RURAL COUNCIL - 2004 REVIEW
Our first 9 Months - many successes to build upon


ORGANIZATION

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.

COMMUNICATIONS

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: www.ruralcouncil.ca/survey_results_0407.htm).

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 input, at: www.ruralcouncil.ca/petition-jan05.htm.

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 November 8, 2004, (hosted by the West Carleton Rural Association), with excellent guest speaker, Water Robinson.

COMMUNITY EVENTS

Chats Falls By-pass -Willola Beach - Wilola 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!)

Trail Road 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 area residents).

ONGOING ISSUES

Regs-170/03 - 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.

Ward Boundaries 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 jeopardy.

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.

COMING EVENTS

ROMA Conference – 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.

Rural Summit – 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 and interests:

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 the website, www.Ruralcouncil.ca. 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 3M0

Thank you for your ongoing support and interest – TOGETHER WE WILL PREVAIL!

 

 

- Ottawa Rural Communities - Rural Council -


"…dedicated to the protection of rural values and preservation of rural lifestyle"

 
 

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