Thunder Bay council debates ward system

Voters heading to the ballot box in Thunder Bay in 2014 will still be able vote for ward and at-large councillors.

Voters heading to the ballot box in Thunder Bay in 2014 will not have a plebiscite question asking them about the composition of city council. 

Council members decided to not ask voters if they were interested in changing from a ward system to an at-large system at their meeting Monday night.

Councillor Brian McKinnon summed up the comments of many on council:

"I come down to the point of, if it's not broken, why fix it?”

Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs says he still wants to eventually see a council with fewer members.

But Mayor Keith Hobbs said he still wants to eventually see a council with fewer members.

"Eventually, reducing council and seriously looking at this, or having full time councillors. That's an option as well,” he said. “There are a lot of options that I think we could explore."

Hobbs said council needs to have a better idea on what changes to make to become more efficient, before putting the options to a plebiscite.

Many ward councillors, including Trevor Giertuga, said those with at-large seats are not aware of many localized problems.

"And I would just question, if we didn't have the ward councillors, who would be accountable to bring forward these issues? Who would have the intimate knowledge of those specific communities?"

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