The following are comments by City Councillor Riley Brockington.
Following our on-line discussion on July 22, whereby we discussed the ward boundary review and preliminary options, some of which are very intrusive on the geographic boundaries and communities of River Ward, I immediately picked up the phone and arranged a conference call with the consultants. In speaking with them, I underlined the need to keep Carlington and Hunt Club intact and the desire of Ridgemont to stay within River Ward. The consultants listened and when they developed Option 6, the ward is more or less as we know it today with my requests honoured.
The noted changes are refining the southern boundary to Hunt Club Road, eliminating the residential, commercial and airport from the ward along the south side of Hunt Club and including the Westgate Shopping Centre lands, currently in Kitchissippi Ward.
An on-line survey remains open until Friday (September 25) seeking public feedback on the six options. Visit ottawa.ca/wardboundary
Since the last major review in 2005, Ottawa’s population has grown significantly – especially in suburban wards. This has resulted in substantial population imbalances between wards that affect fair and equal representation for voters and their communities.
As a result, City Council directed staff in June 2019 to retain an independent consultant to conduct a comprehensive, impartial, and unbiased review and establish ward boundaries that could be used in at least three municipal elections in 2022, 2026 and 2030, and possibly a fourth election in 2034. The consultant team of Beate Bowron Etcetera Inc., in association with The Davidson Group and Hemson Consulting Ltd., has developed six options for a new ward boundary model – which are available online at ottawa.ca/wardboundary.
Here are brief highlights of the options:
- Option 1 increases the number of wards to 25, with 13 urban wards, nine suburban wards and three rural wards. More or less keeps River Ward as is.
- Option 2 increases the number of wards to 24, with 12 urban wards, nine suburban wards and three rural wards. More or less keeps River Ward as is.
- Option 3 maintains the current number of wards, 23, and includes 11 urban wards, nine suburban wards and three rural wards. Splits River Ward at Heron Road. Merges northern half in to Capital Ward, merges southern half in to Knoxdale-Merivale Ward. Ridgemont goes to Gloucester-Southgate.
- Option 4 also maintains the number of wards at 23. It also includes 11 urban wards, nine suburban wards and three rural wards. The boundaries for each ward are different than those in option three. Splits River Ward at Heron Road. Merges northern half in to Capital Ward, merges southern half in to Knoxdale-Merivale Ward. Ridgemont goes to Gloucester-Southgate.
- Option 5 reduces the number of wards to 17, with nine urban wards, six suburban wards and two rural wards. Splits River Ward in to four different wards.
- Option 6 increases the number of wards to 24, with 12 urban wards, nine suburban wards and three rural wards. It minimizes ward boundary changes. More or less keeps River Ward as is (changes noted above).
My preferred Option at this time is Option 6.
This is the second round of consultations. Round 1 took place in March 2020 with an online survey and public consultations to get input on the existing ward boundaries. The consultant team’s Options Report was considered by Council on July 15, 2020. The final report with recommendations for new ward boundaries is scheduled to be considered by the Finance and Economic Development Committee and Council in December 2020.
How to give your feedback on the six ward boundary options: Give your feedback online at ottawa.ca/wardboundary Following registration at ottawa.ca/wardboundary, you will receive an email with a passcode and login information.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions, comments or concerns.
City Councillor, River Ward