Ward population map

(Sources: City Of Fredericton, Elections New Brunswick)

Fredericton city council is looking for three eminent citizens to help redraw the city's electoral ward boundaries.

Coun. Stephen Chase said the recent redrawing of federal and provincial electoral boundaries showed it could be a tough job.

"I think it's important that you have three highly-respected people that are able to look at all the factors and bring forth recommendations that people are going to agree with," he said.

"They may not necessarily like it, but they've done the best they can to reflect the communities in the city and achieve an electoral balance."

The panel's recommendations would still have to be approved by council, said Chase.

All 12 councillors agreed earlier this year the boundaries need to be changed.

The main problem with the existing wards is a size imbalance, said Chase.

It's been 31 years since the wards were last redrawn and a number of them are now considerably larger than others, he said.

For example, one ward has more than 7,600 people, while another has just under 2,000.

Chase does not think moving to an at-large system is necessary because the ward system is working well.

Fredericton has used a 12-ward system since it was amalgamated in 1973.

Anyone interested in being a member of the panel should contact the city clerk, said Chase.