WEST CARLETON – It doesn’t matter what option city council chooses from six currently being considered, West Carleton is set to get bigger.
The second round of public consultation related to the Ward Boundary Review process is currently underway (Sept. 10 to Sept. 23) with residents reviewing six options proposed by independent consultants and city staff collecting public input in various ways through the process including through online public virtual meetings.
Regardless of the final decision, Ward 5 will be growing when it’s made. All six options on the table will return Ward 5 to the former boundary from 2005.
The new boundary will include area south of Highway 417 to Rothbourne Road, previously part of Stittsville and Goulbourn Ward. It will include the Canadian Golf and Country Club, the West Carleton Business Park, about 156 homes in the Rothbourne area as well as several homes on the south side of Highway 7.
“It didn’t make sense,” Coun. Eli El-Chantiry told West Carleton Online Monday (Sept. 14). “The residents petitioned us before the review they wanted to be back with West Carleton. Both (Coun.) Scott (Moffatt) and I agreed with that and so did the consultants.”
The current boundary is Highway 417 which made an obvious boundary but “it didn’t work.”
It made for an odd little section of land that sat slightly separated from the ward it was a part of according to El-Chantiry.
Public consultations began with a citywide focus Friday (Sept. 10) and Saturday (Sept. 12).
El-Chantiry says so far they haven’t been widely attended.
“I signed up for all of them,” he said.
On Friday, 35 people registered and 17 attended. On Saturday eight people had registered and three attended “and I was one of them,” El-Chantiry said.
On Monday (Sept. 14) the consultation had a suburban focus; this Saturday (Sept. 19) is another citywide consultation; Tuesday (Sept. 22) the consultation will have a rural focus; and on Wednesday (Sept. 23) the final consultation will be urban focused. If you would like to register for any remaining consultation sessions, you can do so here.
El-Chantiry says the city has learned from the past as council prepared to create new wards that are expected to exist for the next three City of Ottawa municipal elections.
The 2003 election was one of those learning experiences.
“Coun. Janet Stavinga didn’t win one poll in the rural area of her ward, but still won the election,” El-Chantiry said. “In the past they tried to propose different things, like pie-shaped wards. We learned from the past. Rural residents like to stay with rural residents. It doesn’t matter where they are. Lesson learned. But it’s not about elections, it’s about residents’ preference.”
The six options currently being considered by the public include:
- Option 1: 25 Wards – 13 urban wards, 9 suburban wards and 3 rural wards. Increases the size of Council by two members to accommodate population growth. Average ward population is 46,000 for the 2026 year
- Option 2: 24 Wards – 12 urban wards, 9 suburban wards and 3 rural wards. Increases the size of Council by one to accommodate population growth. Average ward population is 47,900 for the 2026 target year
- Option 3: 23 Wards – 11 urban wards, 9 suburban wards and 3 rural wards. Maintains the size of Council. Design of new wards starts in the west of urban area. The average ward population is 50,000 for the 2026 target year
- Option 4: 23 Wards –11 urban wards, 9 suburban wards and 3 rural wards. Maintains the size of Council. Design of new wards starts in the east of urban area. The average population is 50,000 for 2026 target year
- Option 5: 17 Wards – 9 urban wards, 6 suburban wards and 2 rural wards. Reduces the size of Council. The average ward population is 67,600 for the 2026 target year
- Option 6: 24 Wards – 12 urban wards, 9 suburban wards and 3 rural wards. Increases the size of Council by one. Focuses on the current wards with highest populations and maintains communities of interest in urban area. Average ward population is 47,900 for the 2026 target year
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.