Municipalities Get More Say At DSSAB

Posted on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 01:38 AM

Some area municipalities may get more of a say at the District Social Services Board.  



Council is creating two more seats for the so-called Area 1 municipalities.  Previously, one seat represented all 6 of those communities.  

Although the City wouldn't make up half of the seats at DSSAB anymore, Councillor Iain Angus says there's no need to worry that this will lead to municipalities ganging up on the city.  

He says he's never seen representatives from a single area join together to outweigh the rest of the board, noting that even Thunder Bay's 6 seats often vote differently based on each member's ideology.  

This change would bump the number of DSSAB seats up to 14.

It was a controversial topic with some, including Northwood Councillor Shelby Ch'ng.  

Despite reassurances that the change wouldn't result in the six so-called Area 1 municipalities out-voting the city, Ch'ng isn't happy that they're getting two extra seats.  She says the Area 1 communities make up just 8.6% of the population served by the DSSAB, but the additional seats would give them 21% of the votes on the Board.  Ch'ng says it doesn't make sense to give those communities a larger voice.

Meanwhile, Current River Councillor Andrew Foulds suggests council shouldn't focus on the percentages.  He says council seemed to have lost sight of the real purpose of DSSAB: making the decisions that are best for the area's most vulnerable citizens.  

Foulds did agree with Ch'ng when it came time to vote; neither supported the motion.  Foulds says he would have been in favour of giving Area 1 a single extra seat, but feels that two wouldn't be a benefit to the Board. He adds the Board has been working well with its current number of seats and there's no need to add more. (File Photo)