Council votes to keep ward-elected councillors
Guelph, Ont., November 6, 2020 – At last night’s Council Composition and Ward Boundary Review Special Council meeting, Council passed one recommendation and directed staff to engage the community further on Council composition.
Council passed the recommendation to continue to elect ward-based councillors as opposed to councillors at-large. The remaining recommendations, including a change to eight full-time councillors, have been referred to phase two of the project.
In addition, Council asked staff and the project consultant, to further engage with the community during the upcoming ward boundary review to explore various Council sizes, full or part time and number of councillors to serve each ward. This second round of engagement is set for January 2021 at no additional cost.
“Staff will bring forward a ward boundary bylaw for Council to approve in summer 2021,” says Dylan McMahon, manager of Legislative Services in the City Clerk’s office. “This will be followed closely by a Council composition bylaw in time for the 2022 municipal election.”
About the ward boundary review
Guelph’s population has grown by 52 per cent from 89,000 to 136,000 people, with the largest growth seen in ward six. A ward boundary review makes sure that residents are represented fairly as the city grows.
If one ward has a greater population than others, it has a greater say in who is elected. With Guelph expected to grow 40 per cent by 2041, adjusting ward boundaries provides even distribution of the population – and the votes – across the city.
“Just as fair voting is important to our community, so is keeping the identities of Guelph’s current wards intact,” adds McMahon. “The ward boundary review aims to respect key features that make each of Guelph’s neighbourhoods distinct and vibrant.”
Second phase of engagement starts in January 2021
The City will notify residents of the second phase of engagement. More information will also be available on the City’s Council composition project page. The haveyoursay.guelph.ca project page also has a question and answer tool still open for anyone interested in getting informed about the project before engagement begins in January 2021.
Dylan McMahon, Manager
Legislative Services, Clerk’s Office
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2811