Final Almonte Ottawa Valley Recreational Trail By-Pass Defeated

As reported here, the latest “bypass” out of Almonte’s “core” was to have directed ATVs on to Bridge and Queen Streets, right through Almonte’s busiest junction of Queen, Main, Ottawa and Martin Streets, and up Martin to Carss Street.  Council voted on this last night.

FOR the bypass on streets: Mayor McLaughlin, Councillors McCubbin, Torrance and Wilkinson

AGAINST the bypass on streets: Councillors Lowry (who had voted for a bypass previously), Watters, Ferguson, Gillis and Abbott.

ABSENT: Councillors Edwards and Appointee Pulker-Mok

DEFEATED

Background

The first motion to support non-motorized was back in April of 2017 and ended in a tied vote, meaning the motion was DEFEATED, which ought to have meant that the issue was dead at that time:

“Recorded vote:

For: Christa Lowry, Jane Torrance, Shaun McLaughlin, Amanda Pulker-Mok and Jill McCubbin.

Against: Denzil Ferguson, Paul Watters, Val Wilkinson, Alex Gillis and Duncan Abbott.

Absent: John Edwards”

However, this was not acceptable to the multi-use opponents, and somehow resulted instead in a “Task Force” led by Councillors McCubbin and Edwards. The Task Force manipulated its membership and information to obtain the results that they desired and to discard all information and advice to the contrary. They then came up with another of their infamous “compromises”: conceding that snowmobile clubs could use the trail – because they groom it – but that ATVs could not.

Thank you to the Ontario Provincial Police for providing numbers that ultimately carried the day. So much time wasted when Council could have been investing in making the most of this new opportunity!