Survey: Should Thompson Have Fewer Councillors Next Term?

Last night, Thompson’s city council read for the first time a new Composition of Council By-Law: if passed, the amendment would reduce the number of councillors from eight councillors and a mayor to six councillors and a mayor.

Before the by-law proceeds to it’s second reading, council is looking for your input: do you want to keep the number of councillors the same, or reduce the number of councillors from eight to six? Vote in the poll below before Thursday, March 24, 2022 at 11:45pm. You can also fill out the survey in-person at City Hall. It’s very short!

Thompson Council Composition Survey

How do council sizes in other cities stack up?

Below you can see how other cities in Manitoba compare in their population against their council composition.

Councillors in Brandon and Winnipeg work full time, and each councillor represents a ward, or a specific region in the city to whom they are responsible, much like provincial or federal officials.

In Manitoba’s smaller cities, like Thompson, councillors are part-time, and share the duty of representing the city as a whole.

Population is not the only thing that influences a council size. Every community is different: the population, the organization of committees, and the expectations of the community all affect how many councillors are needed to fulfill their roles.

CityPopulationCouncillors (Exc. Mayor)Wards
Brandon51, 31310Yes
Portage La Prairie13, 2706No
Steinbach17, 8066No
Thompson13, 0358No
Winkler13, 7457No
Dauphin8, 3686No
Flin Flon4, 9406No
Morden9, 9296No
Selkirk10, 5046No
Winnipeg749, 60715Yes
Table Comparing Council Sizes to Populations in Manitoba

What Do Councillors Do?

Section 82 of Manitoba’s Municipal Act succinctly describes council as responsible for:

(a) for developing and evaluating the policies and programs of the municipality;

(b) for ensuring that the powers, duties and functions of the municipality are appropriately carried out; and

(c) for carrying out the powers, duties and functions expressly given to the council under this or any other Act.

§82, C.C.S.M c. M225 The Municipal Act

The Council Members Guide, published each council term by the Province of Manitoba and the Association of Manitoba Municipalities builds on these responsibilities:

Decision-making – Council is responsible for making fair and transparent decisions based on relevant information, discussion and a majority vote.

Governance – Council is responsible for passing the local bylaws that govern people and their municipality on a wide range of topics, from animal control to zoning.

Representation – Council is democratically elected. As representatives of the community, council members are responsible to listen to and engage with the public, and consider the best interests of the whole municipality.

Stewardship – Council is responsible for the supervision and care of the municipality’s resources. This means making sure that infrastructure, money and staff are used properly and effectively. This also means planning strategically for the challenges and opportunities of the future.

p. 25, 2018 Council Member’s Guide: Once Elected, What’s Expected?

City of Thompson and IAFF reach new 3-year contract for 2022-2024

The City of Thompson and its Union partner, the International Association of Fire Fighters Local 2200 (IAFF), have ratified a new 3-year contract for Thompson Fire and Emergency Services employees, effective January 1, 2022 to December 31, 2024.

The new agreement approves a 2.5% annual wage increase in all three years of the contract, and includes an annual reimbursement of $200 per year towards licensure fees with the new College of Paramedics of Manitoba. One-time labour market wage rate adjustments for the positions of Captain, Senior Communications Officer, and Senior Alarm Room Attendant classifications were also included.

IAFF Local 2200 includes 29 Thompson Fire and Emergency Services personnel, in roles Fire Fighters/Paramedics, Communications, and Alarm Room roles.

“We want to thank IAFF for reaching a negotiated settlement with the City of Thompson. We look forward to continuing to work together with the Fire and Emergency services, and continuing to deliver highly qualified and professional emergency services to the residents of Thompson,“ said Mayor Colleen Smook.

Mayor and Council Approve 2020-2023 Contract With Steelworkers Local 8223

The City of Thompson and its Union partner, United Steelworkers Local 8223, have ratified a new 4-year contract for City of Thompson union employees, effective March 1, 2020 to February 28, 2024.

The new agreement approves a 0.75% annual wage increase for 2021 and 2022, and a 1.0% wage increase in 2023. The agreement also designates National Indigenous People’s Day as a statutory holiday for Union employees. It also includes minor language updates and the amalgamation of previously negotiated contracts agreed upon in 2020.

USW Local 8223 includes nearly 100 municipal employees across a variety of fields and departments, including recreation, public safety, public works and city planning.

“We want to thank USW for another year of negotiations in good faith and collaboration. We’ll continue to work together to find new ways to improve the services we offer to our residents,” said Mayor Colleen Smook. “We’re also proud to declare National Indigenous Peoples Day a stat holiday for our union partners, and we hope, in doing so, we’ll set an example for municipalities and businesses across Canada.”