A new round of consultation on the Council Composition and Ward Boundary Review
The City is again asking for public input on proposed changes to ward composition and boundaries. The consultants have narrowed down the possible scenarios from 13 to 4 possibilities. We hope that you will share your preferences with the city at: Have Your Say: Council composition and ward boundary review
Deadline for your submission for this phase of public consultation: Tuesday, April 20th.
There are a lot of options and information to go through. In an earlier post we outlined in a previous post: Some thoughts on the Council Composition and Ward Boundary Review. 4 of the 13 proposed scenarios met many of the considerations. Of these 4 selected by the consultants, only 2 were recommended by the TWRA in the earlier round of consultation.
5-1. A 5 ward system with 2 councillors per ward (total 10, 2 less than now) that includes the Ward with downtown. This allows for future proportionality by having multiple representatives per ward and including all the area covered by the Downtown Secondary Plan in one ward.
6-2. A 6 ward system with 2 councillors per ward (total 12, the same as now) that includes the Ward with downtown. This allows for future proportionality by having multiple representatives per ward and including all the area covered by the Downtown Secondary Plan in one ward.
The other 2 scenarios recommended by the consultants are:
6-1. A 6 ward system that has 2 councillors per ward (total 12, the same as now) but has the Ward and downtown in separate wards. This allows for future proportionality by having multiple representatives but splits the area covered by the downtown secondary plan into 2 wards.
8-1. An 8 ward system (total 8, 4 less than now) that has 1 councillor per ward, (includes most of the Ward with downtown, but places the part of the Ward east of Stevenson and north of the Guelph Junction Railway in a different ward. These streets – Empire, Garibaldi, Walter and Simcoe have always been part of the Ward and culturally belong with it. This scenario doesn’t allow for increasing proportionality in the future because it allows only 1 representative per ward. If only 1 councillor per ward was wanted though, this scenario could be made better by including the part of the Ward east of Stevenson and north of the Guelph Junction Railway in the same ward as the rest of the Ward. You can ask for this change to be made in your comments.
Another consideration is the numbering of wards. The consultants have arbitrarily renumbered the proposed new wards. The Ward has been in ward one for many years. There is no reason why any of the above scenarios could be chosen, but renumbered so that the new ward that we find ourselves is numbered one. This seems minor but many people are used to following ward one news and calling the ward one councillor. There are places in the survey to make individual comments on these and other considerations.
In response to the Consultants’ Final Four scenarios, I have created seven alternative ward maps:
I believe that they provide a better population balance – keeping all populations within 25% of the city average – while respecting communities of interest. Some alternatives reduce the size of council (5-2, 8-2, 10-1), while some would have only one councillor per ward (8-2, 10-1, 12-1).
If councillors wish to add representation to the southern part of the city without disrupting the wards in the northern half, my alternative map 7-1 may be worth a look.
Thanks for your work on this Alan. You have come up with some interesting scenarios, but I think Council will only be looking at ones that the consultants have drawn. My personal preference is for scenarios that have multiple councillors per ward and include the Ward with downtown. Your 5-2 map comes closest to that. 6-3 by including The Ward with Old University and The Junction is interesting as it includes neighborhoods that have cultural similarities and retains multiple member wards.
Too bad Council didn’t see fit to use the Citizens Assembly method of designing an electoral system. Input such as yours could have been considered at an earlier stage.
I dont like that manitoba street is not going to be in ward 1.
That could be fixed by renumbering/renaming the wards after a scenario is chosen. I don’t think that the consultants gave much thought to that. You can ask for this change in comments you leave on the survey, or make comments or delegate to Council when it comes up there.