To the Editor:
In recent weeks, the public has heard countless arguments from politicians, business people, academics and media types on streamlining local governments in Ottawa-Carleton.
My position on municipal restructuring is the same one I campaigned on during the 1997 municipal election. I support a model of one city made up of an amalgamation of the current seven municipalities and the region. We now have 84 politicians, 11 municipalities and two tiers of government. This is simply too much and too costly.
The public want good municipal services that are reliable and cost effective – they aren't overly concerned with whether the city or the region delivers them.
I also don't believe community identity will be lost in a bigger city. Neighbourhoods like yours will still be vibrant in a larger city. At the end of the day, it's the people who make neighbourhoods strong and vibrant, not governments or artificial boundaries.
I invite you, your family and neighbours to “The People's Forum on Municipal Restructuring” to be held Wednesday, Sept. 22, 6:45 p.m. in the Council Chambers at Ottawa City Hall, 111 Sussex Dr. Parking is available and bus routes 3 and 13 serve City Hall. If you can't attend, it will be broadcast live on Rogers Cable TV beginning at 7 p.m.
My hope is that we can end the debate and begin the new century with a new dynamic and united city.
Jim Watson .
Mayor of Ottawa.