General

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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