Comment 76905

By CouldaWouldaShoulda (anonymous) | Posted May 15, 2012 at 12:08:54 in reply to Comment 76903

As I have accumulated a little experience in researching ward boundary re-drawings in Ontario since the Harris Amalgamation Tsunami, I have to point out that in almost all situations, the municipality hires a consultant. (In fact, someone in Windsor advised a particular one, whom they felt was eminently qualified to oversee a review.)

The consultant process is thorough. There's all manner of process, referring to OMB guidelines, consulting with community, with City Hall, with Council...with all stakeholders.

In the end, the consultant makes their recommendation based on what appears to be the most prudent and effective approach.

I'm familiar with what's been done in at least a half-dozen municipalities, even at least one where they went through the process twice in less than five years. (I'm in correspondence with the City Clerk from one community who went ahead with a petition-based process, even though they'd had plans to initiate one on their own).

So really, re-drawing the boundaries isn't something that councillors will be able to nix. (They can reject the findings, I believe, but that just means the OMB gets involved, and if the recommendations have been supported by residents...then such an attitude could be seen as political suicide.

I'll be blunt, Sean; you and I do not see eye-to-eye as to the 'necessary result' Moreoever, you seem to be in the camp wanting massive change at City Hall (term limits, too?) whereas I see the need to address the other portion of the equation. We, the people. I respect your ideology, I'm just not on-board with it.

However, I do have to go back to something I proposed earlier this year in The Spec, stating that the most important result of this review process might end up being an increased ability on the parts of the residents to discuss, to engage and to marshall numbers in ways that we don't tend to see that often. Ironically, despite how I've just framed this paragraph, it should allow us to shove aside the ever-present 'Us vs Them' mentality, something that fuels waaaaay too much of discourse in Hamilton.

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