City seeking ward boundary re-alignment feedback
OTTAWA – Round two of public feedback on the city’s proposed ward boundary re-alignment is underway, now with a sixth option.
“The city is seeking public feedback on six options for re-aligning Ottawa’s wards through an online survey at ottawa.ca/wardboundary from Aug. 19 to Sept. 25 and through virtual public consultation sessions scheduled from Sept. 10 to Sept. 23,” city staff released in a statement yesterday (Aug. 19).
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 affecting 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.
- Option 2 increases the number of wards to 24, with 12 urban wards, nine suburban wards and three rural wards.
- Option 3 maintains the current number of wards, 23, and includes 11 urban wards, nine suburban wards and three rural wards.
- 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.
- Option 5 reduces the number of wards to 17, with nine urban wards, six suburban wards and two rural 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.
“This is the second round of consultations,” staff said. “Round one took place in March 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,. 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.
How to give your feedback
Give your feedback online at ottawa.ca/wardboundary or register to take part in one of the upcoming virtual consultation sessions on Zoom.
“Following registration at ottawa.ca/wardboundary, you will receive an email with a passcode and login information,” staff said.. “Three of the sessions will invite comments from participants all over the city, while another three sessions will focus on the urban, suburban and rural parts of the city.”
- Thursday, Sept. 10, 7 to 9 p.m. (city-wide focus)
- Saturday, Sept. 12, 10 a.m. to noon (city-wide focus)
- Monday, Sept. 14, 7 to 9 p.m. (suburban focus)
- Saturday, Sept. 19, 10 a.m. to noon (city-wide focus)
- Tuesday, Sept. 22, 7 to 9 p.m. (rural focus)
- Wednesday, Sept. 23, 7 to 9 p.m. (urban focus)
Simultaneous interpretation in both official languages will be available at the three city-wide sessions.
You can get more information on the Ottawa Ward Boundary Review 2020 at ottawa.ca/wardboundary or by calling 311 (TTY: 613-580-2401). Inquiries and comments can also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.