During its July 13 session council received a report from Watson & Associates Economists LTD on two options for setting the boundaries for the municipal electoral wards. Both options are now under review with final recommendations for approval expected for the August 10 council session.
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Nouvelles limites de quartiers: le conseil devra choisir entre deux options
The first option calls for keeping the number of electoral wards at four but with changes to the existing boundaries. Ward 1 would include the eastern half of the municipality and also extend west to Smiths Ferry Road and Villeneuve Road, and include the villages of Saint-Isidore, St-Bernardin, Fournier and Riceville.
Ward 2 would cover the centre of the municipality, with boundaries along Smiths Ferry Road and Villeneuve Road on the east, on Bertrand Crossing Road and the South Nation River on the west, and along Highway 417 and the village of Casselman on the south.
Ward 3 would include the Village of St. Albert, covering the southwestern part of The Nation, with its northernmost boundaries along Route 500 West and Highway 417.
The north-western part of the municipality would be in Ward 4, and would include the Village of Limoges. Its southern boundary would follow Route 500 West and its eastern boundary Bertrand Sideroad, the South Nation River, and Highway 417.
The second option suggested in the report would result in six electoral wards for The Nation.
Ward 1 would cover the extreme eastern part of the municipality, including the area that used to be Caledonia Township, and villages of St-Bernardin and Fournier.
Ward 2 would cover the central eastern part of the municipality, and include Saint-Isidore, Ste-Rose-de-Prescott and Riceville.
The southwestern part of the municipality would be Ward 3. The area would include Saint-Albert, and its northern boundary would follow the Castor River, the boundary of the Municipality of Casselman, and Highway 417.
The new Ward 4 would include the central-western part of The Nation. Its eastern boundary would follow County Road 8, Highway 417 would be bounded on the east by County Road 8, Highway 417, the Municipality of Casselman and the Castor River to the south and by Montée Rainville Road, Highway 417, Baker Road, Calypso Street and Bertrand Sideroad to the west.
Ward 5 would occupy the northern part of Limoges, extend south to the CN track and east to Baker Road, Calypso Street and Bertrand Sideroad. Ward 6 would extend over the southern part of Limoges and adjacent areas to the south and east, including Forest Park and Gagnon.
The present four ward system for The Nation was established in 1997, when the municipality was founded as a result of the provincial amalgamation process.
Since then, the area has had a 28 per cent increase in its overall population growth, though not all of the four wards saw the same amount of population increase within their boundaries. Future planned residential developments are expected to increase the unequal population growth between the four wards.
The ward boundary review determined that the current ward structure would not conform to three of the five guiding principles for ward boundaries, which are representation by population, population and electoral trends, and representation by communities of interest.
Also two other guiding principles for ward boundaries are also affected by the existing four-ward system. Those principles are boundaries that correspond to the geographic and topographic nature of the area, and the overriding principle of effective representation.
The first option in the review, for modifying the existing four wards, would meet three of the five guiding principles. It would build on the principle of community of interest, recognizing that emphasis on the principles of representation by population and electoral trends must be reduced.
The second option for a six-ward setup would agree with three of the principles and also better work with the principles of boundaries corresponding to salient features of a geographical and topographical nature and of effective representation.