One stakeholder meeting has been held on March 10th, regarding Ottawa’s Ward Boundary Review. Although the other Round 1 meetings have been cancelled due to COVID-19, there are other ways to get your ideas, questions and opinions to the Review Board:
- Completing the online survey,
- Submit input through the guestbook or
- Email the city at firstname.lastname@example.org (link sends e-mail).
Two documents from that meeting may be of interest to those who want to find out more about the process:
- A Background info piece (PDF file) that explains in clear English what criteria, rules and processes are used in these Reviews:
- The slideshow (PDF file) that would have been presented at each stakeholder meeting in the first round.
As you can see from the Background document, currently the population River Ward is 12.7% above average, but this surplus will go down to only 7.0% in the near future, which means it’s relatively stable, which could mean no boundary changes.
Some concern has been registered regarding a split of Carlington on either side of Merivale Road, but the likelihood of Carlington being split like that is negligible, given its cohesiveness as one neighbourhood.
However, the main question will be: is there a desire to reduce or increase the number of wards in Ottawa or to just keep the status quo and adjust only some hot spots such as the Cumberland and Barrhaven Wards? If the number of wards is reduced significantly, there is a large likelihood that Carlington would be amalgamated with the Kitchissippi Ward.
This means Carlington could lose its strong voice when competing with Kitchissippi Wards’s other 10 very vocal and engaged neighborhoods. Separating neighborhoods is not desired and a reduction in the number of federal/provincial ridings is unlikely, as that would result in only 8.5 wards for Ottawa. The current Ontario government has signaled that it is not interested in directing the City as it did with Toronto.
Below are some of the possible questions for all of us to think about, before commenting (using the links above):
- Should the current number of wards be maintained?
- Some rural wards have half the population of some urban wards, so is it fair that their vote is worth more?
- Do wards have to be either urban, suburban or rural, or can they be a mix?
- If the number of wards is to be reduced, where do you see Carlington’s future? Do you see Carlington more as part of an inner urban or more like an old suburban neighbourhood?
- Greater population per ward might mean less access to your councillor, who will have to juggle many more issues. How best to compensate for that? With more staff/funding or a ward council?
Again, we urge everyone with an interest to please submit their questions and opinions to the City of Ottawa.