What would already be a complicated and intricate undertaking has been made even more so as a result of what has happened over at regional headquarters. Something that has been on Durham’s radar for years, the composition of its council, finally made it to the council floor and the end result saw Oshawa lose two of its seats. While the city will have the most seats of any municipality when the change comes into effect after the 2018 municipal election, several councillors still have a sour taste in their mouths at the prospect of going to six seats from eight.
As much as the city may not like this change – the majority of councillors voted against supporting the regional bylaw when it came to a vote at city hall – the change is inevitable, as the other lower tier municipalities are sure to vote in favour of it. With or without Oshawa’s seal of approval, this change is going through.
So now the city must look ahead to the ward review itself. With the inevitability that Oshawa will be losing seats at the regional level, it goes without saying that the ward structure is going to change as a result.
And because of the lower level of regional seats up for grabs in 2018, it is fair to say that the city could see current councillors going head to head in a fight to stay on council in two years’ time.
It is because of this that councillors need to heed the warning of Dr. Robert Williams, one of the consultants tasked with creating the new ward system, and not get involved with the process. After all, the last thing the city needs is to see thousands of taxpayer dollars spent on the creation of the new system only for it to be thrown away after the Ontario Municipal Board hears complaints that current councillors interfered too much.
After all, this new system needs to be for the betterment of the city’s residents and the idea of having fair and even political representation. It cannot be seen as being to the betterment of a councillor fighting to keep his or her job come 2018.