Day-after review: Public wants "Carleton County"

From the...


August 5, 2005

First Step the Toughest

By Sarah Trant

Jack MacLaren’s mood could only be described as euphoric.

Sitting on the porch of his home the day after, as he describes is, “we’d taken the first step towards going back to Carleton County”, he was clearly delighted at the outcome of Sunday’s  meeting.

“I agree that there weren’t that many people there,” he says of the crowd of 50 or so who gathered to hear the speeches and enjoy a little socializing afterwards.  “No question that we’d sent out a tonne of e-mails and I’d even got on the ‘phone but people are people.  It’s the long weekend.  It’s hot.  It’s holidays.

“I see the fifty as a plus.  We have to start somewhere and this is where we’ve started.

And we’ve got the ear of a lot of people. I


Jack MacLaren

think we’re even rattling a few chains up at City Hall. A staffer there saw one of my e-mails of invitation regarding Carleton County.   I heard that there were a few ‘phone calls made to the effect that if we were going ahead with Carleton County what was the point of the Rural Summit?

“And this was the reaction to a simple invitation!   Well, my advice to that staffer is to hang on!   You ain’t seen nothin' yet!”

"The power of the opinion of the rural people is obviously very strong and supportive of the need for rural governance by rural people."

                                                                 - Jack MacLaren, West Carleton farmer


MacLaren is amazed at the reaction to the meeting.  “The media were there and we made the news on three stations.  Not bad for a little meeting I would say.   What’s more, CFRA ran a survey as to who would like to opt out of the present system.   About 1,190 people took the time to get on to their computers and enter the survey.   The “yes” for opting out was running at about 92.7% last time I looked.

“Everything has to start somewhere.   I’m not saying it’s going to be easy.  I’m not saying it’s going to be fast but I can tell you one thing.  The power of the opinion of the rural people is obviously very strong and supportive of the need for rural governance by rural people.

“It’s been said that the Provincial Liberals wouldn’t let this happen, that the Conservatives have yet to come on side but to that I say these aren’t really significant factors.   The last I heard, we’re still in a democracy.  So if the elected representatives do not respond to the wishes of the rural majority, then those representatives will be changed.  That’s how democracy works and, take it from me, democracy always works.

“Either the people who are there will deliver what we want or we’ll put people in there who not only can, but will respond to the will of the people.”

- West Carleton Review -