Council moves forward with plebiscite on ward system

  • May. 1, 2013 4:49 p.m.

Red Deer City council voted in favour of spending $35,000 to carry out a plebiscite regarding a ward versus an at-large system in conjunction with the municipal election this fall.

This money would not only be used to hold the plebiscite itself, but it will be used for communication, education and awareness about wards versus at-large systems of representation.

“We will be doing an educational program as close to the election as we can. We will be doing lots of saturation in the fall so people understand what the issue is,” said Julia Harvie-Shemko, the City’s communications manager. “If we were to start the educational component now, it would be lost because come the fall people would forget.”

Education in the form of meetings where political experts are featured as guest speakers will take place later this year.

During Monday’s meeting, council gave feedback regarding the wording of the question on the plebiscite.

Administration suggested the plebiscite read, ‘Are you in favour of council passing a bylaw dividing the City of Red Deer into wards for municipal election purposes?’

The suggestions for answers included ‘Yes (a ‘yes’ vote means you support changing to an electoral system where the City if divided into electoral divisions (called ‘wards’) and you must be a resident in the ward in order to vote for a councillor in that ward and councillors are elected for each ward, unless otherwise provided for in the bylaw)’, or ‘No (a ‘no’ vote means that you support maintaining the current at-large electoral system where you may vote for councillors for the entire City regardless of where you reside in the City.)’

Many councillors wanted to see the wording of the question on the plebiscite simplified.

“I’m in favour of simplifying the wording but not removing all of the wording and just providing a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. I think it’s great that we are going to do all of this education beforehand, but not everyone will take advantage of that, so I think it’s important to have a description on the plebiscite,” said Councillor Lynne Mulder.

Councillor Cindy Jefferies said the question on the plebiscite should not be taken lightly.

“This is a very important question. We need to have some sort of explanation.”

Administration will take some of the feedback council gave regarding the wording of the question on the plebiscite and bring it back to council for approval.

Just Posted

Women of Excellence Awards introduces ‘Women of Excellence in Construction’

Gala will take place June 19th at the Sheraton Red Deer

Check online to make sure you’re registered to vote in upcoming provincial election

Advance polls open Tuesday, April 9th to Saturday, April 13th

UPDATE: Christy Starling has been found

Red Deer RCMP thank the public for their assistance

Red Deer Legion Pipe Band celebrates National Tartan Day

The band is raising money for their trip to Scotland in 2020

Sharon and Bram head to Red Deer on final tour

The duo is celebrating their 40th anniversary farewell tour

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Montreal priest stabbed while celebrating morning mass

The incident happened Friday morning at Montreal’s St. Joseph’s Oratory

New Leger polls suggests federal Liberals lagging Conservatives

Overall, 31 per cent of respondents polled said they would vote for Justin Trudeau’s Liberals

Teen girl accused in plot to attack Kamloops school with weapons out on bail

Judge warned the girl she would be back in jail if she threatened to shoot anyone

Oil prices, Alberta election call cloud Stampede chuckwagon auction expectations

The top money bid last year came from Versatile Energy Services, Ltd.

Lacombe hosts 6th Invasive Species Council Conference at LMC

Council looks to protect native ecological environments in Alberta

Pot industry welcomes decreased edibles tax, but unhappy medical tax remains

Taxes can increase the cost of medical cannabis by as much as 25 per cent

‘It has to send a message:’ Broncos families await sentencing for truck driver

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving and apologized in court

MPs continue voting marathon as Tories protest shutdown of Wilson-Raybould motion

Multiple MPs have resigned from Trudeau’s Liberal cabinet

Most Read