The City of Calgary officially launched its ward boundary review on Monday by hosting an open house to let people look at the proposed changes.
Returning officer Laura Kennedy said the city is implementing new ward boundaries before the municipal election in 2021.
“A ward boundary review is conducted to equalize the population as best as we’re able and subject to the policy council has passed,” she said. “As cities grow, we recognize that people move into areas where they can afford and that creates some discrepancy in the number of individuals represented across the city.”
The idea is to make sure each councillor represents a similar number of Calgarians.
“This is a very important process,” Kennedy said. “It does impact who represents you or how you are represented.”
Kennedy said she is looking for feedback on two proposals — which she described as “provocative” — that would see boundaries adjusted.
“We are trying to correct those over- and under-representation numbers by equalling it out as much as possible across the city.”
Option A follows the Ward Boundary Determination and Review Policy and Option B balances the population across all 14 wards closer to the median, Kennedy said.
“Of these two, what is really Calgarians’ priority? Do they want to equalize the population or do they want to maintain closer to the status quo?”
The city will gather online feedback until March 19.
“We have a series of opportunities for individuals to come forward and give us their feedback,” Kennedy said.
She hopes her recommendation will go to council before summer break.