"Survey says! Rural residents want out."

 

 
The Ottawa Sun City life not for rurals: Survey  
 

By Derek Puddicombe, Ottawa Sun                                                     July 25, 2004

Survey says! Rural residents want out. That's according to a random sampling of 1,500 Goulbourn, Osgoode, Rideau and West Carleton residents by the Rural Council earlier this month.

The survey overwhelmingly suggests rural residents are not satisfied with the way the city is conducting its business and want to split from the city.

Within four days of sending out the four-question survey, the Rural Council received about 40% back. Of those who responded, almost 90% voted to break from the city.

The numbers are a significant sign for change, said Bob McKinley, who helped draft the survey and formed the association in early spring to tackle a broad range of issues across rural Ottawa.

 
 
"We want to test it in the suburban areas because our early indications show there is about the same level of dissatisfaction as there is in the rurals," said McKinley.

He added the council intends to feed the data to rural councillors Glenn Brooks and Doug Thompson, who have raised a motion at city council requesting its support to instruct the province to review the benefits of amalgamation.

..."I think that many of them are now coming to the conclusion that there are no benefits to amalgamation," said McKinley.

 

 
 

"This is encouraging news on a number of fronts. The approval rating for the Rural Council is extremely high to bring about change," said McKinley. "Deamalgamation is just one of the options, but it's the preferred option."

About 500 people have also filled out the group's online survey, and the results mirror the sentiments of those who completed the hard-copy survey.

The survey asked residents if they were satisfied with City Hall governance. It also asked if residents favoured deamalgamation.

800 HITS A DAY

McKinley, a retired lawyer, added that the Rural Council's website -- ruralcouncil.ca -- set up in April is receiving about 800 hits a day, including groups involved in similar battles across the province.

Due to the strong support the council is getting, there are now plans to extend its efforts into the suburbs.

"We want to test it in the suburban areas because our early indications show there is about the same level of dissatisfaction as there is in the rurals," said McKinley.

He added the council intends to feed the data to rural councillors Glenn Brooks and Doug Thompson, who have raised a motion at city council requesting its support to instruct the province to review the benefits of amalgamation.

"That is one of the reasons why we want to poll the suburban areas because there is a meaningful population out there that is not happy either," he said.

He has already been speaking with several urban councillors and says support for amalgamation is beginning to crumble.

"I think that many of them are now coming to the conclusion that there are no benefits to amalgamation," said McKinley.

derek.puddicombe@ott.sunpub.com

 

 
 
     
  Link to Survey Results  

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