Le Droit: "Le compromis de dernière minute adopté cette semaine pour éviter de diluer une bonne partie de la population francophone de l’ex-canton de Cumberland au sein du quartier d’Osgoode suscite des réactions polarisées dans l’est d’Ottawa."
Different residents have shared their concerns with the CSCA (Carlsbad Springs Community Association) regarding the proposal to split Cumberland Ward in 3 sectors. The northern section would be merged with Orleans Ward, the section in the middle that has Sarsfield and Navan would be amalgamated with a the Avalon / Notre Dame des Champs suburban area while the Carlsbad Springs and Vars communities would be transferred to the current Osgoode Ward. Below is an email sent to Catherine Kitts (current Cumberland Ward City of Ottawa Councillor) shared with CJRO Radio regarding questions on the Ward review process as of Dec. 4th, 2020.
"Regarding the ward boundary revisions as approved at the Finance and Economic Development committee meeting on December 1 2020,
Where is the map showing the new boundaries as recommended by the committee four days ago?
The documents posted in conjunction with this project on the City of Ottawa website do not show the revision of Osgoode/Cumberland wards beyond the "option 6" stage.
The consultant's report for the ward boundary review process:
contains discussion of additional changes beyond choosing "option 6". A list of "suggestions" beginning on page 17 is the only hint of the ward configuration which made it to the voting stage and was chosen, with no supporting map given in the report.
Public process was ignored in this rushed committee decision. Nothing like bisecting ward 19 at Russell Rd was EVER presented as an option to the public and was never endorsed by the consultants. Actually, the professional consultants who were hired to remove political interference from the Ward Boundary Review process completely rejected bisecting Cumberland ward, as this suggestion violates the priority of separating rural and suburban populations. Nonetheless, on December 1 the committee voted for dividing Cumberland Ward West-to-East along Russell Rd.
If there was public input of any kind regarding bisecting Cumberland Ward, it was close-doored and opaque - exactly the kind of non-transparent process which should never be part of Ottawa's decision-making.
The idea that finance committee members would vote on a ward boundary proposal they have literally NEVER SEEN (there is No map...) is absurd. It is also inappropriate.
1. What happened in the finance committee meeting requires a full stop on the ward boundary review process. The Finance and Economic Development committee put the boundary review timeline at risk when they voted for something neither they nor the public had ever seen. They should have known that vote calls into question the entire process, but they did it anyway.
2. Effective public consultation must be sought on the preferred ward boundary, illustrated with an accurate map.
3. Out of date "ward boundary review" maps which DO NOT SHOW the ward configuration the committee actually chose should not be circulated to the media etc by the City! This is indefensible behaviour by any employee of the City.
4. The vote at City Council regarding the Ward Boundary Review, scheduled for December 9 2020, must be rescheduled until AFTER there has been valid public consultation regarding the proposed ward boundary changes in the Rural East end. "
The City of Ottawa Council will be reviewing the proposal on December 9th and voting on the final recommendations. There are also discussions among certain residents to examine the option of joining the Russell Municipality as an option instead as many have lost confidence in the City's committee process due to the lack of transparency in the recent weeks.
Osgoode Councillor Darouze seems happy about the up-coming proposal: The proposed Osgoode Ward that includes Carlsbad Springs and Vars.
The current Cumberland Ward (2020-2022):