Updated municipal electoral map: new district for Aylmer
For the next municipal election, the Aylmer sector of the Ville de Gatineau will be represented by four councillors instead of three, as the city’s municipal council has officially adopted its new electoral map – adding a 19th district to the fold.
According to a press release issued by the city on March 17, the decision was made in response to the recent growth in population, with election season less than two years away.
A 16-page report about the division of Gatineau’s territory into 19 districts noted that district 5, as it’s planned, will represent 10,475 voters.
The new district will be identified as number 5. Districts 1 through 4 – Aylmer, Lucerne, Deschênes and Plateau – will keep their numbers. The current district 5 – Manoir-des-Trembles-Val-Tétreau – will move to number 6 and the rest will follow suit. The city’s Comité de toponymie will recommend a name for the new district in the foreseeable future.
The decision adhered to the Loi sur les élections et les référendums dans les municipalités (LERM), which mandates that municipalities with between 250,000 and 500,000 need to have at least 18 districts and a maximum of 36.
All district delimitations must include a number of voters that isn’t fewer or more than 15 per cent factoring the number of voters in the city over the number of districts. In Gatineau, districts must feature between 9,421 and 12,747 voters. Gatineau’s population currently stands at 287,755 residents and 199,514 voters.
Speaking with the Bulletin, Deschênes Councillor Mike Duggan and Lucerne Councillor Gilles Chagnon agreed that it would be favourable for the Aylmer sector if seat number 5 is represented by a like-minded, independent candidate. Chagnon specified that the most important thing is that all four councillors in the west work together.
Duggan clarified that while the decision to change the electoral map has been made, the official map won’t be adopted until later in the year. He added that the population is invited to communicate concerns about the electoral map and changes they would like to see.
“It would have to be something interesting for us to consider a change,” he said. “But changes are possible. They can contact any elected officials or they can send a message to the city clerk to say that they contest it.” 500 people need to register their opposition for it to be put to referendum.
Duggan said he intends to keep close tabs on the Comité de toponymie’s meetings and to participate as much as possible, considering that district 5 will take up a large chunk of his district’s votership.