RURAL COUNCIL - 2004 REVIEW
first 9 Months - many successes to build upon
Our first order of business was to establish an Executive
Committee, (representing Osgoode, Rideau, Goulbourn and West
Carleton) who met regularly, and could deal with rural
issues at the community level. While this was quickly
achieved, we are continuing to seek out new volunteers,
members and help.
Because of our limited size and
resources, our primary means of communicating with members
and the public, is through our website (www.ruralcouncil.ca).
Our website is hugely successful, as indicated by attendance
figures that frequently exceed 1400 visitors per day.
Our second communications vehicle is
through emailing of members, which has been slower to start,
but as more volunteers come on board, will create better
networking opportunities amongst members.
Third, with the arrival of the
Ontario-wide rural newspaper, the
FREE PRESS ADVOCATE,
we have an even greater unifying force amongst rural
communities across the province.
The fourth communication (and
consultative) initiative of the Rural Council is through
on-line surveys and petitions. A July-04 survey showed that
a huge majority of the rural population of the former
Regional Municipality of Ottawa-Carleton, was thoroughly
dissatisfied with the amalgamation of the City of Ottawa,
and with city performance. (Survey results:
Current ON-LINE PETITION – for Water
Source Protection: A
petition, in defense of Richmond’s well water from
city-caused contamination, is available for your on-line
Town Hall Meetings:
Throughout 2005, the Rural Council plans to hold "Town Hall
Meetings" with topical and interesting guest speakers,
similar to the Kinburn meeting on
2004, (hosted by the West Carleton Rural Association), with
excellent guest speaker, Water Robinson.
Chats Falls By-pass -Willola Beach -
Beach seems to be protected from the boat bypass BUT other
areas are now in danger. Quebec wants the bypass, and has
the infrastructure to handle it. That is where it should go.
Richmond Village Association – Water
Source Protection - This
issue is one that the Rural Council sees as a looming
"Walkerton crisis", caused by officials who have breached
the public trust. The Richmond case is even more sinister
because it is a "manufactured" risk, as opposed to one due
to miscalculation. Cost is not the driving force, here,
because the completely safe on-site option would have cost
taxpayers less than $4-million, while total expenditures to
date concerning the forcemain …have exceeded
$30-million. The Rural Council will help in any way
it can, including sponsorship of the On-Line Petition,
mentioned above. (Great comments are coming in!)
leachate and contaminated ground water will be treated
on-site instead of using trucking or a pipeline, thanks
to many motivated citizens, including several Rural Council
members. South Nepean Councillor, Jan Harder, backed her
residents 100%, to protect her constituents from the risks
of a failure-prone forcemain. (It’s unfortunate that the
Munster Sewage problem was not resolved in the same sensible
fashion, by Goulbourn’s ward councillor, instead of
jeopardizing the wells ---and the lives--- of Richmond and
Presentations have been
made to the inquiry formed to consider water Regs-170/03 and
through Jim Watson to the Provincial Government. Result: a
delay in implementing this odious and expensive legislation,
and hopefully, a more enlightened review will ensue, leading
to fairer regulations being implemented.
Endorsed Ottawa Farmers Business
Association …The Rural
Council supports the fundamental rights of food producers to
compete in international markets in accordance with
provincial, not municipal standards. We have obtained party
status for this organization before the OMB to challenge the
City’s illegal attempts to restrict farm practices.
are now being considered for reconfiguration and your Rural
Council has spoken at meetings, and made private
representations with the objective of retaining and
returning dignity and representation to the large rural
component of Ottawa.
Continuing to challenge Bylaws
where rural business, lifestyle and interests are put in
Continuing to monitor and criticize
politicians who do not act
in the public interest, do not spend our tax dollars wisely,
or do not democratically lead, protect, or show good
judgment in exercising the responsibilities of their office.
– Rural Council President, Bob McKinley, is an invited panelist at the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA)
Conference on February 21st, 2005, in Toronto.
The panel discussion topic is, "Keeping Rural Ontario
Viable". Between 1000 and 1300 delegates from across Ontario
are expected to attend the conference.
– In December 2004, Rural Council President, Bob McKinley,
met with City Manager, Kent Kirkpatrick, to initiate and
help facilitate discussions between city officials and
federal rural affairs officials, with hopes of having Ottawa
sponsor a summit event, here in Ottawa. This objective has
been agreed to by all parties and the event is to take place
some time in 2006.
Memberships and Volunteers
– working to protect your rights
YOU ARE THE ONES WHO ARE HELPING
RURAL ONTARIO REGAIN OUR RIGHTS
The Rural Council asks you to give a
copy of this to your neighbours and please keep in touch via
Updates and information are posted on a regular basis even
though we may not be meeting formally we are still working
with you for our common good.
Our 2005 Membership Drive is about
to begin. All current
members, and any new individuals who would like to see the
pro-active work of the Rural Council continue ---such as
those activities listed above--- are encouraged to forward
their, (STILL) $10.00, Membership Fee to the Rural Council
address listed on the "BECOME A MEMBER" page, (see link on
homepage). One may alternatively mail membership fees to our
mailing address at: Rural Council,
P.O. Box 285, Woodlawn, Ontario, K0A
Thank you for your ongoing support
and interest – TOGETHER WE
- Ottawa Rural Communities - Rural Council
"…dedicated to the protection of rural values and
preservation of rural lifestyle"