I think it’s time for the Ward System here in Cornwall Ontario – Editorial by Jamie Gilcig – February 27, 2011

Cornwall ON – I think it’s time for Cornwall Ontario to return to the Ward system.   This isn’t an easy position to come to, but after living here in Cornwall for nearly 8 years and intensely watching city government for three I can see and appreciate the arguement.

Local representation:  Cornwall is a vibrant and growing city of nearly 50,000 people.   There are areas that need a voice that don’t really get one.  Recently Councilor Gardiner made like TJ Hooker and chased down speeders because they live in his neighborhood.

Well you want someone to represent you when you have an issue.  You want someone to blame or go to for help and someone where the buck stops.   Right now we have ten councilors; some of whom do more and some who I have to wonder why they’re sitting at the table…

You also can look at voter turn out in the last municipal election and there are certain areas where the numbers could be pointing at a disconnect.

Current Councilors live on Adolphus Street (two); 5th Street East,  Leonard Ave. (Riverdale); Jane St. (Riverdale); York St.;  Woods Lane(near Meadowvale); Lottie Ave (North End); Johnson (North End).  So as you can see there are no Council members living in the East End which is a large part of Cornwall’s population, nor in many other sections of Cornwall.   (One councilor doesn’t provide her home address on the city website.)

How to carve up the wards in Cornwall is grist for another column, but this would also address the residence issue raised by many for our politicians and allow the city to better implement the rules for residency when it comes to running for office.  Call it “The Samson By Law” if you wish.

It also would re focus the perceptive of how councilors interact with each other, with city management, and with the mayor with Wards having needs; addressing those needs would be negotiation points between Councilors or whichever term would be used.

What do you think Cornwallites?  You can post your comments below.  Please vote in our poll too!

Would You Like to See Cornwall Ontario Move to a Ward System ?

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  1. I think it is not a bad idea. There should be an option for the concilor to relocate however. The idea itself is good and helps ensure representation for each area but I worry we may be limiting the talent pool by restricting someone due to geographic location. Having been a resident of the east end they do seem to get the short end. Possibly due to lack of representation.

  2. Author

    Hi Nic, there’s lots of room for discussion if this idea ever gains any traction. For example it all depends on how you cut up the city. You may only end up with six wards instead of 10 councilors…..maybe even have them be full time positions to attract a wider range of people?

  3. It would cut down on election signs.I do not know about a residence requirement per ward, but if you are the go to person for that ward, you better work for those residents. Which makes me wonder if you would create little fifedoms instead of working for the whole city.

    I gave up looking at the population signs a few decades ago because they never changed, will have to take a look again.

  4. interesting I think there is merit in them words
    But I think bottom line is we need to act and think as a comunity and work together
    put aside our selfishness and then we will be able to move to greatness
    Who will pull us together I ask?

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