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Barrie reviewing new ward boundaries for 2014 election

Barrie reviewing new ward boundaries for 2014 election

The City of Barrie is undertaking a comprehensive review of Barrie’s ward boundaries to develop an effective and equitable system of representation, with reference to overall projected growth within the municipality.

The city’s existing 10 wards have a significant disparity in terms of the population allocation that is anticipated to become more substantial as a result of the future development of the annexation land.

The ward boundary review is an opportunity to address this disparity in time for the 2014 municipal election.

Barrie’s ward boundaries were last reviewed in 2002 and the resulting adjustments to the ward boundaries were made effective for the 2003 municipal election.

The 2002 ward boundary review process recognized and incorporated anticipated growth for planned populations during a further five- to seven-year window — generally anticipated to be built-out of the city under the existing municipal boundaries, in the development of the ward structure.

Bill 196, the Barrie-Innisfil Boundary Adjustment Act, 2009, resulted in annexation of a portion of Innisfil to Barrie. Ontario Regulation 501/09 altered Barrie’s ward boundaries by adding the new land from Innisfil to the southern-most portion of the respective existing Barrie wards, resulting in the allocation of the 519 individuals in the area amongst wards 7, 8, 9 and 10.

The city is working with Watson & Associates Economists and Dr. Robert J. Williams to undertake and complete this comprehensive review of current boundaries and to formulate the most effective and equitable system of representation.

The 2013 Ward Boundary Review will utilize the following principles: representation by population; considers representation by population or every councillor generally representing an equal number of constituents within his or her respective wards.

Given the geography and varying population densities and characteristics of the city, a degree of variation will be acceptable.

Population and electoral trends: accommodates for and balances future increases or decreases in population growth or decline to maintain a general equilibrium in the representation by population standard, until the 2018 election, at minimum.

Means of communication and accessibility: arranges ward boundaries by primary and secondary road patterns, railway and public transit accesses, telephone exchanges, postal codes and servicing capabilities to help foster identity and neighbourhood groupings.

Geographic and topographical features: utilizes geographical and topographical features to provide for ward boundaries, and compact and contiguous areas similar to the use of man made features.

Community or diversity of interests: recognizes settlement patterns, traditional neighbourhoods and community groupings (social, historical, economic, religious and political diversities) while, at the same time, not fragmenting a municipality.

Effective representation: considers an overriding principle of effective representation as described by the Supreme Court of Canada in its decision on the Carter case.

Background data has been reviewed by the consultants and they are formulating draft options for revised boundaries that will be presented for public feedback at the three public consultation sessions (see pullout).

The consultants will prepare final options and present them to the General Committee and Council by mid-June.

bob.bruton@sunmedia.ca

Ward Boundary Review

Public consultation sessions:

• Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 7 p.m. at the Painswick Library Branch

• Wednesday, April 24, 2013 at 7 p.m. at City Hall

• Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 7 p.m. at the Dorian Parker Community Centre

Residents can also provide feedback by sending their comments to:

Ward Boundary Review

City of Barrie,

P.O. Box 400,

70 Collier Street

Barrie ON L4M 4T5

E-mail: wardboundary@barrie.ca

Source: City of Barrie

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