Councillor-drawn ward boundary changes approved
The city will enact ward boundary changes largely suggested by councillors.
The decision was ratified Wednesday despite a warning from the city’s own consultants that they wouldn’t be able to support the new political map if it is appealed. The city spent about $260,000 on a review and public consultation designed to suggest ward boundaries that better reflect a changing population. A majority of councillors rejected the consultant’s recommendations, arguing they would hurt rural representation and split neighbourhoods. A formal bylaw on the changes will come to council in late February, kick-starting an appeal period that could send the plan to the Ontario Municipal Board. Council also voted Wednesday to ask the province to take ward boundary changes out of the hands of local councils, in part to remove the perception of gerrymandering.