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Final report proposes reduction of northern federal seats

If the Federal Boundaries Commission on riding redistribution passes as is, Northern Ontario will lose a seat in the House of Commons. 

The final report for the province has been tabled and while there are some changes to the initial northern proposals, there are still only nine ridings included. 

That’s down from the current ten. 

Timmins-James Bay MP Charlie Angus took to social media saying the commission ignored the calls of business groups, communities and First Nations from across Northern Ontario.

“They claim Northern Ontario is overrepresented because we aren’t growing as fast as the urban south,” writes Angus.” They cut a riding from the north and gave it to the south.”

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The commission writes the Census population data and the mandate respecting voter parity revealed the potential for a reduction of two electoral districts in Northern Ontario. 

“Our Commission considered this possibility but decided to propose a reduction of one district,” states the report. “Our Commission acknowledged that most of the eight non-extraordinary districts in Northern Ontario have significant deviations from the Quota. However, we concluded that any further reduction in the number of districts in the North would imperil the principle of effective representation in this part of the province, considering its widely dispersed population and communities of interest.”

The commission also says with Ontario allocated one additional seat in the current redistribution, halting the further decline of the number of seats in the north will likely require legislative action. 

When looking at the riding of Nipissing-Timiskaming, the final report does not include the Municipality of West Nipissing, as initially proposed. 

The community would be a part of the newly drawn Manitoulin-Nickel Belt riding.  

The north end of Nipissing-Timiskmaing would be further extended from Temiskaming Shores to north of Englehart and west of Elk Lake. 

The commission says the report, which was sent to the Speaker of the House through the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, will now be reviewed by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.


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