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Councillor looking for information on ward system

Several councillor motions are on the agenda for Tuesday night’s regular meeting of council.

One involves the next municipal election. 

“Whereas there is a desire to investigate the creation of a ward system within the City of North Bay for the 2026 Municipal Election,” states the motion from Councillor Jamie Lowery. 

It calls for a report, for information purposes, on implementing a ward system in the city. 

“The best way to go about it is to bring the information forward, let’s look at what our options are, what are the costs, what are pros, what are the cons,” he says. “I just believe that it really does add to a lot more accountable council when you have an identified person in a ward that represents you.” 

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Lowery has also been thinking about the size of council, too.

“Very anecdotally, you could use six wards and then a mayor, but again if we’re successful in this you can always move that number up,” he says. “I think that making council more concise, more accountable is a good thing for everyone.” 

He also doesn’t believe it’ll pit neighbourhoods against each other.

“I think it’ll have the opposite effect,” Lowery says. “What it does is when you’re looking at the city in its entirety and you’re making business cases and projects coming forward you have to demonstrate how it’s going to move the city forward, not just that neighbourhood.” 

In January 2020, the previous council voted 6-4 against a similar motion. 

Under a ward system, councillors seek election within geographical areas of the city. 

North Bay currently uses the ‘at large’ model with voters from all parts of the city voting for up to ten councillor candidates. 

Another councillor motion coming on Tuesday looks for an update on a third-party review of the steps needed to transition Casselholme to a city-owned home. 

There’s also a motion that calls for an educational program involving the city’s online water portal. 

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