Ward Boundary Review

What is a ward and why should you care? Good question! Over the next few months the Town is reviewing its ward structure and your input is important! 

Learn more and provide your feedback or questions by participating in one of the upcoming Public Engagement Meetings in November. 

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Learn more about the Ward Boundary Review

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Caledon wards

Project Timeline

Ward Boundary Review Timeline

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a Ward Boundary Review?

A ward is a municipal unit of representation that is equivalent to a constituency (or riding) at the provincial and federal levels. 

A Ward Boundary Review is a task conducted on behalf of a municipality to assess whether the present wards constitute an effective and equitable system of representation and, if not, to propose alternatives. 

What is the System of Representation in Caledon?

The Town of Caledon was established under provincial legislation at the beginning of 1974 as a lower-tier municipality in the Regional Municipality of Peel. The present municipality is an amalgamation of the former Townships of Albion, Caledon and the northern half of Chinguacousy, as well as the Villages of Bolton and Caledon East. As part of the amalgamation, the former police villages of Alton, Caledon, Inglewood and Palgrave were dissolved.

Caledon is governed by a nine-member Council, composed of a Mayor, four Regional Councillors, plus four local Councillors. As a result of an Ontario Municipal Board order of January 28, 1994, the Town was divided into five wards, with Wards 3 and 4 represented by one Regional Councillor and one local Councillor. The boundaries approved at that time have not been modified. 

Why is Caledon conducting a Ward Boundary Review?

The electoral boundaries used in federal and provincial elections in Canada are reviewed on a pre-determined cycle; for example, seats in the House of Commons are subject to redistribution after each Census (that is, every ten years) to take account of population changes. A review of the electoral arrangements in Ontario municipalities is discretionary; the obligation to undertake a review of municipal electoral districts is entirely absent from legislation.

The ward boundaries in Caledon have not been reviewed since 1994. Caledon’s population has grown by approximately 59% since the existing wards were created. Wards designed to reflect the population in 1994 need to be reassessed in light of the larger population today to ensure that representation remains consistent with democratic values.

Furthermore, population growth has not been uniform across Caledon and will be concentrated in urban settlements over the next decade. As a result, there is a significant variation in the population between the smallest of the existing wards and the largest. The Town of Caledon should aspire to a ward system that provides fair representation to all of its residents.

With an election looming in 2022, in accordance with the Municipal Act, 2001, any changes to the Town's Ward Boundaries will need to be in place by January 1st of that year.  

Who is conducting the Caledon Ward Boundary Review?

Given the political importance of the ward boundaries, a review that would be considered acceptable by the community and by Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) should not be conducted for the municipality by someone who is a member of Council or a municipal employee.

The Town has retained Watson and Associates and Dr. Robert Williams to conduct a comprehensive and independent Ward Boundary Review through a process set out in a report to Council in February 2020. Together the consultant team has conducted over twenty ward boundary reviews in Ontario and will utilize their experiences gained through those reviews to assess the present electoral arrangements in Caledon and to design alternatives consistent with the guiding principles for the Review.

How will the Town's Ward Boundary Review be conducted?

The consultant team will direct the Ward Boundary Review process for the Town and will gather background information on the present ward system from interviews with Town staff and elected officials. The consultant team will also compile data on the present and projected population of the Town. Based on that research, the consultants will assess the present ward boundaries and develop alternative designs consistent with the guiding principles for the review (see below).

Public consultation is essential for the review process to be legitimate and effective and will be undertaken through a number of mediums and forums.

The primary goal is to ensure that members of the public are provided with opportunities to:

  • comment on the current ward boundary structure
  • offer suggestions or new alternatives, and
  • consider and provide comments on the options presented.

Due to the public health emergency, Public Engagement Meetings will be held in a format that provides for the safety of the public during the COVID-19 pandemic. To learn more about how to participate in our review please click here.

A Final Report will be submitted to Council for consideration as pursuant to the the Municipal Act, 2001 the statutory authority rests with municipal Council to: 

  • determine the method by which members of council are elected (that is, in wards or at-large); and
  • divide, redivide or dissolve existing wards.

What will be considered in the Ward Boundary Review? 

The objective of the Ward Boundary Review is to evaluate the suitability of the present wards and consider alternative designs that are consistent with the following guiding principles determined through a Supreme Court of Canada decision (The Carter decision).

Effective Representation

The Supreme Court of Canada determined that parity of voting power was a prime but not an exclusive condition of effective representation.

Deviations can be justified where factors, such as geography, community history, community interests and minority representation would result in a legislative body that was more representative of Canada’s diversity. According to the Court, considering all these factors provides effective representation.

Representation by Population

Voters should be equally represented, and wards should have reasonably equal population totals. Voter parity should be the goal of ward boundary reviews.

Population size variances of between plus or minus 25 to 33 percent are generally accepted as the maximum variance to achieve voter parity.

Communities of Interest

The Carter decision recognizes that the protection of communities of interest may justifiably override the principle of voter parity where the inclusion of a community of interest will lead to a system that is more representative of the Town’s diversity.

The Court did not define what constitutes a community of interest; however, it has been leveraged in Ontario Municipal Board appeals to recognize historical settlement patterns or existing communities and to represent social, historical, economic, religious, linguistic or political groups.

Future Population Trends

Ward Boundary Reviews should consider future changes in ward population. Being mindful of anticipated population trends will ensure that a ward and its residents are neither advantaged, nor disadvantaged because of development activity throughout the town.

Ward Boundary Reviews should take into consideration anticipated changes in population of a period of twelve years, or three elections.

Physical and Natural Boundaries

Ward boundaries will be drawn impartially and with consideration to using distinct physical and geographic features. Physical features should be leveraged as they create preexisting boundaries which naturally divide Town residents and may facilitate the effective representation of the ward’s residents.

Is there an appeal process?

Section 222 of the Municipal Act, 2001 provides that within 45 days after a By-law is passed to divide, re-divide or dissolve wards, a person may make an appeal to LPAT by filing a notice of appeal with the municipality setting out the objections to the By-law and the reasons in support. The municipality will forward any notices of appeal to LPAT.

Town Ward System and Council Information

Composition - The Town is divided into five Wards (see map on the right). Each Ward has two representatives, a local "Area" Councillor and a "Regional" Councillor, with the exception of Wards three and four, which share one Area Councillor and one Regional Councillor. Area Councillors represent their Wards at Town of Caledon Council meetings while Regional Councillors represent their Wards at both the local level and at the Region of Peel.

Election - Electors in each Ward can choose only among the candidates who are running for election in their specific Ward. The Mayor is the head of Council and is elected at-large by all eligible electors in the municipality (the Mayor is also a member of Regional Council).

Mayor and Council 

Mayor Allan Thompson

Ward 1 
Regional Councillor Ian Sinclair 
Area Councillor Lynn Kiernan

Ward 2      
Regional Councillor Johanna Downey
Area Councillor Christina Early

Ward 3 & 4  
Regional Councillor Jennifer Innis
Area Councillor Nick deBoer

Ward 5  
Regional Councillor Annette Groves
Area Councillor Tony Rosa   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                Current Town Ward Map