Rural Connections E-Bulletin
 
Rural Ottawa Gets a New Champion at City Hall
City Appoints New Rural Affairs Officer

This week City Manager Kent Kirkpatrick announced the appointment of Derrick Moodie as the City of Ottawa's new Rural Affairs Officer effective July 24, 2006.

As a local farmer and a current member of the City's Economic Development Team, Derrick brings both a rural/agricultural background and municipal experience to the position. He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture from the University of Guelph, and is well known in Ottawa's agricultural and rural business communities.  

Derrick has worked on a number of local initiatives, including the new Ottawa Farmers' Market at Lansdowne Park. Recently he has been coordinating the Rural Associations Partnership Program, which supports the rural economy with funding for rural business organizations, fairs and farmers' markets.

Before joining the City Derrick served as Acting Executive Director of the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Community Futures Development Corporation, which provides economic development, small business financing and consulting services to the surrounding community.

Appointing a staff lead for rural issues and establishing a Rural Affairs Office were among the key recommendations put forward by the citizen members of the Rural Summit Task Force and supported by City Council following last November's Rural Summit. The first orders of business for the new Rural Affairs Officer will be meeting with community representatives and staffing the other three positions in the office.

The Rural Affairs Office will be fully operational this Fall and its goals will be to strengthen the relationship between rural citizens and the City; champion rural interests at City Hall and with the federal and provincial governments; work with Council, staff and members of standing and advisory committees to set priorities and support rural and agricultural organizations; and help make sure the City continues to deliver on its Rural Summit commitments.

Through the combined efforts of community members, City Council and City staff, considerable progress has been made on the issues that matter to rural residents. Most recently the City has:
  • Developed an action plan in partnership with area landowners to resolve concerns about the identification of wetlands in the rural area
  • Started a Rural Signage Program to help customers locate farm-based businesses
  • Partnered with the Ottawa Farmers' Market Association to set up a new farmers' market at Lansdowne Park. The market is open Sundays from 8:00 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. All fruits and vegetables are locally grown and sold by the farmer who has grown them. (The market will be holding its grand opening on Sunday, July 16 with an official ribbon cutting at 1:00 p.m.)
These are just some of the most recent steps taken on rural issues. Over the past several months, with the support of the community and the leadership of the Rural Summit Task Force, the City has also:
  • Increased investments in rural roads and ditches to the highest level ever
  • Supported the rural economy by making contracts more accessible to rural businesses and introducing new grants for rural organizations and events
  • Expanded the powers of the Agricultural and Rural Affairs Committee so that all rural issues are dealt first and foremost by rural Councillors in a rural forum
  • Established a Rural Issues Advisory Committee, made up of volunteer farmers, residents and business owners, to give the City advice and input on rural issues
  • Approved a strategy to have citywide toll-free calling in place by Spring 2007
  • Approved a tax deferral program to help ease cash flow problems for farmers
  • Invested to provide every resident and business owner access to broadband internet by 2008
  • Started development of a one-stop rural website to give rural residents easy access to all the information they need about City services and issues
The new Rural Affairs Officer will help the City continue to make progress in these and other important areas. If you have questions or comments about this or any other rural issue before the new Rural Affairs Officer assumes his position on July 24, please contact Moira Winch, Rural Summit Project Manager, at ruralsummit@ottawa.ca613-580-2424, ext. 13360.

Please watch for additional rural updates coming soon. You can also find rural news and information at Rural Connections, the new rural section of
www.ottawa.ca.
 

 

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