|Doulgas, Bright and Keswick Ridge LSDs (in distance) from Kingsclear LSD (Daryl Hunter photo)|
The members of the YRC Project steering committee have recently participated in a workshop about how wards and councils could be set up in a new local government. The workshop taught us many things that we will need to know as we prepare options to include in the Project's preliminary feasibility study report. For example, we learned that:
- The ward system divides a local government area into separate sections represented, most commonly, by a single councillor. Most people believe that a ward system is a way to have clear accountability and representation.
- Determining the number of wards and their locations is usually based on population, geography, community history, community interests and minority representation.
- There is no standard definition of a ward but the Supreme Court of Canada has recommended that a ward should:
1.Distribute the population and electors as equally as possible.
2.Respect identifiable communities of interest.
3.Use natural, physical boundaries that are locally recognized.
4.Serve the larger public interest of all electors of the municipality rather than the interest of a small group.