PSD Electoral Wards To Change
October 24, 2016 - Parkland School Division's Board of Trustees is one step closer to restructuring the electoral wards for future elections in an effort to balance the principle of representation by population with the challenges of representing large geographic areas of the School Division.
On October 24, 2016, the Board passed a motion 5 - 1, pursuant to Sections 210(d) and 247 of the School Act, requesting approval of the Minister of Education for the redivision of wards noting that the total number of trustees to be elected to the wards remains unchanged.
In 2013, Parkland School Division’s Trustees identified concerns with the current electoral wards. Specifically, it was felt that they no longer reflected the democratic principle of representation by population. The Board recognizes that, once elected, Trustees represent the entire School Division. Parkland School Division’s Board already reflects this principle, with many Trustees acting as the primary contact for schools outside their Wards. In early 2015, Parkland School Division’s Board engaged Russell Farmer and Associates Consulting Ltd to support a review of the current ward structure, and to provide options for realignment. The Board considered several potential models before identifying an option that it believes achieves the desired balance.
Highlights of the proposed model include:
- Adjusted electoral boundaries that address the current disparity in population between wards
- Retaining a total of seven (7) Trustees for the School Division
- A move from four (4) to three (3) Wards outside the large urban centres of Spruce Grove and Stony Plain, and an increase from three (3) to four (4) trustees representing the large urban centres
- Stony Plain to be represented by one (1) trustee
- Spruce Grove to be represented by three (3) trustees
- “Room to Grow” has been built into the model to ensure that anticipated population growth will allow the proposed Wards to meet the School Division’s needs into the future.
Percentage of Population Per Trustee
The Board of Trustees directed Administration to collect feedback on the proposed changes in electoral boundaries at the Regular Board Meeting of November 3, 2015. Trustees presented the proposed changes at municipal council meetings with the City of Spruce Grove, Town of Stony Plain and Parkland County, The proposed changes were also shared at School Council meetings and an online feedback form was available on the website for further public input. Concerns relating to ensuring representation in Stony Plain and Spruce Grove culminated in revisions to the proposed ward structure.
The Board of Trustees is now required to request approval of the minister for the redivision of wards from six (6) to five (5) with the total number of Trustees elected to wards remaining unchanged at seven (7).
For more information contact:
Parkland School Division