The City of Lethbridge is one step closer to moving to a ‘ward’ system for its municipal elections. A review received unanimous support today (Tuesday) to have City Administration provide a future report, for consideration, that will outline the process to examine, develop options, decide and implement a ward system. The proposed electoral system could be used as soon as 2025.
Lethbridge currently has an at-l; electoral system for electing Councillors. A ward electoral system would see the city divided into smaller geographical electoral areas and electors would vote from a smaller list of candidates for a Councillor that wants to represent a specific area.
The mayor would continue to be a separate at-large vote.
“Council would like further information on next steps to consider whether or not they want to proceed pursuing a ward system,” says Councillor John Middleton-Hope, who introduced Tuesday’s motion. “Initiating a ward system study has been identified both in Council’s recent Action Plan as well as during last fall’s Municipal Election, so we feel it is important to investigate what our options are in order to best represent Lethbridge residents moving forward.”
In a non-binding ballot question at the 2021 Municipal Election, 55.69 per cent of residents said yes to the question “do you support using a ward system to elect city councillors starting with the 2025 municipal election?”
Council has asked Administration to report back, through the Governance Standing Policy Committee, by April 30 on what legislative requirements, engagement, timelines, costs, and resources it would take to potentially implement a ward system.