A grassroots citizen movement to force Hamilton City Council to re-draw ward boundaries is picking up momentum. Under provincial law it takes only 500 names on a petition to force a council to deal with the issue. City Hall Watchdog group CATCH has posted online links to the proposed petition and North End activist Herman Turkstra is urging his supporters to sign on.
The issue has been kicked around for several years as shifting demographics, coupled with amalgamation in 2000 have combined to create a disparity in the number of voters represented by a councillor. It ranges from 60,000 in Ward 7, represented by Donna Skelly to 17,000 in the Flamborough ward represented by Robert Pasuta.
Council looked at two consultants’ proposals for ward redistribution last month and quickly voted to come up with their own solution. One of the consultant suggestions would have seen a sign ificant re-drafting of boundaries, especially in the city’s mountain wards.
The petition requires hard copy signatures and those signing must be on the voters list and still at the same address as they were at the last municipal election in 2014. Links to the petition can be found at the CATCH website.