote to receive a report from a consulting company
that recommends reducing rural representation on City Council by
40%. Amalgamation took away rural councils. Rural representation on
Ottawa City Council is weak enough as it is. If successful, the
restructuring of the Ottawa ward boundaries will almost certainly
silence whatever voice that remain for rural communities.
...We're here to
let our municipal leaders know what we think of the rural democratic
deficit they're voting on today.
continue to lose faith in a government and political process that
seems less and less about the issues important to farmers and
important to Canadians." Crystal added:
"There's a democratic
deficit when the voice of our rural communities is drowned out by
the din of urban
'busy'-ness and city planning on rural
inference being that all of the political and bureaucratic meddling
in rural affairs is almost always impacting negatively, Ms. LeBlanc
stated, "There's something broken in rural Canada. And it's not the
farmers, nor the communities in rural Canada who broke it. It is
becoming increasingly difficult to determine which level of
government holds rural life in more contempt. After two years of
government dithering about the BSE crisis, cattle and dairy farmers
from across Canada have rolled up their sleeves and taken matters
into their own hands, increasing the slaughter capacity and selling
inspected beef directly to consumers, through co-ops that by-pass
the packers whose only concern is fattening their already huge
communities are hurting. We need our community leaders, our council
representatives, our MP's and MPP's to roll up their sleeves, to get
dirty and with us, make it work.
It's time our
representatives stopped listening to 'stakeholders' and started
standing up for the communities they represent. This is what they
were elected for, this is what our taxes pay for.
voice is silenced, whether it be that of women, youth, or farmers,
democracy is threatened.
Today, with a
strong and united voice that no consultant's report can silence, we
say NO to the Rural Democratic Deficit, and YES to Rural Democracy!"
Gordon O'Connor, MP
for Carleton-Mississippi Mills
Mr. O'Connor, earlier, had
sent his regrets about being unable to attend due to a caucus meeting, but expressed his
support for the Rural Council's objectives in promoting
fairness in government handling of private property.
O'Connor's website (www.gordonoconnor.ca)
states the following:
"The right to own
property should be written in
the Constitution. No
government should have the authority to expropriate private
property or to
impose regulations that impact an
individual's property, without just compensation."
MP, Gordon O'Connor,
has strongly argued the case that fair compensation should
be included as part of owners' property rights, when
governments choose to take ownership, or
control of private property.
Broomfield, resident of West Carleton:
CAUSE OF RURAL
began by noting that on
the city web page regarding the rural summit Mayor Chiarelli stated that one of the purposes of the summit is: "to
help promote greater understanding between Ottawa's rural and urban
Broomfield commented, "I do not know
whether this is posturing or a genuine lack of understanding by the
mayor but ...for the most part I don’t think the problems arising
from a rural perspective is due to a lack of understanding between
the two groups of residents, both are basically trying to get on
with their lives in their own environments:
"The problems of
understanding are between Rural residents and the city politicians
THEFT OF PROPERTY
West Carleton resident, Bob Broomfield,
made many clear points on City's abuse of ratepayers' interests.
"There is one
particular aspect of living in the city of Ottawa and that
particularly disturbs me. It is the willingness, even enthusiasm, of
the planners and politicians to steal the property rights of their
(or re-zone) the land use of private property in their official
plans and its expanded sub plans, this means they take away peoples
property rights relating to some aspect of the property, they create
bylaws which have a similar effect.
The City staff
get upset if you tell them they are stealing from the property
owners on behalf of the city. Yet they are taking away peoples
property rights without their permission and they have no intention
of returning them.
dictionary this is the definition of stealing.
It is however not
illegal because the municipal and planning acts give the city the
legal ability to steal in this way. It does not however make them
exercise this right, the decision to steal is with city staff and
They could pay
for the rights, and control, that they want to take from the
property owner, or they could use a more positive approach to their
objectives but in the most part they don’t. Its easier to steal when
you have been given license to do so.
activities the planning department also exercise their right to
indulge in extortion like activities. I questioned some planners
about this and was told that it was "standard practice". I
personally found this disgusting that staff in this city who are
paid with our tax dollars supposedly to service our needs have so
little concern about the morality and impact of stealing peoples
property rights that that they dismiss it as "standard practice".
Because this type
of stealing is not illegal, and bears no consequence for the city
and its staff, does not diminish its real impact on the victims,
their property is devalued, they face a real loss on their financial
investment in their property, and the psychological impact of
feeling anger and violation is not mitigated by knowing that the
perpetrators are being paid to do this with our own tax dollars.
While I am
justifiably (miffed) when it is my property rights they are trying
to steal, I am equally disturbed and appalled when its somebody
else's... because they claim that they are doing this for the public
good and being as I am one of the public, a resident of Ottawa, this
travesty is claimed to be done for my benefit (as one of many)."
