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Apocalypse Now!

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Living and working in rural Ontario but attracting an urban market has given me a unique perspective to spot trends. It has been obvious to me for years there is a war between rural and urban Ontario, one where our rural existence and way of life is at stake. The final battle is here now with the province just rejecting Renfrew County’s Official Plan and stopping all new development and stealing the value of our land by designation. The story on our front page, Whitewater News, courtesy of the Eganville Leader, is frightening.

We risk losing this battle because the issue is onerous and complicated. It’s like cancer, you don’t know you’re dying until it’s too late. Our rural way of life is death by a thousand cuts, in part, because most rural Ontarians don’t know it’s happening or think it doesn’t affect them. How wrong!

Even if you don’t want to get a severance or develop your property, when your neighbour can’t, it affects you. Nothing stands still. If you want your property and home value to go down, have your kids bussed far for school and then move away to work, have no amenities to enjoy or have to drive great distances in our winter weather, then do nothing.

We have one last chance and that is our own Official Plan with local development control. If we don’t rise up now, then we deserve the fate the faceless urban bureaucrats have in store for us. If you agree, then call your Mayor, Reeve, Councillors and let them know the time has come for our own Official Plan.