A consultant helped the City with:

  • Research
  • Public consultation
  • Options
  • A final report and recommendation

This consultant was Dr. Robert Williams, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Waterloo.

Robert J. Williams was a faculty member in the Department of Political Science, University of Waterloo, from 1971 until he took early retirement at the end of 2006. He completed a B.A. and M.A. at McMaster University and a Ph.D. in Political Science at the University of Toronto. He presently holds the designation Professor Emeritus. Throughout his career, his research and teaching interests have included municipal government, Ontario and Canadian politics and electoral systems.

He has served as an expert witness at numerous Ontario Municipal Board hearings on electoral systems and ward boundaries, beginning in the late 1980s and continuing until 2010. He appeared as both a consultant and volunteer at those hearings. He has also provided advice and support for successful ward boundary reviews to municipal clerks in Waterloo Region and was a member of a joint staff-citizen advisory committee that designed the ward system implemented in the City of Waterloo for the 2006 municipal election and in the late 1990s assisted a staff committee that examined possible modifications to the way Kitchener's Regional Councillors would be elected.

In 2005 he was retained by the City of Cambridge to assist its Ward Boundary Task Force and developed – in consultation with staff and the councillors appointed to the Task Force – a report that reviewed appropriate criteria for a new ward system (including design principles), an evaluation of alternative ward models and some assessment of specific ward proposals. In early 2008, he was awarded a contract to conduct a ward boundary review for the City of Kitchener; this process culminated in a recommendation accepted unanimously by Council. Subsequently, he was retained in 2009 by the Town of Milton, the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, the Town of New Tecumseth and the City of Windsor to conduct ward boundary reviews and served in an advisory capacity to the Clerk in the Town of Ajax on that municipality’s review. Dr. Williams also worked in collaboration with Watson and Associates on a ward boundary review in the Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury and the Town of Gravenhurst. He also appeared in 2009 and 2010 as an expert witness before the Ontario Municipal Board on behalf of petitioners in the Town of Kearney, the City of Vaughan and the Town of East Gwillimbury on matters pertaining to the electoral arrangements in those municipalities.

In 2011 he prepared a report for the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board providing recommendations as to the optimal number or range of numbers of councillors for each of Halifax and Cape Breton Regional Councils. In 2011 – 2012 Dr. Williams conducted a ward boundary review for the Town of Oakville.

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