May 19th, 2024

Voters support ward system and third bridge

By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - LETHBRIDGE HERALD on October 19, 2021.

Lethbridge residents have shown overwhelming support for a ward system after voting on Monday’s municipal ballot question.
During the 2021 municipal election, Lethbridge residents were asked if they support using a Ward system to elect city councillors starting with the 2025 municipal election, and 56 per cent of the population voted yes with 14,611 votes.
This question was brought forward to identify the views of the voters regarding the city being divided into smaller geographic electoral areas (wards), which would allow them to vote from a list of candidates whom they feel will best represent their area of the city, as opposed to electing councillors for the whole city.
It is important to note that the ward system would not be used to elect the mayor, and that an election ballot question is non-binding, and the next Council can potentially further debate direction moving forward based on question results.
According to the City of Lethbridge, some of the Ward system considerations include that each Councillor is primarily focused on their ward, and their ward’s mandate and outlook. Each area and all neighbourhoods of the city have distinct representation. Ward campaigns are less expensive and take less effort since the number of people and the physical area is smaller and Electors would be required to vote in their wards (no voting anywhere) during elections. Voters will need to know what ward they live in.
Exercising the authority to adopt a new system, the boundaries of that system, and number of Councillors assigned per ward is at Council’s discretion.
Essentially, the ward system is similar to the current provincial electoral system in which each MLA represents a specific riding, according to the City of Lethbridge.
Another question on the municipal election ballot was asking voters if they agree that City Council should approve plans to construct a third bridge prior to 2030 as a municipal capital project priority? For which 60 per cent voted yes, for a total of 16,463 votes.
According to the City of Lethbridge the estimated capital cost of a third bridge would range from $175 to $200 million. This estimate is based on the assumption that construction would be completed in 2029 and operational in 2030.
The current traffic volume as of 2019 as seen on the city of Lethbridge website state the current average daily traffic (two-way volume) on highway 3 is 27,190 while on Whoop Up Drive is 45,383.
These traffic volumes are projected to be higher in 2030 with Highway 3 having 37,644, Whoop-Up Drive with 56,522 and with Chinook Trail (third bridge) with 16,644.

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I LOVE paying more taxes for something that is more of a want than a need as far as infrastructure is concerned.
Is it needed? Yes.
In the next ten years? No.

Get ready for 10% more on your yearly tax bill if this goes through. If you were worried about inflation and affordable living before….