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HOUSE OF COMMONS
OTTAWA, CANADA
K1A 0A6




 

 

The Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs has the honour to present its

 

FORTY-SECOND REPORT

 

 

1.            Pursuant to the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. E-3, as amended, the Committee has considered the matter of the objections to the Report of the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario, 2003.

 

2.            After each decennial census an electoral boundaries commission is established for each province.  The Chief Electoral Officer calculates the number of Members of the House of Commons assigned to each province according to the provisions of section 51 of the Constitution Act, 1867.  Following advertisements and representations from interested persons, each commission prepares a report on the division of the province into electoral districts based on population and corresponding as closely as reasonably possible to the quotient of Members per population for that province.

 

3.            In its considerations, each commission is to take into account the community of interest or community of identity or the historical pattern of an electoral district in the province, as well as what constitutes a manageable geographic size in cases of sparsely populated, rural or northern regions.  The commission may depart by a variance of up to plus or minus 25% of the quotient in order to accommodate such circumstances.

 

4.            Each commission’s report is forwarded to the Chief Electoral Officer, who in turn sends it to the Speaker of the House of Commons, who tables the report in the House.  The report is referred to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.

 

5.            In accordance with the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act, after each commission report has been tabled in the House of Commons, Members of the House of Commons have 30 calendar days in which to file objections to the proposals contained in each report.  The Act requires that objections must be in the form of a motion, in writing, specify the provisions of the report objected to and the reasons for the objection, and must be signed by not less than 10 Members of the House.

 

6.            If objections are filed, the Committee has 30 sitting days, or such longer period of time as may be approved by the House of Commons, to consider the objections.  Following this, the commission report, the objections, and the minutes of proceedings and evidence are returned to the Speaker, who transmits them to the Chief Electoral Officer.  The Chief Electoral Officer returns the material to the relevant electoral boundaries commission, which has 30 days in which to dispose of the objections.  The commission then finalizes its report.

 

7.            Once all the commission reports have been finalized, the Chief Electoral Officer prepares a draft representation order setting out the boundaries and names of the new electoral districts.  This is sent to the Governor in Council, who must proclaim it within five days.  No changes can be made by the Chief Electoral Officer or the Government.  The representation order comes into effect one year after it is proclaimed, and is in force for any federal general election called after that date.

 

8.            The Report of the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario, 2003 was tabled in the House of Commons on March 26, 2003. By the end of the 30-day period, the Clerk of the Committee had received 29 objections.  The Subcommittee on Electoral Boundaries Readjustment of the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs was appointed to consider these objections.  This report contains the comments and recommendations of the Subcommittee, as adopted by the Committee, on the proposed changes for the Province of Ontario contained in the Report of the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario, 2003.

 

General Comments

 

9.            Ontario provided particular difficulties to the Committee with regard to the issue of equity between urban and rural voters.  On both sides of this debate, Members of Parliament communicated their frustration — and the frustration of their constituents — with a one-size-fits-all quotient for Ontario.  The cause is simple to understand: there is rapid urban growth in southern Ontario in conjunction with a declining population in northern Ontario.

 

10.        In southern Ontario, some Members of Parliament expressed concern that by the time redistribution is in place in a year from now, the new boundaries could already be out of date and their ridings could well exceed a tolerable variance from the quotient.  Other Members, from the Niagara peninsula through to Oshawa, were perturbed by the ripple effect of urban growth around Toronto on the boundaries of urban and mixed urban-rural ridings — ridings that historically comprise stable communities of interest.  Ridings in the 905 and 416 telephone-code areas that have remained essentially stable for considerable time are being substantially altered, often to accommodate changes in electoral districts that are not immediately adjacent.

 

11.        The growth in southern Ontario exacerbates northern Ontario’s pressing concerns about the continuing trend of a loss in relative representation.  The Committee recognizes that the Commission faced a difficult task in holding representation in northern Ontario to ten Members of Parliament, down one from the current eleven.  This was managed through a controversial and significant exception of 43.73% below the provincial quotient for the riding of Kenora, which allowed the other northern ridings to remain within the statutory, maximum allowed variance of ±25%.  Northern Ontario, regardless of its population, however, is too significant a part of the social fabric and the economic wealth of the province to have its representation too far diminished.

 

12.        To the Committee, it seems that rural Ontario — and rural Canada as a whole — is unjustifiably caught by the ripple effects of rapid change in urban ridings.  It often appears that rural ridings comprise large regions cobbled together as an afterthought, to make up the numbers, perhaps in some cases with little regard to continuity of representation from one readjustment to the next over the course of two or three electoral boundary readjustments.  Moreover, inner urban ridings seem also to have been bent out of shape by rapid growth in the suburbs.  Dense urban ridings with strong historical roots have experienced little change, but are being redrawn as a result of changes elsewhere.

