NDP Mps Urge Northerners To Speak Up Now On Federal Riding Boundary Changes

With an April 30th deadline looming for citizens’ first submissions, Charlie Angus wants residents, municipalities and organizations to speak up now to defend Northern Ontario’s ten ridings. 

The comments we make at the beginning of this process will influence the first proposal that the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario will make for our ridings so I think it vital we be involved right from the start.” 

The six Northern Ontario New Democrat MPs have launched a “Keep the 10!” campaign after Nickel-Belt’s Claude Gravelle introduced his private member’s bill to ensure Northern Ontario at least keep its current 10 seats.  Eleven municipalities have already passed resolutions supporting the campaign. 

Our MPs and constituents already face great distances to meet one another. We don’t need larger ridings.” 

Ontario will see its ridings increase from 106 to 121, thanks to the 2011 census that reported a provincial population growth from 11,410,046 in 2001 to 12,851,821. With almost all of that growth happening in the south, the New Democrat MPs are alerting northerners to be vigilant that any “representation by population” decision respects other historic, geographic and linguistic factors. 

Angus noted the Franco-Ontarien population is a vibrant, exceptional part of the north and they need a real voice in ridings with strong francophone representation rather than be part of even larger ridings.

April 30 is the first deadline set by the Ontario Commission to involve the public to comment on riding boundaries. People can do so by email to ontario@rfed-rcf.ca, or call toll-free  to 1-855-747-7224 or write to Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission forOntario,130 King St., West, Suite 3670, P.O. Box 368,Toronto,ON,M5X 2A2. 

The Ontario Commission has said it will publish its proposal outlining the new electoral map in a few months, and public hearings will follow at various locations across the province. 

To learn more about the redistribution of Ontario's federal electoral districts, visit www.federal-redistribution.ca.