2005 the Greater Sudbury City Council voted in favour
of changing the municipal ward boundary system. As a result, the city will
be divided up into twelve (12) wards for the municipal election which will
be held on November 13, 2006.
While the decision was met with some opposition from
several groups of citizens, it was apparent from the attendance at the
public consultation meetings held throughout the region that the
“vast” majority of ratepayers really don’t see anything wrong with
dividing each of the existing six wards in half if councilors feel it will
help them carry out their duties and responsibilities.
Keir Kitchen is
shown in the photo in front of the new boundary structure which was
adopted by council. Keir, a well known resident of Capreol, and Roger
Trottier, a former member of the Valley East City Council, were members of
a committee which was formed in the spring of 2002 to address this issue.
It was presented to City Council in May of 2002 and subsequently adopted
three years later in June 2005.
“One of the issues we
had to be concerned with was that our recommendations could not radically
change the basic policy of representation by population,” Kitchen
explained. “The Ontario Municipal Board would have difficulty accepting
a proposal which would have some wards more heavily populated than others.
So our main task was to find where we could divide existing wards without
having to change many of the original boundary lines, and we had to do
this in a way that would recognize that some areas of the city are growing
in numbers while others are declining.”
In fact, Susan Rogers, a
representative of the Ontario Municipal Board, was in
on October 4, 2005 to conduct a hearing to deal with an appeal launched by
“The Silver Seven”, a Municipal Watchdog Group made up of seven senior
citizens who opposed the decision by Council. Ms. Rogers forced the group
to withdraw their appeal when it became apparent that they had no grounds.
Under the new system, the
communities of Val Caron,
will be joined with
to form Ward 5.
Val Therese and Hanmer will form Ward 6.
Capreol will be
combined with Skead, Garson and Falconbridge to form Ward 7.
Since each ward will be able to vote for one councilor, it is most
likely that we will end up with three (3) councilors from
and Capreol at city hall after the 2006 election.
As a result, it is
possible that this “distinct political group” which will consist of
25% of the total number of councilors, should be able to speak with a much
louder voice for our part of the city.
If we also put forward a strong
candidate for mayor, we may even have a 4th vote at the table.
The Greater Sudbury Municipal Watch group was one of the strongest
supporters for the amalgamation of the region into the City of
. Most residents of
and Capreol have extremely strong views about the negative impact the
amalgamation has had on our communities. The changes approved by City
Council to return to a system where each Councilor will be responsible for
one single ward is considered by most observers to be a move in the right
direction to correct some of the communication challenges we have been
faced under amalgamation.