 

13.        In considering the testimony put forward during hearings on Ontario and on electoral redistribution across Canada, the Committee feels that the diversity of ridings in Ontario between north and south can no longer be accommodated by a one-size-fits-all quotient.  The Committee plans to present a report containing suggestions for the next decennial round of electoral distribution.  In that report, we will attempt to suggest solutions for this problem, possibly through recommending a legislative change that would mandate the calculation of two different quotients:  one for northern Ontario and one for southern Ontario.  This would recognize that Ontario, unlike the other provinces, has a number of diverse northern ridings, most very large, some sparsely populated, some containing numerous communities, and yet some similar in size and composition to the urban ridings of southern Ontario.  It would also recognize that Ontario also contains, at the same time, the largest, and perhaps the most demographically dynamic, urban agglomeration in Canada — the “Golden Horseshoe” that now stretches contiguously from Oshawa, through Greater Toronto and its northern environs, and through to Niagara Falls.

 

14.        Regardless of what solutions are adopted, the Committee feels that it should refer to the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario, and future commissions, the advice given the Committee by Mr. Peter Adams, M.P., during his testimony.  Mr. Adams suggested that once urban ridings have been adjusted, the Commission should search to identify natural ridings, and only once those are established should other ridings be drawn to make up the difference.  This advice, the Committee feels, holds true, as well, for those downtown urban ridings that also have historical and naturally identifiable communities and which have remained remarkably constant in their character over time.  The Committee realizes the difficulties the Commission faces in accommodating community wishes while meeting their legislative mandate.  Nevertheless, it believes this basic principle is a fundamental starting place for achieving the best possible solutions.

 

15.        As a final comment, the Committee recognizes that the legislation governing the current redistribution process needs to be changed.  Consistently, the Subcommittee heard one complaint in particular (and not just in Ontario):  substantial changes — some would say radical changes — occur after the public hearings.  As consultation is objection-based, those who are comfortable with the original proposals on which the hearings are conducted, do not appear before the Commission to register their complaints (they have few or none) or even to share their ideas.  Once the final proposal is made, and where it is substantially different, people become frustrated because there are no means provided to directly address the Commission afterwards.  We hope that the Commission reflects upon this when considering this report and the objections and

 

16.        The Committee realizes the current flaw in the statute leaves everyone in the process — from Commissioners to Parliamentarians to Elections Canada — locked in with regard to how boundary readjustments are currently handled.  It appears to us that the process would be considerably improved if electoral boundaries commissions were mandated to conduct a second round of public consultations in those cases where significant changes were made following the first round of public input.  We plan to make a recommendation to this effect in a future report to the House of Commons on the procedures for electoral boundaries readjustment.

 

Eastern Ontario

 

(a)         Peterborough

 

17.        Mr. Peter Adams, Member of Parliament for Peterborough, filed an objection to the Commission’s decision to transfer North Monaghan from the riding of Peterborough to the riding of Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock.  Mr. Adams proposes to have all of the Township of Cavan-Millbrook-North Monaghan placed in the riding of Peterborough.

 

18.        According to Mr. Adams, the community of interest for residents of North Monaghan is with Peterborough.  Regardless of which riding residents of the area are placed in, it is the Member of Parliament for Peterborough who is, and historically has been, their natural contact point for constituency matters.  Mr. Adams noted that in the previous redistribution, a similar adjustment was made to the northern section of his riding and yet he still serves, and is happy to serve, people from the neighbouring riding who think of the Member of Parliament for Peterborough as their representative.  This has led to voter confusion at election time.  Mr. Adams believes this will happen with the residents of North Monaghan should the current proposal become fact.

 

19.        It appears to the Committee that North Monaghan was moved to Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock to keep the entire township intact in one riding.  Mr. Adams agrees with and commends that aspect of the decision — he made representation himself to the Commission hearings that the township be intact.  However, he believes it should be intact within Peterborough.  Mr. Adams stated that he believes the M.P for the neighbouring riding of Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock supports this objection.

 

20.        According to numbers available from Elections Canada, the Commission proposal has Peterborough at 3.01% above the provincial quotient and Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock at 3.44% over the quotient.  The transfer of Cavan—Millbrook—North Monaghan to Peterborough would place Peterborough at a variance of +10% and Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock at a variance of -4%.  Given the relative sizes of the ridings, and in particular given that Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock is a large, rural riding with many lakes, small communities and a Laurentian Shield geography that necessitates driving many roundabout routes, the Committee finds these variances in distribution equitable.

 

21.        The Committee agrees with Mr. Adam’s objection and recommends that the Commission place the Township of Cavan—Millbrook—North Monaghan in the electoral district of Peterborough.

 

(b)         Carleton-Lanark, Nepean-Carleton and Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington

 

22.        Mr. Scott Reid, Member of Parliament for Lanark-Carleton, filed an objection to the proposed boundaries of the ridings of Carleton-Lanark and Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington.

 

23.        Mr. Reid proposes to move the Township of Rideau from the riding of Nepean-Carleton into the riding of Carleton-Lanark; to move the Township of Mississippi Mills from Carleton-Lanark into the riding of Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington; and to move the Township of South Frontenac from Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington into the riding of Leeds-Grenville.  Mr. Reid stated before the Subcommittee that his proposal has the agreement of the Members involved and presents a more equitable solution.  It also brings all ridings for this part of eastern Ontario closer to the provincial quotient than the Commission’s proposal does.

