Whether through "Rural Summit" or "Carleton County"...
rural residents deserve the right to govern themselves.


From the...


City warned future hinges on rural summit

Irate country residents say they're ready to pull out of amalgamation if things don't change


Carly Weeks
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 strength.

"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 Ottawa-Carleton.

The two groups held a meeting Sunday to discuss plans to lobby the provincial government to approve de-amalgamation.

 
 


"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 said.

"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."

                                                                                                                                   -Jack MacLaren

 
 

"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 be better."

 The Ottawa Citizen 2005

 

 

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