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Weighing in on the future of city council

The public deputation session will begin at 4:30 p.m. at city hall.
Exterior photo of Thunder Bay city hall on Tuesday, March 5, 2024

THUNDER BAY – The council composition committee is set to hear further public feedback regarding the size and scope of future councils.

Deputations will be heard on March 14 including from Shane Judge, who will implore the committee to eliminate ward councillors and replace it with a system of at-large councillors.

“This model will allow for a smaller and more efficient city council that can turn its attention to also making city administration smaller and more efficient,” Judge wrote in an email on March 7.

“Voters only get to cast a ballot for about half of the people sitting on council. Some councillors are elected with as few as a couple of thousand votes. Ward councillors have the same decision-making power as a councillor elected by people from all across the city.”

“I urge the committee to take a hard look at the kinds of decisions councillors make on a weekly and monthly basis. Are they decisions relating to wards or are they decisions that affect the city as a whole?”

The committee received 659 responses as part of the initial public survey, which included specific themes that emerged from the respondents.

Changing the size of council and altering the remuneration for members of council emerged as the stronger themes from the survey.


  • Nearly 75 per cent of respondents felt that having 13 councillors around the table was not appropriate, did not provide value or represent the city well
  • About 53.6 per cent of respondents saw the value in having a ward system in Thunder Bay
  • 83 per cent of respondents felt that a ward boundary review should be completed
  • 61 per cent of respondents felt the $31,552 base pay plus a car allowance of $2,750 is fair compensation for the work performed by a councillor

Other presenters will include Iain Angus and Cory Bagdon.

Angus is set to present his proposal to retain the existing model of ward and at-large councillors while Bagdon will pitch a 10-ward model that would get rid of any at-large members.

The public deputation session will begin at 4:30 p.m. at city hall

A final report from the committee on the composition of council is slated for completion in advance of the 2026 municipal election.


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