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Ottawa Brings Rural and Urban Together

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In the late 90's, the Province of Ontario decided there were significant cost-savings to be found in municipal amalgamation. In 2001, the province ordered 11 historically-independent cities and townships to consolidate. They did, making an expanded City of Ottawa. The "forced marriage" has not gone smoothly.
While the majority of the new city's population lives in the urban core, almost 92 percent of the total area remains rural. A chorus of complaints has risen. Rural residents say they've lost services - and access to their representatives. Meanwhile, they now live with city-style rules and bureaucracy. Many of the old townships had carefully-guarded budget surpluses, while the new City of Ottawa has seen tax increases and chronic budget shortfalls. This week, Ottawa hosted a long-planned "Rural Summit" to bring urban and rural together. Lucy Martin reports.

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Reported by

Lucy Martin
Ottawa Correspondent

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