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Statement on Ontario Municipal Board Municipal Electoral Boundaries Decision

November 8, 2013 -

Today the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) rendered its decision on the appeal of the City of Kingston's electoral district boundaries By-law. The OMB allowed the appeals and ordered the City of Kingston to use Revised Option 4, as amended by the Board, for the 2014 municipal election.

Revised Option 4 re-divides the City's 12 electoral districts on the basis of the total 2011 Census population numbers and includes the post-secondary student population estimates for Queen's University, St. Lawrence College and the Royal Military College of Canada. Revised Option 4, as amended by the OMB, also maintains much of the boundary of the existing Sydenham District.  

On April 23, 2013, City Council passed a By-law which re-divided the existing electoral districts on the basis of total 2011 Census population numbers. That By-law was then appealed to the OMB. The appeal challenged the decision to exclude the post-secondary student estimates from the population numbers used to create the new district boundaries and requested that changes to the existing Sydenham District be reversed. The OMB Hearing, Chaired by Sylvia Sutherland, was held at Kingston City Hall over four days, from October 21-24.

Member Sutherland ruled that the principle of effective representation requires that each district have relatively equal numbers of total population, including post-secondary students.  "The elected representative is not simply the representative of those who voted, or of those who voted for him or her, but of all the residents of his or her ward."

Until this decision, all Ontario municipalities established electoral ward boundaries without specifically factoring post-secondary students into population numbers. The OMB decision to approve Revised Option 4, which includes post-secondary student population estimates, will influence all Ontario municipalities with colleges and universities.

The City of Kingston respects Member Sutherland's decision and will now finalize the new electoral district boundaries for the 2014 municipal election and move forward with the planning and administration of the election. The work of City staff in preparing the various reports and boundary configuration options should be commended as should the dedication of the participants involved in the OMB appeal process.  

 

Cindie Ashton
Communications Officer
City of Kingston
Email: cashton@cityofkingston.ca
Telephone: 613-546-4291, ext 3116
Mail: 216 Ontario St., Kingston, ON K7L 2Z3
Location: British Whig Building

 

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