Some Ottawa communities seek de-amalgamation
by CBC editors
Some Ottawa communities are seeking to reverse the amalgamation of the City of Ottawa that had been executed by the former Ontario Premier Mike Harris government.
Clive Doucet, the councillor for Ottawa's Capital Ward, called a recent meeting as an advocate for de-amalgamation.
He says that councillors in the downtown core are getting tired of having their decisions thwarted by a few rural councillors whose interests are simply too different from those in the urban centre.
"As the councillor from Greely has said to me inside the greenbelt many times, 'Sorry Clive this is democracy. We've got the votes.'" said Doucet. "Well, it's a democracy that's not working for the city."
But that's a concern that works both ways, say some urban residents.
"My taxes are going up, and my services are going down," says Mark Lindsay, a dairy farmer in the community of North Gower, about 20 minutes south of Ottawa.
"I just paid $6,000 in taxes, and sometimes I can't get out of my laneway for the snow on the road," he told CBC News.
Lindsay said he hopes his community separates from the City of Ottawa and goes back to being part of Carleton County.
"Let us have our own mayor, our own city workers," he said.
Not all residents, however, are looking for a complete separation.
Randy Seguin said he'd like to see his North Gower community gain some independence for the sake of his local community facilities.
"If they're ever going to have a closing, [the North Gower library] is first on the list," he said.
"Our price for community arenas has gone up, ball field rentals have gone up. It's all gone up, up, up."
Still, as far as de-amalgamation goes, said Seguin, North Gower could already be in too deep.
"I don't know if it can work or not. We're in so far now. Do you turn the cart around? I don't know."
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