Ontario Land Tribunal Case No. MM210008 Decision

Created on

ISSUE DATE: November 22, 2021

CASE NO.: MM210008

PROCEEDING COMMENCED UNDER subsection 222(4) of the Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c. 25, as amended

Appellant: Tony McQuail

Subject: By-law No. 89-2020 (Ward Boundary) to dissolve existing wards

Municipality: Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh MM210008

OLT Case Name: McQuail v. Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh (Township)

Heard: September 29 and October 1, 2021 by video hearing

Issues, Analysis and Findings 

1. whether the Township’s decision-making process when passing the By-law was fair and reasonable in the circumstances; and

  • Section 222(1) of the Municipal Act provides municipalities with the authority to enact by-laws to divide or subdivide into wards or to dissolve existing wards. The Municipal Act does not require a specific process or public notice before such a by-law is passed.
  • ... there must be very clear and compelling reasons for the Tribunal to interfere with a municipality’s decision of this nature and the process leading up to it. The Tribunal finds that, in the present case, the Appellant failed to provide such evidence or reasons.

2. whether the By-law achieves more effective representation.

  • In the present case, the Tribunal finds that through the dissolution of the ward structure, the By-law provides for more effective representation by increasing voter parity across the Township with an at-large system. Under the existing system, the voters in Wawanosh have an advantage with less than half the population of either of the other wards but the same number of councillors. 
  • The Tribunal finds that the By-law effectively addresses the existing lack of voter parity in the Township and there are no clear and compelling reasons to interfere with Council’s decision. The Tribunal notes that voter preference is not a factor to be considered by it in making its decision.
  • The Tribunal finds that the By-law will improve voter parity and increase effective representation in the Township and that it is fair and reasonable.

Decision

The Tribunal orders that the appeal is dismissed and By-law No. 89-2020 dissolving the Municipality’s ward boundaries is affirmed.

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