To drive home the
point, by example, Broomfield explained:
I would not steal from my neighbors nor anticipate that they would
steal from me. That
is why I find it morally corrupt that city representatives are
willing to steal from city residents and claim to do this on my
"In its official
plan the city presents itself as supporting a caring community. Such
hypocrisy is appalling, how caring a city is it that steals from its
own (usually minority, frequently rural) residents.
It is said that
power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. It would seem
that amalgamation is putting way to much power in the hands of those
without the moral compunction to use it sparingly and fairly for the
actual benefit of all of the residents."
have objections to the city's 'good forestry practices' bylaw.
Our rights and
freedoms are being incrementally eroded by legislation which is
allowed to progress into existence as a compromise from something
worse, when it should not exist at all.
There is no fair
compromise in this situation as any compromise results in only one
side giving something up. A compromise here means they simply steal
less of the landowners rights than they would have liked to.
It will be too late when all of these pieces of compromised
legislation collectively remove not only all of our rights and
freedoms but the right to change back also."
does the cities bylaw officers achieve the status and power of the
KGB or the Gestapo and can enter anybody's property or home on the
pretext of bylaw complaints?"
"By way of example
in a different context, perhaps it should be recommended that to
solve parking problems downtown and protect greenspace from becoming
parking lots there should be a bylaw that specifies all down town
private home and business driveways be designated public parking and
be fitted with parking meters. Is any compromise good? How about if
the property owner were given a free pass for the use of his own
driveway, but the bylaw would contain a clause for city parking
officials to enter the home owners home without a warrant at any
time if somebody complained that their visitors were parking there
illegally using the owners pass. Fines would be $1000 per day
for private vehicle infringements and $10000 per day for commercial
vehicles. Property owners would of course get no compensation and be
responsible for maintenance to city parking lot standards also for
snow clearance of their driveways, with penalties for obstructing
them in any way.
Its BS! It would
never happen, but only because to many downtown residents would be
completely (and rightly) incensed. The good forest practices bylaw
is BS in the same vein, unfortunately it does not affect such a
large proportion of the population, and the majority would not have
the time to understand the concerns anyway, also the proposed bylaw
is easier to dress up as professional, reasonable and green to
people who are not affected.
There should be
no compromise on keeping this Bylaw it should be dismissed and
assurances given that council will not accept its resubmission in
the future, its time council showed some concrete support for
Further I do not
think the people promoting this would be looking for a compromise
that’s reasonable, the bylaw's basis is unreasonable, it proposes
stealing fellow citizens property rights, they heard public comment
and changed only the cosmetic."
ended his comments by thanking the organizers for bringing focus to
the many grievances of rural residents --voiced by others, today, as
well as himself-- and expressed hope that the broad-based support of
the Rural Council could bring a stop to city abuses.
Maguire, resident of Kars, is a member of the Ontario
Mr. Maguire thanked listeners
for taking the time to come out to add
voices to the growing chorus of dissent in Ontario.
because we’re dissatisfied with the decisions and we’re
suspicious of the intentions of the government, be it Provincial
He said, "All
of you have seen first hand the effects of runaway municipal
bureaucracy, the un-checked hikes in your property taxes, the
decline in services, the loss of representation in rural
communities due to amalgamation and now with the proposed ward
boundary changes you’ll see a further loss of identity as
historical boundaries are eliminated and artificial ones are
constructed by committee."
simple fact is that all over Ontario the mega-cities that were
created are failing and this story is repeated in Hamilton, Sudbury,
Kawartha Lakes etc." he
Mike Maguire, does not take kindly
to rural Ottawa being short-changed by Amalgamation. He
plans to continue fighting the inefficiencies and abuses of
this risky experiment gone wrong.
Mike's website: Out of Ottawa.ca)
"The idea that you could
combine formerly highly efficient
terribly inefficient municipalities
and generate greater levels of service at lesser cost is surely
I believe that the province has to step back in and un-tangle
the mess that was created during the municipal mergers. I want
to stress that last point because I don’t hear it enough. Feel
free to ignore what city council says about de-amalgamation,
cities and their councils have no say in this debate. It is the
province, in particular the Minister of Municipal Affairs, who
determines the makeup of a city and what regulatory authority
the city has. If we are to achieve de-amalgamation in Ontario
before the mega-cities start to go bankrupt then our job is to
convince the Premier that it’s in his best interest to start the
I believe that Premier McGuinty is probably a pretty reasonable
guy. He knows that the cities are in a mess but he believes that
because this isn’t an election issue then he can turn his
attention elsewhere. Our job is to convince the Premier that
municipal reform is one of the primary election issues in
Ontario and failure to address it will result in devastation for
the provincial Liberals at the polls in 2007.
