Voting strength in regional districts
The number of directors on a regional district board and the voting strength of each director are based on population and the voting unit in the regional district's letters patent.
The purpose of voting strength in regional districts is to ensure balanced representation and voting that reflects the relative strength of interest that a jurisdiction has in the matter being voted on.
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The number of votes (voting strength) to which each municipality, electoral area or Treaty First Nation is entitled for the purposes of weighted voting is determined by dividing the population figure by the voting unit number specified in the letters patent (constituting document) of the regional district. Traditionally, the voting unit approximates the smallest municipal population in the regional district.
Weighted voting is used by regional district boards for financial decisions and decisions about the administration and operation of services.
For example, if a regional district has a voting unit of 2,500 persons, each director of the regional district receives one vote for every 2,500 persons in their jurisdiction. In that regional district with the 2,500 person voting unit, a director whose jurisdiction has 12,500 persons would receive five votes in all weighted vote situations (12,500 ÷ 2,500 = 5).
The number of directors that each municipality is entitled to have on the regional district board is determined by dividing the number of voting units to which that municipality is entitled by five, or by a different number specified in the regional district's letters patent. The voting units must be evenly divided between the municipal directors in that jurisdiction.
For example, in a regional district that has a voting unit of 2,500 persons, a member municipality that has a population of 25,000 would be entitled to two directors on the regional district board using the standard division by five (for example, 25,000 ÷ 2,500 = 10; 10 ÷ 5 = 2).
Each electoral area in the regional district is only entitled to one directly elected board member, regardless of population size.
The minister responsible for the Community Charter is responsible for determining population figures for an area if those are not determined by census--for example, if the boundary of a municipality is extended to take in a portion of an electoral area in the years between federal censuses. These population figures are only used to determine voting strength and director representation on the regional district board.
Populations calculated based on the census figures are published by the Ministry of Municipal Affairs effective November 1, 2017. They include people residing on Indian Reserves, and boundary revisions to December 31, 2016.