The City’s Governance & Priorities Committee (GPC) will receive an administrative information report on Monday, October 24, 2022, regarding the Municipal Wards Commission's establishment of ward boundaries in Saskatoon. With the next civic election in Saskatoon taking place in 2024, a review of current ward boundaries must be undertaken according to The Cities Act, Bylaw No. 8164 which contains the rules for creating wards.
“Ward boundary reviews must be completed no less than 180 days before a general municipal election,” says Adam Tittemore, City Clerk. “As we will engage with ward residents on any proposed ward boundary changes, a good amount of lead time is required to undertake the review process.”
Ward boundary reviews have been conducted for each of the last three elections, in 2012, 2016, and 2020. Past reports of the Municipal Wards Commission have noted the projected growth in several neighbourhoods and anticipated that further ward modifications would be required before future municipal elections.
Why review current ward boundaries?
The Cities Act requires that the population of each ward be uniform and that any ward must not vary by more than 10% from the figure that is obtained by dividing the total population of the city by the number of wards into which the city is divided. If a variance of more than 10% is determined, the Municipal Wards Commission is required to review the ward boundaries. While not applicable in this case, the legislation also requires a review at least once every three election cycles.
Determining population in Saskatoon
The 2021 Census indicates that Saskatoon’s total population is 266,141 (an increase from 247,201 in 2016). However, traditionally the City has utilized provincial health data which has been determined to be a more accurate and timely reflection of the population of Saskatoon. Utilizing eHealth data current to June 30, 2022, the City’s Planning and Development Branch has determined the total population to be 285,445 (an increase from 270,790 in December 2018).
Ward 2 and Ward 7 are affected
Each of the ten wards in Saskatoon must have a population within +/- 10% of 28,545 (25,690 – 31,399). Current ward populations using June 30, 2022, Saskatchewan eHealth population information show that Ward 2 and Ward 7 are both outside of the 10% variation limit. The population within Ward 2 is below the limit, and in Ward 7 it is above.
The Municipal Wards Commission will undertake the process of reviewing the ward boundaries. Public consultation will be an important part of the review process. The new ward boundaries will be established in 2023, to take effect for the 2024 civic election.