Second City, Second Metro: The Lion’s Club of Navan Wants Cumberland to Join Carleton County

The Lions Club of Navan would have been more than happy to join up with Carleton County. Image: Shell Highway Map of Quebec, 1955.

Arguing that Cumberland Township’s life was oriented towards Ottawa, rather than to Prescott-Russell seat in L’Orignal, the Navan Lion’s Club appeared before Jones on March 31, 1965 to make the case.

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The object and code of the Lion's International led them to evaluate Cumberland Township's position in Russell County. There is a definite line between the County communities that are east and west oriented. The Township's eastern boundary marks the limit of Ottawa deliveries and Ottawa based employment; the latter returns much of its income to the City for entertainment, food, clothing and services. Secondary school students are educated in Ottawa and Eastview.

Inability to attract resident doctors to the Township will deter its growth; there is only one at present. Doctors prefer City residence with the hospital privileges that are denied to non-resident physicians.

The Township has the highest assessment in the United Counties yet the County Seat, 50 miles to the east at L'Orignal, is removed from the area's interest; the County Home for the Aged at L'Orignal is similarly removed from the Township's residents. The county roads, apart from Highway Number 17, are improperly constructed and poorly maintained, a contrast to Ottawa suburban roads and an example of the County's indifference to township problems. Township Council representation to County Council has remained virtually the same for the last twenty-five years.

The lack of services discourages industrial development. The Township contributes toward the inadequate service of the Volunteer Fire Departments owned by Navan, Vars and Cumberland Villages; the Ontario Provincial Police at Rockland polices too large an area to provide satisfactory service.

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The Township's life is closely identified with the Ottawa area, and should therefore be attached to Carleton County.



Presented by Messrs. Lorne Bradley, Herbert Deavy and the Rev. H. C. Vaughan, the submission suggested political realignment of a semi-circular area around Ottawa including Cumberland Township and the north part of Russell Township. It was stated that Clarence Township's views on the subject were unknown although its physical conditions were considered somewhat similar to those in Cumberland Township.

It was felt that the township of Cumberland could not operate a high school efficiently until it had 1,100 students; there are presently 300 township secondary students, 50 of whom are French speaking students attending Eastview High School.

The township should make a contribution to the new Riverside Hospital. It was assumed that the township would assume all the responsibilities with a political reorientation.

Paved roads were stated to be practically non-existent and in one instance, $12,000. worth of County road repairs lasted for only two months indicated a lack of proper road engineering. It was suggested that, with realignment, Carleton County in Cumberland road conditions, and might have more money to provide needed improvements.

While it was felt that a change in the township's voting strength on Prescott and Russell County might effect more

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County assistance, proximity to a new government seat at Ottawa was considered to offer the only real solution of closer and better contact than is the case with L'Orignal.

It was agreed that the township's future role is primarily rural with its present tax base expected to be relatively unaffected by industrial development.

The township fire service is inadequate for many areas due to distance and old equipment. The present equipment owned by the Police Villages is operated with financial assistance from the township. It was suggested that it should be a township matter completely and that better equipment and better roads should be provided. So far as is known, the inadequate protection does not affect fire insurance rates, however.

The township could have its own police force to supplement the Ontario Provincial Police which patrols township roads about once a week; a County police force has not been considered.

The level of township taxation was considered to be high and somewhat comparable to that in North Gower Township. While realignment with Carleton might present problems at the beginning, it was felt to offer a better chance for the township's future improvement.