HARPER MUST PROTECT NORTHERN ONTARIO’S VOICE: NDP MPs launch tour to preserve Northern Ontario’s share of federal electoral ridings
February 13th, 2012 - 5:11pm
New Democrat MPs from Northern Ontario are launching a three-stop tour to pressure Stephen Harper to preserve fair representation for Northern Ontario families by protecting the regions 10 seats in the House of Commons.
“Northern Ontario ridings are bigger than some European countries,” said New Democrat MP Charlie Angus. “The Conservative government is giving 15 new seats to the suburbs around Toronto. Will they at least protect Northern Ontario’s 10 ridings?”
In 2003, federal riding redistribution cost the region a seat in the House of Commons—weakening the voice of Northern Ontariofamilies. Now NDP MP Claude Gravelle (Nickel Belt) has introduced a Private Member’s Bill calling on Stephen Harper to guarantee Northern Ontario’s 10 seats if Canada’s riding boundaries are redrawn.
“Too many people in outlying areas find it very hard to visit their MP’s office,” Gravelle said. “Franco-Ontarian communities will become disenfranchised if their language and culture are swallowed up by larger ridings.”
New Democrat MPs Bruce Hyer (Thunder Bay-Superior North), John Rafferty (Thunder Bay-Rainy River), Glenn Thibeault (Sudbury) and Carol Hughes (Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing) will join Gravelle and Angus on the tour that include stops in Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay to bring attention to Gravelle’s bill.