DRAFT ISSUES PAPER
for the upcoming RURAL SUMMIT


Rural Summit - "Draft Issues Paper" was posted on city's website August 12, 2005. View Report:  DRAFT ISSUES PAPER.

Appendix "A" – "Rural Summit Consultation Results" - Feedback from Public Consultation on Rural Summit Issues:  APPENDIX "A"


Initial reaction and comment:

Aug 18 -  2005    Rural Affairs Committee discusses RURAL SUMMIT - ISSUES PAPER
Aug 18 -  2005     Summit faces high expectations - Sue Sherring - The Ottawa Sun
Aug 17 -  2005     When in doubt, call a meeting - Kelly Egan - The Ottawa Citizen
Aug 15 -  2005     City staff need rural education, Jellett says - The Ottawa Citizen


The RCOC Reports - Feedback from one of our member organizations:

The President of the Richmond Village Association finds exclusionary statement completely unacceptable

The statement in the DRAFT ISSUES PAPER for the Rural Summit, that, "The Summit will not be dealing with issues that City Council has already decided (for example, the transit levy and the Munster forcemain)", is hugely offensive to the Richmond Village Association, and must be deleted for a number of reasons:

REASON # 1:

Earlier this summer, Harvey Snyder, President of the Richmond Village Association (RVA), and Paul Treboutat, resident, met with Mayor Bob Chiarelli, specifically to deal with the city-caused threat to the safety of Richmond’s shallow-well drinking water source, that the Munster forcemain routing has created.

As an apparent means of avoiding having to deal with the issue at that time, the mayor suggested to the two RVA representatives, that, “the matter be put on the agenda of the Rural Summit” – to be dealt with at the Summit.

The RVA fully expects that the Mayor's deferment of the issue, to the Summit, will be honoured.

REASON #2:

The Munster-Richmond forcemain case is a classic example of the city's misuse of process: to manipulate, contort and abuse that which is in the public interest. Failure to address past instances of the city employing deceitful tactics and bad faith practices, will only give license for it to continue without correction. The city should welcome the opportunity to justify its past practices or face certain realities in order to effect improvements in its future dealings with the public, (rural or otherwise).

REASON #3:

The RVA has every RIGHT to raise the water-source-threat issue at the Rural Summit. The ‘dirty little pipeline deed’ may seem done, but the risk to the potable water source, created by the forcemain, HAS JUST BEGUN –AND WILL BE ON-GOING UNTIL IT IS CORRECTED.

So, does the issue have current relevance? This issue will remain current and unresolved until the city either:

a.)    installs an on-site treatment plant at Munster and mothballs the forcemain, (still the
    least expensive),

b.)    re-routes the forcemain away from Richmond's shallow drinking water source, or,

c.)    brings city water to Richmond ---at no capital cost to Richmond residents.

REASON #4:

The Issues Paper, itself, states in its opening paragraph: "
The issues, agenda and timing will be identified and developed by Ottawa’s rural citizens..." One can only interpret from this  that the Rural Summit is intended to be an open, community-based process.

Any right thinking person would also take this to mean that the rural citizens of Richmond, indeed, should be permitted to bring their concerns about the 'ticking time-bomb' issue of the city-caused water source threat ...to the Rural Summit table!

Otherwise, the Rural Summit arguably could be deemed an utter farce, right from this very moment.

This is a 'watershed moment', (pun intended), for the Rural Summit’s credibility and that of its city conveners. The Issues Paper must quickly include the Munster forcemain threat to Richmond's source water as a front-and-centre issue, lest the Rural Summit be accused of classifying the Citizens of Richmond …as non-'Ottawa-rural-citizens'.

(Albeit, the Rural Council has learned, it appears that the majority of Richmond residents feel that their anxiety, stress and mistreatment at the hand of the city over its "public endangerment" of their water supply, has earned them the right to have their 'effective' status, as 'non-Ottawa' rural residents, formally realized in the Ontario Legislature!)


(Letter sent to City Manager, Kent Kirkpatrick, from Adele Muldoon 
of West Carleton, August 18, 2005. Adele was unable to
present this in person, due to another commitment.)
 
 
 
 
Kent, 
It must be obvious by now that much of the discontent in the rural
areas is the result of decisions taken by council over the last five years.
It is fine to say that a new process will be put in place to help the city
make better decisions in the future, but, if we have to continue to live
with the decisions of the past our present discontent will not go away. For
example, in addition to the issues referred to below we have to reconsider
the reduction of service in our Client service centres to one day a week,
the harmonization of a number of by-laws that do not meet rural needs, the
application of a one size fits all policy in increasing development fees,
business licences and user fees and many other issues that were raised by
residents during the consultation. These were decisions passed by council
that are now city policy and I believed that they were all up for
reconsideration. If not, it appears the decision on what we are going to get
out of the summit has already been made.
Are we wasting taxpayers time and money or can we discuss all issues openly
with the view to correct past errors as well as establishing a new
governance structure that will help us to avoid such errors in the future?



Adele Muldoon

 

 

 

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