So, here’s what I plan
to do. I’ll be sending out thousands of these postcards to
residents in Ottawa just after the next municipal budget. The
front is pre-addressed to the Premier, no stamp required, and
the back has a single sentence.
McGuinty, I need a binding referendum on de-amalgamation
immediately or I can’t vote for your party'."
almost 5 years of observation we can conclude that the mega-cities
I really believe that
our job is to help the Premier realize that municipal reform is a
priority and with your help we can do that."
"Ninety percent of the City’s land
mass is rural. Not only this, we are fighting for survival
from two other levels of government. We all heard in the
speeches today, 'One size doesn’t fit all'.
In principal everyone agrees with
that, except for some bureaucrats that have no idea what rural life
is like. In last year's budget cuts, the only committee to be
cut was the Agricultural and Rural Affairs Advisory Committee (ARAAC).
This committee had no money or staff associated with it. It
didn't cost the city anything. And the present Agricultural
and Rural Affairs Committee (ARAC) doesn't have the support or
strength that it needs.
Since our inception of the Rural Council last year, part of our
mandate was to be a resource for the City. Not once has the
city called to ask about the impact of policy that it is deciding.
The city doesn’t even see fit that out of 17,000 employees to have
one person who is truly knowledgeable about rural affairs.
As you've heard today, the level of frustration is palpable.
We have not been consulted on major issues that affect us; like the
open air burn by-law, 3km buffer zone, the vendor licencing by-law
and believe me I could go on. The last fire call for the
Township of West Carleton on Dec. 31, 1999 was to my house.
The first two fire fighters on the scene were dual hatters.
Five ended up on that call. A year before when my baby
was choking and I called 911, a dual hatter responded within
minutes. Today the dual hatters - full-time firefighters who happen
volunteers in their community, are not allowed because the city
couldn’t take a leadership role and stand up to the union.
There are too many things that are happening without our knowledge
and are forcing reactionism."
TAX DOLLARS ARE USED TO FIGHT US
"Continually our tax dollars are being used to fight us with.
Whether it is bureaucrats that don’t understand, or don't care to
learn, about the rural lifestyle, or on the other hand special
interest groups like the Ottawa Greenspace and Forestry Advisory
Committee that receives money from council to write a by-law to
prevent us from cutting trees on our own properties and prop up
When I gave my presentation to you on the Tree-cutting by-law, I was
poo-pooed by the city forester for being afraid that the by-law was
a foot in the door with the phrase regarding land use designation
'as amended from time to time'. The Provincial Policy
Statement 2005 has sweeping changes in OMB legislation and will make
all planning decisions centralized in Toronto. The language
states that municipal land use planning 'shall be consistent with'
as opposed to 'have regard to'.
You heard from Augusta Township Councillor, Paulene Cyr, who spoke
earlier, that on April 11, 2005, the Augusta Township Council passed
a resolution to add a preamble suggested by the Leeds & Grenville
Landowners to the Zoning bylaw and the Official Plan. The resolution
is worth repeating. It provided that,
'... it is a fundamental requirement that the municipality not
rezone or designate the use and opportunities of private land
without the landowners prior written approval and consent.'
principal can only be abridged for the public good, with fair, just
and timely compensation.'
The City of Ottawa would do well to
take a page from the enlightened Council of Augusta Township, before
the rift between rural ratepayers and city politicians/bureaucrats
becomes irreconcilable. That time is fast approaching.
The Rural Council's suggestion (in
December, 2004), to host a 'Rural Summit', is being acted upon by
the City. I would like to recognize Moira Winch, who is the City Co-ordinator
for the Rural Summit, and who is taking notes on some of our
grievances mentioned today. The Rural Council will be working very
closely with Moira, and we wish her every success in the great task
"From the outset, the
Rural Summit has a lot to do to prove itself, the first being
credibility in its sincerity --from a political perspective-- and
many of the city abuses and offensive programs cited today have
to be put on hold IMMEDIATELY if the Summit is to retain any
credibility ---as we approach the proposed November event."
Janne added, "The Rural Summit may
be, in fact, the last hope for productive fence-mending between the
City and its rural communities."
Campbell concluded the Rally with,
"Thanks to all of the great speakers who participated".
She then announced that the Council
Meeting, likely deciding to reduce the effective representation of
the rural communities by 40% was about to begin, and anyone who
wanted to see a sickening spectacle in failing democracy, could go
inside the Council chambers and watch.
REPORTS OF RCOC's RURAL RALLY
and WARD BOUNDARY VOTE IN COUNCIL:
Metronews Ottawa - June 9, 2005
(See page 3)
Ottawa Sun - June 9, 2005
Ottawa Valley News -June 16, 2005
Manotick Messenger - June 15, 2005
Press Advocate - June 7, 2005 (PRE-RALLY COVERAGE)
Ottawa Citizen - June 9, 2005