Local Residents Contribute To 2024 Rural Summit Workshop in Ward 21

By Irene Staron, MVCA President

Last month many of our MVCA members and residents participated in Rural Summit workshops facilitated by our Councillors and their staff. Focusing on five key themes set up at separate tables, residents were given the opportunity to list their concerns related to Community Safety, Community Services, Environment, Development and Zoning, Transportation with a sixth ‘open’ category to list concerns that fall outside the five themes provided. 

Community Safety includes the emergency protective service provided by the City whereas Community Services focuses on current and future City programs and services. Concerns in the latter ranged from litter after sports games to increased access to recreation, space and availability, flexibility around cancellations, expanded access to grants and more communication with community associations.

Environment includes all items environmental within our rural communities including farmland preservation, renewable energy, site alteration, waste management, drainage and storm water management. Numerous concerns expressed include that the City does not recognize the importance of maintaining farmland as a ‘development issue’ (farmland preservation), the need for help from the Rural Affairs office to provide expert advice and ‘best practices’ in farming as well as enabling farmers to be ‘good stewards’ of the land by preserving nature and ensuring greater habitat space. 

Regarding renewable energy, it was noted that the City needs to develop policy on what it wants to achieve, that it should provide greater incentives for property owners (to implement), prioritize small scale implementation of (energy) generation and leverage more existing buildings for renewable generation rather than prioritizing greenfields.

Regarding water, comments include that the City should encourage the preservation and proper water management practices of the wetland areas near bodies of water, the need for greater investment into management of pollutants in watercourses/watershed and partnering with youth or school groups to this end.

Development and Zoning captures current and future development in our rural communities. Concerns regarding the loss of farmland through urban sprawl were noted along with the need to simplify the ‘subdivision and severance’ of family properties.

Transportation includes all items related to the City services of our roads and public transit. Our Manotick members made a strong contribution on this theme. Comments include the need for wider shoulders (share the road), safer and more innovative intersection design, public transit for university students and commuters, ensure large trucks are directed away from the villages – a common concern amongst all our rural communities – improve pedestrian safety along corridors in the village with sidewalks, i.e. Main Street, limit truck access to warehouses to the series 400 highways and find ways to enforce this, conduct a traffic impact study for the new HWY 416 interchange to include the impact on the Village of Manotick, and – common with all rural participants – fill potholes!

A full list of all comments and suggestions will be compiled and posted by the City in an As You Heard It report towards the end of May/early June. Solutions and challenges being faced by communities will be reported in the fall Rural Summit. We will continue to keep you updated as developments arise.

Residents can continue to provide input to the summit through the City’s survey. Go to