Back in 1999 when the Harris government was forcing amalgamation upon the Region of Hamilton Wentworth, there was considerable discussion about re-drawing ward boundaries to balance out population and areas of common community interest.
I saw a few of the prototype maps; some were innovative, some quite controversial.
However, the Provincial appointee overseeing amalgamation in this area, one Dave O’Brien, decided, that with a few minor exceptions, the boundaries would not be changed.
Dundas would be Dundas, Ancaster would be Ancaster etc, etc.
I’m told that O’Brien felt that the issue of amalgamation was so inflammatory , that he didn’t want to pour gasoline onto that fire by messing with ward boundaries.
Well, here we are , 17 years later, attempting to have a long overdue discussion about ward boundaries, and it appears that the passion against such a move may be just as intense.
The same arguments about communities losing their identity and the suburbs getting steamrolled by the inner city wards are surfacing once again.
That discontent is likely to ramp up when the committee investigating ward boundaries present some alternative models for consideration.
That will take the discussion from the abstract to reality and already some suburban Councilors are starting to push back.
Given Council’s propensity for procrastination on controversial issues, don’t expect this issue to be resolved any time soon.