In order to manage growth of 30,000 - 40,000 new Calgarians each year, an independent Ward Boundary Commission was established to ensure equitable representation of constituents in City Council. The Supreme Court of Canada’s 1991 Judgement expressed in Section 15(1) of Alberta’s Electoral Boundaries Commission Act states electoral boundaries must contain no greater than 25% above or no less than 25% below the average population.
Under the Municipal Government Act, an amended Ward Boundaries Bylaw was passed by City Council in 1977 establishing 14 Wards in The City of Calgary. To keep in line with current court decisions, the Ward Boundary Determination and Review Policy is The City of Calgary’s current guiding principle in maintaining ward boundaries. Since Ward 6 and many areas of the city are seeing high growth, ward boundary changes are necessary to accommodate the increasing population.
Just last year Council debated on whether or not to increase the number of wards in order to manage resident growth across the City. Adding more members to an already 15 member Council arguably decreases efficiency of meetings. Instead, Council opted to increase each ward office budget to compensate an additional staff member to better service increased constituent populations.
There are two Ward Boundary Scenarios, A and B below, that are being considered which keep population under the 25% average population deviation required. These scenarios also keep populations within the 10% - 15% permitted deviation per ward as stated in the Ward Boundary Determination and Review Policy. The Ward Boundary Commission is seeking public input on Scenario A and B as each option has its own set of merits and shortfalls.
In Scenario A, Ward 6 will no longer have the current communities of Glendale and Glenbrook as well as the East Paskapoo Slopes. In Scenario B, Ward 6 will no longer have the current communities of Glendale, Glenbrook and Glamorgan.
The Ward Boundary Commission is hosting an online survey, inviting the public to email their input to firstname.lastname@example.org, and is hosting 5 public open houses to gain feedback on the two scenarios.
Council Policy, with respect to community meetings, is that the Commission will have four open houses in the four quadrants of the city. The Commission viewed the intent of this policy was to ensure that open houses were dispersed throughout the city with access from each quadrant, but not necessarily exactly in specific geographical quadrants. The open houses also are not intended to cater to a specific quadrant, as all open houses can be attended by anyone from anywhere in the city. Locations were chosen based on ease of travel for participants, and favoured locations along major roadways and public transit corridors, especially C-Train lines. With five locations, the Commission focussed on places that would encourage the largest number of participants possible given ease of travel.
This content represents the personal views and opinions of the Ward Councillor and should not be taken as a statement of policy of The City of Calgary. The inclusion of any external content does not imply endorsement by The City of Calgary.