You can never have too many MPs


With the Conservatives apparently hesitant to simply add MPs for Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia for fear of offending Quebec, the Mowat Centre proposes a solution.

A report from the Mowat Centre, an Ontario-issues think tank, is proposing that legislation should guarantee that Quebec’s representation in the House of Commons never falls below what its population warrants.

If the House were increased by 30 seats to bring Ontario, B.C. and Alberta closer to their fair share, Quebec would receive four seats as well, increasing the number of MPs to 342 from 308. Such a move would reflect “Quebec’s unique place in the federation,” the report states.

Something like the Mowat Centre’s proposal could, conceivably, have the support of Liberals and New Democrats. Bob Rae, who has called for an “open discussion on the question of minimums,” predicted last month the Prime Minister would ultimately put forward a compromise. Brian ToppThomas Mulcair and various other New Democrats have also generally advocated for special consideration.


You can never have too many MPs

  1. No thats unacceptable, Canada is supposed to be a democracy a land of equality among all genders, races, religions, etc… 
    Why is Quebec ALWAYS granted “special consideration” for there “unique place in the federation” 
    Because they speak French they should suddenly have more federal power and say than anyone born or immigrating to another province/territory? 
    Should the rest of the country continue to be chronically unrepresented in Ottawa just to appease Quebec? 
    So now the “solution” is to give the rest of the provinces a few extra seats (still underrepresented) but we’ll give Quebec even MORE seats just to shut them up?

    Maybe the reason Quebec’s government and their largest city is so famous for corruption is because they’ve grown up with the feds continually bribing them to appease. 

    Continuing misrepresentation is NOT the way to strengthen/save the confederation 

  2. This legislation to give Ontario, BC and Alberta more seats in the House of Commons is a good start towards establishing equity in our representative democracy, but it should go further. Every riding should have roughly the same number of electors no matter the region, province or territory, give or take a few percent. That means addressing the gross inequity that sees rural and remote Canada far better represented in the House of Commons, relatively speaking, than urban Canada. What ever happened to the fundamental principle of one person, one vote?

    • That would take a constitutional amendment and therefore will not happen in your lifetime or mine.  I think we have way more MPs than need.  About 150-160 would be plenty, distributed on strict per capita basis.  But this cannot be done while still honoring the constitutional provisions allocating seats to Quebec and the low-population Maritimes, provinces that were part of the founding jurisdictions of our country.

  3. Way to dig up Meech from its grave boys.I may be a liberal but i don’t support Rae on this, neither do i imagine a lot of westerners. Surely there has to be another way to guarantee Quebecs status in the country without giving them more seats in the commons then they are entitled too? Maybe we ought to recognise them as a nation or something? Seriously, could this not be addressed through a meaningful reform of the senate?

    • …quebec was recognized as a nation within a nation by Harper awhile ago. 

      • Sarcasm alarm on now…sorry bout that.

  4. Yes, the Senate should represent the proportional numbers in each province, that is:  ‘x’ number of senators per ‘y’ number of citizens.  There are currently 105 Senate seats, therefore each should represent 325,000 citizens out of population of just over 34,000,000.  PEI with a population of just 141,000 and the 3 northern territories (Yukon, NWT, and Nunavut) have a combined population of 110,000 should get 2 Senators (1 for PEI and 1 for the combined north).  That leaves us with 103 Senate seats representing the 33,775,000 citizens in tne ROC.  So 1 Senator should represent 328,000 citizens now. For a breakdown, that leaves us with:

    BC = 14 senate seats
    Alberta = 11 senate seats
    Saskatchewan = 3 senate seats
    Manitoba = 4 senate seats
    Ontario = 40 senate seats
    Quebec = 24 senate seats
    New Brunswick = 2 senate seats
    Nova Scotia = 3 senate seats
    PEI = 1 senate seat
    Newfoundland & Labrador = 2 senate seats
    The 3 northern territories = 1 senate seat

    That equals 105 senate seats and equals FAIR, PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION !

    We most certainly do not need more Senators feeding off of our money. If anything, boot the representation to 400,000 or 500,000 and cut some of the deadwood loose. I am tired of this unfiscally responsible government being spendthrifts on our money. Not what we expected from this group of politicos as they now seem to make the Liberals look fiscally responsible to the extreme.

    • Try reading the OP.

      Hint: It’s got absolutely nothing to do with the senate.

      • Yes, I completely was honed in on the Senate and tried to delete the post, but no such luck.  As an aside, we should scale back on Senators as well.  As for MPs, rather than add some, time to scale back to level the playing field (rather than adding yet more to nibble away at the public purse) and increase our coffers

  5. The challenge here is to recognize provincial rights in the House of Commons membership as provided in the Constitution while at the same time giving a nod to population growth in some provinces and the principle of rep by pop.  Can’t be done when only one chamber of Parliament is in play.  The US recognizes states as equal by giving two Senators to each state, no matter how large or how small, while recognizing rep by pop in the House of Representatives.  We could do something like this but it would take a huge constitutional debate and a complex agreement.  Harper could start that debate if he had the guts, but we would have to give it 10-15 years to complete the process, with no guarantees about the outcome results or timing.  Can’t be done in one or even two terms because what is at stake is not crucial to the short-term future of the country.  But no politician concerned about his “legacy” would want to start a constitutional debate that he can’t control and finish.  Certainly not Harper.

  6. Here is an idea, maybe canada should seperate from quebec, that means canada drops the 75 seats in quebec, our government becomes cheaper and we can become a true democracy, 1 person, 1 vote, with fair representation without pandering to a province that thinks because they are special they deserve more votes per person than the rest of canada. We put up borders, (after the first nations have taken the land they rightfully deserve), deny quebec the use of our currency, give them their fair share of the federal debt, then they can be as special a society as they want be all by their lonesomes.

    • Will you be speaking to the goodly folk in PEI as well?   They might not agree with your suggestion of proportional representation, which I would like to see, as PEI would just have the one Senator then.  Of course, you could suggest that the Maritimes break off from Canada too, and may as well throw in Ontario.  I kinda like all the flavours of Canada, especially the colourful culture that is Québecois.  They don’t seem quite so anally retentive as those of us in the ROC.

      • harold_k: you misunderstood my arguement, as far as i am concerned every part of canada should have the representation of 1 person 1 vote and the share of MP’s for each province should be based on population, not representation because a province with a different language thinks its a distinct society, if this were the case newfoundland should be a distinct society, nunavut and nwt should be also, and you can say the same for all parts of canada. We are as diverse as we are large. I do agree with you on the senator aspect, each province should have 2 senators. I want to keep quebec in the fold but not with special preconditions, we are all canadians and no one part of canada is more special than any others. 

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