Day-after review: Public wants "Carleton County"
First Step the
By Sarah Trant
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
And we’ve got the ear of a lot
of people. I
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
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.
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
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