FFWD REW

Ward map becomes a thorny issue

‘The whole process is tainted and we need an independent commission to look at it’

Ald. Diane Colley-Urquhart wants to chill the process of redrawing ward boundaries putting it on ice.

“The whole process is tainted and we need an independent commission to look at it” Colley-Urquhart says.

The boundaries need to be redrawn due to Calgary’s explosive growth in the past few years. The first draft had Ald. Andre Chabot’s ward completely disappear something he pointed out was unfair.

Lead by Chabot council rejected the original boundary changes prepared by chief returning officer Barb Clifford then turned the process over to an aldermanic committee. After meeting behind closed doors the committee sent the matter back to Clifford with instructions to come up with several scenarios that would keep five wards on the east side of the city.

Ald. Gord Lowe who is on the committee refused to attend the meeting saying the original draft was “drawn up in accordance with city policies and for us to send this back with a particular direction is gerrymandering.”

Chabot wants council to accept the map he drew saying “it provides greater equality for representation by population than the draft by the returning officer.” He says he favours an independent commission but due to time restrictions it isn’t feasible to have the process completed before the 2010 election.

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