Hastings Highlands will now have to wait for an OMB decision about whether or not it was allowed to change the way residents vote.
The Ontario Municipal Board’s two-day hearing has now wrapped it. It was held on Tuesday and Wednesday, and focused on whether or not Hastings Highlands Council had the right to change the municipal electoral system.
After being petitioned by some residents, council decided to replace the ward system with municipality-wide elections to address inequalities in council representation. Other residents chose to appeal the decision to the OMB, siting concerns municipality-wide elections would not provide enough representation for everyone in Hastings Highlands.
After hearing from both sides, the OMB will have to reach a decision. The board says its policy is to make decisions within two months; however, there is no firm deadline. If a decision isn’t reached before the end of the year, Hastings Highlands will have to use the ward system during the next municipal election.