New ward boundaries in place for 2022 municipal election
Guelph, Ont., December 7, 2021 – The Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT) has dismissed an appeal filed against the City’s new ward boundary bylaw, approved by Council in June 2021. The new ward boundaries will be in place for the 2022 municipal election.
The new boundaries keep Guelph at six wards, but adjust the boundaries to redistribute the population more evenly with and give consideration for future growth. The goal is to offer equal representation across wards through Council. While the appeal commended the public engagement process for the Council composition and ward boundary review, it argued the new ward boundaries split distinct neighbourhoods and that population by ward could be better distributed, especially in the south end of Guelph.
For their part, the City and Watson and Associates Economists Ltd. testified to the strong public engagement process that saw the community endorse the new ward boundaries. The team considered population, expected growth, communities of interest and natural boundaries when developing each option and acknowledged that no one model would achieve them all perfectly.
The OLT report says that the community engagement process and expert analysis undertaken by the City and the consultant team “resulted in a ward [boundary] bylaw that achieves effective representation” and that the tribunal is satifised that the decision of Guelph’s City Council is “reasonable and appropriate, serving the best interests of its residents.”
“The City is pleased to see this decision in time to implement the ward boundary changes for the 2022 municipal election,” says Dylan McMahon, manager of Legislative Services. “This outcome is a nod to the excellent community engagement done, despite needing to pivot during COVID-19.”
View the new ward boundaries online at guelph.ca/council.
Dylan McMahon, Manager
Legislative Services, City Clerk’s Office
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2811