UXBRIDGE: Uxbridge Council’s ward boundary lines will be shifting, to better equally represent the population in Uxbridge, for the 2018 municipal election.
The 4-2 decision was made on June 12th and came after the Township hosted a Public Consultation session regarding the Electoral System Ward Boundary Review.
The system currently in effect, until the 2018 election, has over representation in wards four and five and under representation in wards one, two and three.
“If you are concerned about representation by population this does a lot to solve that problem,” said Ward 3 councillor, Dave Barton.
Although, councillor Barton said his problem with the new ward system was, it doesn’t properly represent Uxbridge’s full time farmers.
“My concern with the system that was just voted in, was that it took a voice away from our full time farmers,” said councillor Barton. “In the past there was two wards north of Davis drive and that’s where the majority of our full-time farmers are based out of. But with the new system there is only one ward that covers north of Davis Drive.”
The system that will be used for future elections, was outlined in the report as option two. Council had a choice of keeping the system the same, or going with one of two options to rearrange the wards and equal out the representation. According to council, option two best represented the population while keeping the boundary lines for each ward easy to follow.
“People get confused enough with what ward they belong to, and option two had clear, defined, more straight lines,” said Ward 1 councillor Pamela Beach, The representation for Uxbridge’s population in each ward has become uneven from an increasing number of people residing in urban parts of the town and a decreasing number of people living in the rural areas.
“It balances things out as far as the number of constituents we have to deal with,” said councillor Beach. “But really, we are not only a councillor for the ward, we are a councillor for the municipality, because we make more decisions that affect all of us then just our one ward.”
The overall decisions made at council won’t be significantly impacted, according to councillor Beach.
“When it comes to deciding something, I’m only one, it takes all of council to come to a decision,” she said.
The new ward boundaries will be used in the 2018 municipal election.