POINT PROVEN:  No benefits of amalgamation to boast about


(Motion results below)


MOTION NO. 16/21

 

before

OTTAWA CITY COUNCIL

25 August 2004


 

Moved by Councillor G. Brooks

Seconded by Councillor D. Thompson

 

WHEREAS, the amalgamation of the City of Ottawa was forced upon the former 11 municipalities and the Region of Ottawa-Carleton;

AND WHEREAS, some communities, including rural communities, still question the benefits of amalgamation;

AND WHEREAS, although the City of Ottawa conducted a Universal Program Review, the benefits of amalgamation have never been clearly identified and quantified;

AND WHEREAS, the Council of the City of Ottawa is morally obligated to demonstrate to the residents that they are receiving value for money;

AND WHEREAS, the residents of the City of Ottawa deserve and require accurate information on the benefits of amalgamation;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Ottawa requests that the Province conduct an independent third party public review of the benefits of amalgamation, with the results to be released to the public no later than May 31, 2006.


Results of vote:



Council rejects amalgamation review

Thompson, Brooks proposed look at costs, benefits as demerger gathers steam

Daniel Tencer
The Ottawa Citizen

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Council overwhelmingly rejected a proposal to ask the province to review the costs and benefits of amalgamation, but the proposal's backers say the demerger movement is gathering steam and they will continue to fight for a comprehensive review.

The two councillors who sponsored the proposal -- Glenn Brooks of Rideau Ward and Doug Thompson of Osgoode Ward -- stressed they were not in favour of dissolving the City of Ottawa, but rather that they were reacting to considerable dissatisfaction from some rural residents to their new place in the city.

The rest of city council showed little appetite for reopening the hotly contested issue, voting the proposal down by a vote of 18-2.

"We are as likely to revisit this as the mayor is to have a baby," said Diane Deans, councillor for Gloucester-Southgate.

 
 


"There is a deamalgamation movement out there because those people, our residents, are not convinced that amalgamation has any benefits to them. The e-mails that I'm receiving, including (from) the core of the old city of Ottawa, indicate to me that there are considerable growing concerns with amalgamation and its benefits."

                                                                                   -Councillor Glen Brooks, Rideau Ward


 
 

Other councillors, such as Georges Bedard of Rideau-Vanier Ward, argued that it was too soon after amalgamation to determine whether the new city was a success.

Ottawa "should be given a little time to mature as a unified city," he said.

Mayor Bob Chiarelli said the vote "sends a very, very strong message that amalgamation is moving in the right direction. The five rural councillors, including (Mr.) Brooks and (Mr.) Thompson, said they do not support deamalgamation, and I think that's a very strong message that says 'What we have, we can work with'."

Councillor Alex Cullen said that, unlike in Quebec, where some cities voted earlier this year to demerge, "there is not a provincewide movement to deamalgamate."

But Mr. Brooks disagreed.

"There is a deamalgamation movement out there because those people, our residents, are not convinced that amalgamation has any benefits to them," he said. "The e-mails that I'm receiving, including (from) the core of the old city of Ottawa, indicate to me that there are considerable growing concerns with amalgamation and its benefits."

Mr. Brooks said there were between 2,600 and 3,000 names on a petition in Greely supporting demerger, adding that organizations were currently being formed that would work toward it.

Mr. Thompson said he was disappointed with the outcome of yesterday's vote "because it wasn't intended to raise the issue of deamalgamation. It was just to be able to show residents that either we're financially better off, or we're not. I think Councillor Brooks' motion was quite clear on that."

Mr. Thompson added that he planned to do some research of his own on the benefits of amalgamation, as the mayor had promised him "full access" to documentation on the finances of rural Ottawa.

 The Ottawa Citizen 2004



 

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