The ward boundary issue has been the subject of a special meeting of city council.
Hamilton politicians have received a consultant’s report that suggests remapping the boundaries to achieve a more “equal population balance” from ward-to-ward.
The report recommends changes within the existing 15 ward system or by adding a 16th ward with Dr. Robert Williams of Watson and Associates stressing that “we firmly believe the status quo is not defensible any longer”.
Current ward populations range from 16 thousand in rural Flamborough, which is the largest geographically, to 62 thousand on the Central Mountain.
The goal is to balance the ward populations as much as possible throughout the city while still protecting the character of suburban communities.
Councillors have taken a tentative step forward after receiving the recommendations.
They’ve approved a motion from Stoney Creek’s Doug Conley giving themselves until the end of November to provide the consultant with input and their own suggestions.
The consultant will report back, likely early next year.
Ward 4’s Sam Merulla agrees that they need to move slowly due to the “sensitivities” noting that “I was here at amalgamation”
Councillor Jason Farr, however, predicts that the city will be forced to act through a citizen petition to the Ontario Municipal Board.
He notes all it will take to force their hand is 500 signatures.