Thornhill councillor to fight new city wards

‘Second chance’ may give residents back a second vote at council


Published:

Councillor Howard Shore stands at the existing western boundary of his ward

A City of Markham councillor is challenging his own city’s decision to merge Thornhill’s two existing seats at council into one for next year’s municipal elections, claiming a botched official study.

Coun. Howard Shore, who represents Thornhill’s Ward 2, appealed Markham’s new ward boundaries to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) on May 3. Faced with a surging population, Markham engaged in a Ward Boundary Review to redistribute its representation.

“On behalf of the community, taking this step wasn’t easy, but if you take a look at the implications for Thornhill, there really wasn’t too much of an option,” said Shore.

He claimed that the consultant hired to prepare a report for Markham failed to study increasing the number of city councillors. Markham’s Ward Boundary Review mandated that creating additional wards be studied, and he noted no such options were presented as alternatives.

Shore said he had consulted with his constituents prior to making the move. At least five ratepayers’ groups from both Thornhill wards supported his appeal.

“This step wasn’t easy, but there wasn’t too much of an option.”

Coun. Valerie Burke, who represents Thornhill’s Ward 1, said Shore notified her of his intent to appeal the day before it was submitted. She said that although she was disappointed with council’s boundary decision, her first question was: Who will pay “the big cost” for lawyers to represent either parties at the OMB?

Nonetheless, she sees the opportunity as a “second chance” for upset Thornhill constituents. Burke noted that Thornhill, one of Markham’s oldest communities, faces challenges uncommon to other wards, including heritage issues, outdated infrastructure and massive redevelopment.

With both councillors expected to run in Markham’s 2014 elections, they could find themselves competing for leadership of the same ward.

Markham has until a Dec. 31, 2013, deadline to finalize its new ward boundaries. No date has yet been scheduled for the OMB hearing.

Edit Module

Follow us on Twitter @PostCity for more on what to eat, where to shop and what to do in Toronto.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

You may also like...

Looking Back: The long history of fishing in Lake Ontario and the rivers of Toronto

Looking Back: The long history of fishing in Lake Ontario and the rivers of Toronto

Fishing in Toronto is alive and well and ripe for a hipster revival: think vintage gear, plaid and dungarees
Posted 18 hours ago
Overcrowded tennis courts spur city consultations, leaving young players out in the cold

Overcrowded tennis courts spur city consultations, leaving young players out in the cold

Faced with overcrowding on T.O. courts, the city has initiated consultations on its public tennis courts as well as its not-for-profit outdoor clubs, which some say leave young players out in the cold. Consultations as well as an online survey (toronto.ca/tennis) continue until Aug. 4. We asked some local racqueteers for their thoughts on the public vs. (semi) private debate
Posted 2 days ago
Thornhill girl’s seizures end with cannabidiol-rich medical marijuana oil

Thornhill girl’s seizures end with cannabidiol-rich medical marijuana oil

Gwenevere “Gwen” Repetski turned three about a week before Father’s Day and her parents are overjoyed to see their daughter crawling and laughing. She was diagnosed with epilepsy when she had her first seizure in 2012. Her father, Alexander Repetski feeds Gwen cannabidiol CBD three times a day, and she hasn’t had a seizure since the treatment began.
Posted 1 week ago
Stintz on Midtown: My other car is a bike

Stintz on Midtown: My other car is a bike

The city should start experimenting with rolling stops and find new options
Posted 1 week ago
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module