Christa Lowry, Mississippi Mills Mayor, met with her Ottawa counterpart Mayor Jim Watson for a “Maple Summit” at Fulton’s Pancake House on Sunday morning. The Mayors had a friendly breakfast as neighbours, discussing issues of common interest.
“It was a wonderful meeting to get to know one another,” says Mayor Lowry of her initial meeting with Mayor Watson, “It was great to have a discussion about mutual interests in an informal setting. Many thanks to Shirley [Deugo] who made the breakfast at Fulton’s a memorable event for both of us. It was especially fun for Mayor Watson and I to participate in the annual Ontario Maple Weekend together.”
“Many of our residents work in the city while many others travel back and forth between our communities for fun and shopping and to visit with family and friends. So, as Mayors, we believe it is very productive for us to become familiar with one another and to be able to pick up the phone when there may be an opportunity to work with one other,” says Mayor Lowry.
The Mayors explained that Ottawa is 81% rural with 1200 farms, underlining the similarities between Ottawa and Mississippi Mills. There are many agricultural issues as well as rural-urban issues that the two communities have in common.
The Mayors spoke of their mutual interest in the launch of the new Friendship Trail, a Mississippi Mills – Ottawa Cycle Loop, as a tourism and economic piece for their rural communities in West Carleton and Mississippi Milles. They also discussed the need for better promotion of the health benefits of cycling and other forms of active living, to encourage greater physical fitness in adults of all ages and greater exercise activity in children.
Both Mayor Watson and Lowry look to foster good relations between their communities. Mayor Lowry said, “It starts with our own working relationship. It also includes the good relationship our municipality has with Ottawa Councillor Eli El-Chantiry of West Carleton ward. Mayor Watson was very complementary, recognizing the attractiveness of our community and its assets.”
At the breakfast, Mayor Lowry provided the visiting Mayor with a Mississippi Mills gift bag which included Fulton’s maple syrup, award winning Hummingbird chocolate and locally roasted Equator coffee. Although there is no set date for their follow-up meeting, Mayor Lowry says, “Next time we’ll be getting together next on Jim’s turf and I know we are looking forward to continuing our conversation in the coming months.”