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Calgary councillors still have concerns about ward boundary changes

Finalized plan goes before council Monday

This map shows the Ward Boundary Commission's final proposal for ward boundaries in the 2017 election.

City of Calgary

This map shows the Ward Boundary Commission's final proposal for ward boundaries in the 2017 election.

City council will get a look at what the wards could look like in the 2017 municipal election on Monday, and there are a few big changes planned under the current proposal.

The northeast and east sections of the city would see some of the biggest changes, with the current Ward 3 being divided almost in half by the Deerfoot Trail. Most of the eastern half will become the new Ward 5.

Most of what is now Ward 5 would become the new Ward 10, and most of what is now Ward 10 would be swallowed by Ward 9.

Ward 10 Coun. Andre Chabot said he’s unhappy with the proposal because it would once again force him to run against a sitting councillor, as he has in past elections.

He also feels the Ward Boundary Commission has failed to make accurate projections about population growth for coming years in his current area, considering the recent annexation of communities close to Chestermere.

“It almost assumes there will be zero growth,” he said.

Chabot said he had floated the idea for adding more wards in the past. He feels there is a limit on how many citizens a councillor can effectively represent.

“A lot of people want to speak directly to their councillors,” said Chabot. “Having the expectation you’re going to effectively represent 100,000 people - I think it’s not realistic.”

The current proposal has wards ranging from a low of 67,000 citizens in Ward 12 up to 103,000 in Ward 4. Wards 10 and 11 also have 100,000 people.

Ward 5 Coun. Ray Jones said he would’ve preferred to see two more wards added to the map to to lighten the load on councillors and allow for better representation.

Given the current scenario, Jones said he will run in Ward 10 in 2017 since it is basically his current ward, with the addition of Marlborough and a few other communities.

Ward 3 Coun. Jim Stevenson said he’s glad to see his ward divided into the new wards 3 and 5 under the current proposal. He hasn’t decided which of the two he will run in, come 2017.

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