Burlington’s West Maple Community is stuck in Ward One and apparently will remain there for the next municipal election.
At a committee meeting this week, City Councillors received a background report on election related issues but, it made no reference to the concerns of West Maple residents.
West Maple is sandwiched between Maple Avenue and the QEW, south of Fairview Street. It includes single-family homes, condominium buildings and apartments. Several thousand people live there.
The area was once part of downtown’s Ward Two. The boundary was changed in 2006 placing it into Ward One, which is essentially Aldershot and Tyandaga. Residents were unhappy claiming they have nothing in common with Aldershot and Tyandaga. They made it clear that they considered themselves part of downtown. Their concern was raised repeatedly during subsequent elections. The situation was further aggravated in 2018 when the City removed the neighbourhood polling station in favour of locating the advance polling station at nearby Mapleview Mall.
The moment was not lost on downtown Ward Two Councillor Lisa Kearns.
“I just want to take a moment to acknowledge our friends in Maple West and let them know again that they do have both Councillor Galbraith and my ears to help support them in matters related to the City”.
Ward One Councillor Kelvin Galbraith, who currently represents the area, inquired about what factors might trigger a ward boundary change. City Clerk Kevin Arjoon replied that the main issue is population growth, movement and trends.
According to the staff report, it is simply too late to consider any ward boundary changes in time for the 2022 municipal election.
“The process to amend ward boundaries…….would have been required to commence in 2019 or by Q1 2020 at the latest in order to complete the required components in time. A review would consist of the entire municipality, and no spot amendments to ward boundaries may occur”.
The report goes on to say that, after the next election, staff will conduct a survey which will include reference to the ward boundaries. Any changes could be made in time for the 2026 election.
By Rick Craven