News / Edmonton

Proposed Edmonton ward boundaries will diversify representation

Councillors chose to draw new lines as some wards over-represented some communities.

A look at Edmonton's proposed new ward boundaries.

Courtesy / City of Edmonton

A look at Edmonton's proposed new ward boundaries.

When you go to the polls next year, you may be voting in an entirely different ward. 

That’s because the city plans to change boundaries for the October 2017 election. On Tuesday, the executive committee passed a recommendation to bring the changes to council. 

The move will affect southern Edmonton. It includes moving the communities of Allard, Blackburne, Blackmud Creek, Callaghan, Cashman, Cavanagh, Richford and Twin Brooks from Ward 9 to Ward 10. 

Also, the communities of Jackson Heights and Kiniski Gardens will be moved from Ward 12 to Ward 11.

Metro breaks down why council has decided to draw new lines, what it means for you and how it’ll affect councillors. 

Why change the boundaries?

According to committee members, some councillors were representing more constituents than their fair share. For example, Ward 9 and Ward 12 represents populations of 109,943 and 102,389 people, respectively.  So, some of those residents will moved to Ward 10 and 11, which currently represents 60,170 and 61,083 people, respectively. 

Once the changes occur, the city expects Ward 9 to represent 87,083 constituents, Ward 10 with 78,075 people, Ward 11 with 78,075 and Ward 12 with 92,332. 

What do the changes mean for you?

First off, you may be part of different communities with a whole new set of issues. Your councillor may also be different. For example, Ward 10 won’t just represent more established communities; it’ll encompass neighbourhoods on the outskirts. This means more diverse representation, according to Laura Kennedy, the city's returning officer. 

She says diversity is one area she looks at when establishing ward boundaries. Kennedy looks for an equalization of population, ensures wards don’t cross rivers or break community leagues.

How do the councillors feel?

The councillors affected by the new lines include Bryan Anderson (Ward 9), Michael Walters (Ward 10), Mike Nickel (Ward 11) and Moe Banga (Ward 12). 

Both Banga and Anderson said they're sad to see some of their communities go, but understand the boundaries need to better reflect the city’s population. Walters said it wasn’t fair for him to have fewer constituents than others. “It’ll add some diversity,” he said.

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