Is City council democratic?

Two troubling things to ponder. First, the city asked a bunch of experts to go look at the number of people in each ward to try and balance population and representation. Sounds easy except the arrangement has to work over a number of elections while the City continues to grow… and it doesn’t grow equally in all areas.

Downtown needs more representation. Growth is exploding with some wards adding the equivalent of a town over the next 20 years. Just look at the plans for the the LCBO lands near the waterfront.

So the experts do their job and come back with a bunch of options. They recommend more councillors. Mayor and exec team decide they don’t want more councillors. Instead following their decision and choosing to move forward with the option that they experts developed that proposes the same amount of councillors, they push things off for a while, long enough that the proposal doesn’t affect the next election. In other words you’ll have to wait another 4 years for better representation downtown.

Meanwhile the second issue, who sits on the powerful committees that decide things before they get to the overall council? The voting happens in a smaller group which may or may not represent the city at all.

Have a read here on how the City’s bike lane proposal was decided and who sits on the PWIC committee.


About Chris

Doing stuff online since 1994.
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