Alice Funke offers a guide to riding boundary process and some interesting background on the current fuss around Saskatchewan.
Far from the earshot or awareness of Ottawa, the last highlighted sentence set off a prairie firestorm, because of what it meant. To local Conservative Party activists in Saskatchewan it meant that party headquarters had dropped the ball on the pre-submission phase, and that from that point forward they would be fighting a rear-guard action. Fingers were pointed during a behind-closed-doors meeting for over an hour, with Ottawa bearing the brunt of the blame and resentment. Party Operations Director Jenni Byrne is said to have demanded in return that she wanted to see 8,000 submissions in the public hearing phase against the ending of the rurban seat boundaries.
… The Prime Minister asserted yesterday that 75% of interventions in the public hearing phase had opposed the rurban boundaries, but CBC Saskatchewan reporter Stefani Langenegger questioned on Twitter after her interview with Justice Mills whether those numbers were a bit of a stretch. They certainly didn’t include any of the pre-submissions from the first round of public input. The Prime Minister and party robo-calls also claimed that the old rurban boundaries represented the history and traditions of Saskatchewan representation. This is a little ironic, as when the 1966 redistribution (the first conducted under the newly independent EBRA) recommended two rurban seats each in Regina and Saskatoon, then-Conservative leader John Diefenbaker complained that they did not follow the “historical” precedent until 1966 of all-urban Regina and Saskatoon seats, proving that where you stand depends so often on where you sit.
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