Several municipal wards are swapping neighbourhoods to better balance the amount of people in each area ahead of the next municipal election.
Wards 5 through 10 are being reorganized so that each city councillor represents approximately 27,000 people.
“The wards, as much as possible, are supposed to have equal numbers of people in them,” said Justice Richard Ranyliuk.
Ranyliuk is the chairperson of the Saskatoon Municipal Wards Commission, the organization that determined what changes will be made. It also includes city clerk Joanne Sproule and University of Saskatchewan political studies professor Joe Garcea.
“Two wards had too many people, if I can put it that way, and two wards had too few,” said Danyliuk, describing the majority of the changes which involved Wards 5 and 10 in the city’s northeast, and Wards 7 and 9 in the southeast.
The commission operates under provincial legislation called the Cities Act and is not part of the city. The act stipulates that ward boundaries must be examined at least once every nine years to ensure equal representation.
Danyliuk said population was the only issue considered.
“We are out of the political realm,” he told Global News.
“How this may affect voting, how this may affect an individual councillor in terms of gaining or losing particular neighbourhoods is not something that… we can or (did) consider.”
He said “citizens in Saskatoon associate very strongly with their neighbourhoods” and so none were divided.
The commission’s changes are binding under provincial law.
The report is scheduled to be presented to Saskatoon city council on Monday and it will take effect before the next election.