"Rural Summit" or "Carleton
rural residents deserve the right to govern
City warned future
hinges on rural summit
Irate country residents say
they're ready to pull out of amalgamation if things don't change
The Ottawa Citizen
Wednesday, August 3, 2005
Some rural residents are warning
that if November's rural summit fails to bring about significant
change, the fight to pull out of the city will take on new
"Rural people are increasingly
becoming disenchanted and frustrated with governance of the city
by Ottawa city council," said Jack MacLaren, director of the
Lanark Landowners Association and Rural Council of
The two groups held a meeting
Sunday to discuss plans to lobby the provincial government to
"What we're trying to do is create a rural county with a
county council in the model of every other rural county
in the province of Ontario."
Jack MacLaren, West Carleton resident
Mr. MacLaren said they want to
create a new area, called Carleton County, that would include the
rural portions of West Carleton, Rideau, Goulbourn and Osgoode. The
new county would have four councillors and a mayor, Mr. MacLaren
"What we're trying to do is create
a rural county with a county council in the model of every other
rural county in the province of Ontario," he said.
Councillor Eli El-Chantiry said the
news is disappointing, considering the city is holding a rural
summit this fall to address the concerns.
"It could not come at a worse time.
Really, the city is trying very hard," he said. "I believe the rural
summit is going to be a good vehicle for us in the rural area."
Councillor Doug Thompson said it's
possible the fight to reverse amalgamation will pick up steam if the
rural summit fails to help. He said the city did a poor job of
handling several aspects of amalgamation and that led to today's
anger among rural residents.
Unless the city addresses those
concerns, a group of rural residents will take up the fight to
de-amalgamate, he said.
"The only way to get good governance in the rural parts
is to have rural people govern themselves."
"There is a lot of anger still in
the rural areas. There's a lot of mistrust with" the new city.
While Ontario Premier Dalton
McGuinty promised Ottawa won't de-amalgamate on his watch, it's
possible the rural groups will continue to lobby for change after
his term is over.
Mr. MacLaren said the next step is
to convince Ottawa's rural residents it's time to create a rural
county. The problems in the rural area will only continue if the
rural areas can't govern themselves, he said.
"The only way to get good
governance in the rural parts is to have rural people govern
themselves. We would deliver better service. Road maintenance would
© The Ottawa Citizen 2005