House of Commons seat plan update penalizes Ontario, B.C.

Fast-growing urban areas to receive fewer new seats, Quebec to remain proportional


Ontario and B.C. will get fewer new seats than the Harper government originally promised, according to the Conservatives’ latest plan to redraw regional representation in the House of Commons. The move, meant to address growing populations in B.C., Ontario, Quebec and Alberta, adds seats in all of those provinces. Compared to an earlier plan, though, B.C will receive five rather than seven new seats, while Ontario will get 13, down from the 18 it was originally promised. The Tory stronghold of Alberta will receive six new seats, and two more will go to Quebec, which had argued its representation was disproportionately low compared to English Canada in the Conservative’s original redesign. All new ridings will be drawn up by independent commissions. However, the Globe and Mail noted on Wednesday that the Conservatives stand to gain the most based on voter tendencies in the largest ridings of those four provinces. The plan has also drawn criticism from Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, who accused the government on Tuesday of “gerrymandering” her B.C. riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands.

The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Vancouver Sun

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House of Commons seat plan update penalizes Ontario, B.C.

  1. I guess if they gave us the right amount of new seats all at once, they’d have nothing to promise next election…

  2. Giving ANY more seats to Quebec puts the federal conservatives in the same dangerous place that Mulroney was in when he took the aircraft maintenance from Winnepeg and gave it to Quebec.
     It is totally transparent pandering and not acceptable to Western Canada.
    Watch out Mr Harper!!

  3. So let me get this right… Quebec has a pop of 7.9 million (2010 Statscan figure) and will have 77 seats, while BC + Alberta have 8.2 million (2010 Statscan figure) and will have 75 seats?

    If this wasn’t bad enough… According to Statscan, when the next election rolls around in 2015, BC +   Alberta will have a combined pop of 1 million more people than Quebec!

    Can you spell Reform Party II?

    • When did BC and Alberta amalgamate into one province?

      • What difference does that make?  We have 8.2 million people being represented by less MPs than 7.9 million… At the next election it would actually be 9.1 million people being represented by 75 MPs and 8.2 million by 77 MPs.  Doesn’t matter if they are in 1 province or 5 provinces… House of Commons is rep by pop, not rep by whine.

        • Since when does Steve Harper ever look at statistics?

        • It means you don’t have the population yourself, and you can’t just ‘borrow’ another province. to suit you.

          We’ve never had rep by pop, and the biggest whiners in the country are Albertans…and they have no cause.

  4. Penalized compared to what?  

    The 2011 census data shows that the revised proposal will result is slightly less under representation by B.C., Alberta and Ontario.  The new data shows that we average about 112 thousand people per each of the 308 ridings in Canada.  The current distribution of ridings shows that Ontario is under represented by 13 ridings, Alberta by 6 and B.C. by 5.  If we were to approximate representation by population we would take ridings away from provinces like Saskatchewan, Quebec and PEI who are over-represented by 4, 4 and 3 ridings respectively while the other provinces and territories make up for the 11 ridings that would have to be moved to higher population growth ridings.  Lack of political will in the case of Saskatchewan and Quebec will not allow us to remove seats while pesky inconveniences like the constitution protects over representation of other jurisdictions.The 334 seat proposal would result in one riding for every 103 thousand people.  In this scenario BC, Alberta and Ontario remain under represented by  3, 3 and 11 seats respectively.  Quebec’s representation will be almost right on while all other provinces will remain over represented.  Saskatchewan, PEI, Manitoba and the other Atlantic provinces are the most over represented.

    As usual we end up with a bad Canadian compromise.

  5. It’s clear that Harper is punishing those provinces who have elected Liberal governments, hence what the HST debacle was really about. I wish he would leave his stupid political warfare and thirst for more power aside and start putting the people’s interests first. Let’s face it, the only way we’ll have a fair system is with proportional representation.

  6. “All new ridings will be drawn up by independent commissions”.

    There are no such thing as independent commissions when it comes to His Royal Highness.

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