The Municipality of Clarington is working on a comprehensive and independent Ward Boundary Review to identify effective and equitable electoral ward boundaries for the 2022 municipal election and beyond.
Clarington’s ward boundaries were last reviewed in 1996. Since that time, the population in the municipality has grown by almost 50 per cent. The makeup of the community has also changed significantly, said a media statement.
Current population is estimated at around 95,000 – and growing.
The review will ensure that residents have equitable representation on council and that the ward boundaries establish group residents and neighbourhoods together in a way that each resident’s vote is roughly equal to the votes of others. Council makes important decisions that impact the community. It’s essential that residents are engaged and provide input to help determine electoral wards. This ensures that your voice and opinions are considered, even before you head to the polls, it said.
The review will examine Clarington’s four existing wards and their boundaries and will determine if there are possible alternative configurations. Under the current system, each ward elects one local councillor and two regional councillors.
“One of the principles is representation by population. With Clarington’s ward boundaries, the populations for Wards 1 and 2 are distinctly different as compared to Wards 3 and 4; and in some cases, they are significantly larger. We want to make sure that our ward breakdown is as fair as possible. This is a key tenet of our democracy,” explained Municipal Clerk, Anne Greentree.
The other principles include creating ward boundaries based on population trends, community access and connections, geographic and topographical features, community or diversity of interests, or achieving effective representation where each resident has comparable access to their elected representative.
Residents will be involved throughout the process and asked to provide comments and input. Clarington has developed a robust consultation process that includes a series of virtual community information sessions, beginning with four sessions held in the afternoon and evening:
- July 8: session one at 2 p.m.; session two at 7 p.m.
- July 15: session one at 2 p.m.; session two at 7 p.m.
The municipality has also prepared online engagement. Visit www.clarington.net/WardBoundaryReview for the complete project overview and fill out the survey. Residents can also send their suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org or the Municipal Clerk’s Department by mail. Address letters to Ward Boundary Review and mail to 40 Temperance Street, Bowmanville ON L1C 3A6.
The results of the consultation and technical analysis conducted by Consultant Watson & Associates Economists Ltd. will be used to prepare alternate ward boundary plans. Residents will have an opportunity to comment on possible alternative ward boundaries this fall. A final report with recommended alternative ward boundaries will be presented to Council for consideration and approval in December.