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Niagara Falls
Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Letter: Anti-ward argument shows why wards are needed
Richard Harley’s editorial “Short-term rentals: Part 2: Too much industry influence,” won first place for best local editorial in all of Canada in 2021. Harley was awarded second place in the Outstanding Reporter Initiative category for 2020, for his series of stories on how COVID-19 travel restrictions affected farms and seasonal workers. File
Your correspondent John Buchanan’s Sept. 1 diatribe against the “absurd” proposal to implement a ward system for NOTL council elections is useful, but not in the way he intended.
He has in fact demonstrated precisely why such a system is long overdue for our town.
Mr. Buchanan suggests a ward system is impractical because St. Davids and Queenston have “small populations” compared to other areas on NOTL.
I am tempted to ask how long it has been since he actually visited St. Davids. In the 10 years I have lived in NOTL, the population of St. Davids has exploded.
The last vestiges of its small village feel have been almost totally blotted out.
NOTL council has seen fit to direct all manner of development there so as to, how shall I put this, avoid controversies in Old Town.
It’s hard to imagine this would have happened if the residents of St. Davids had had proper representation on council, which a ward system would provide.
Mr. Buchanan argues that the present system allows a candidate from those areas to put their name forward for election. Indeed it does.
But what chance does a candidate focusing on St. Davids issues have of being elected, given the preponderance of Old Town voters in the electorate?
Well, we may be about to find out. I see that a woman from St. Davids will be running in next month’s election, with a focus on that area’s needs.
She will have my vote – and I don’t even live in St. Davids.
James Webber

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