 

24.        According to Mr. Reid, the Township of Rideau forms a community of interest with Carleton-Lanark.  The towns of Richmond and Goulbourn are part of the service area for the region of West Carleton.  Manotick, nearby, is different, forming a small, dense bedroom community for Ottawa, and should be excluded from consideration.

 

25.        Meanwhile, the Township of Mississippi Mills has strenuously protested being placed within Carleton-Lanark.  It feels it does not belong to, and should not be attached to, an Ottawa-focused riding.  Mr. Reid informed the Subcommittee that the town council had voted in May to request that it be moved out of Carleton-Lanark and into the same riding as the rest of Lanark County.  He presented the results of a scientific poll of 452 residents of Mississippi Mills, also conducted in May, which shows that over 90% would prefer to be in the same riding as the rest of Lanark County, rather than with Ottawa.  Mr. Reid also drew to the Subcommittee’s attention that over 3,000 postcards (1,031 of which came from Mississippi Mills) had been mailed to the Speaker by residents of the county who were opposed to the proposed boundaries.

 

26.        Placing South Frontenac in Leeds-Grenville meets with the Commission's original proposal.  In his appearance before the Subcommittee, Mr. Reid read from a recent newspaper article in which the mayor of South Frontenac expressed considerable dissatisfaction at the inclusion of his township in Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington.  He suggested that South Frontenac's most natural community of interest lies with Kingston, but the population numbers make southward attachment impossible.  However, South Frontenac also shares a community of interest with the Rideau Lakes portion of Leeds-Grenville, based on the local economies of tourism and farming, as well as a shared commonality along the Rideau Canal system.  Mr. Reid indicated that Mr. Joe Jordan, the Member of Parliament for Leeds-Grenville, concurs in this.

 

27.        According to Mr. Reid and numbers available from Elections Canada, his proposals would result in the following variances:

 

·              Carleton-Lanark:                                     +0.64%

·              Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington:         +0.61%

·              Leeds-Grenville:                                  +5.04%

·              Nepean-Carleton:                                  –3.43%

 

28.        Should the Commission accept Mr. Manley’s objection regarding the riding of Ottawa South (see below) as well, Nepean-Carleton’s variance would fall to –6%.  Given the rapid growth projected for Nepean-Carleton, the Committee feels that even 6% below variance is more than acceptable for Nepean-Carleton.

 

29.        The Committee agrees with Mr. Reid’s objection and strongly urges the Commission to accept his proposals.  We note Mr. Reid’s proposal has the agreement of all the Members concerned.  Furthermore, we commend Mr. Reid for the effort and detail he has put into this solution, which is set out in his objection.

 

(c)     Ottawa South

 

30.        The Hon. John Manley, P.C., Member of Parliament for Ottawa South, filed an objection to the proposed boundaries of the electoral district of Ottawa South, based on a community of interest.

 

31.        Mr. Manley’s objection is against the removal of the area to the immediate south of Hunt Club Road, west of Airport Parkway, from Ottawa South.  Mr. Manley has represented these residents continually since 1988.  There are only a small number of electoral polls involved; most of the area is non-residential, being occupied by the Ottawa International Airport.  However, these neighbourhoods have strong economic and social links to the Hunt Club area, rather than with the largely rural and more disconnected bedroom communities to the south.

 

32.        These residents also share schools and places of worship with their neighbours to the immediate north.  They shop and work in Ottawa or Hunt Club and are connected to Hunt Club through public transport.  According to Mr. Manley, many are connected by work to the airport.  By contrast, this area is not connected by public transport with the region to the immediate south;  residents to the south attend different schools, different churches, receive different community newspapers and, as well, are not connected by public transport to Hunt Club or to Ottawa.

 

33.        According to numbers from Elections Canada, Mr. Manley’s proposition would take 3,500 people from the riding of Nepean-Carleton and add them to Ottawa South.  Ottawa South would then be at +10% from the provincial quotient while Nepean-Carleton would be at +2%.  Given that Nepean-Carleton is a larger, more rural-mixed riding than the denser, urban riding of Ottawa South, and given the anticipated growth of population to the south, the Committee finds these numbers acceptable and recommends that the Commission accept Mr. Manley’s objection.

 

34.        The Committee also notes the proposal (see above) by Mr. Scott Reid, the Member of Parliament for Lanark-Carleton, which, in conjunction with this proposal, would take Nepean-Carleton to 6% below the provincial quotient.  The Committee believes this combined effect of both proposals on Nepean-Carleton to be well within an acceptable variance for Nepean-Carleton, given its current and likely composition for the immediate future.

 

(d)         Glengarry-Prescott-Russell

 

35.        The Hon. Don Boudria, P.C., Member of Parliament for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, filed an objection to the proposed boundaries for the electoral district of Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, based on a community of interest.  The subject of Mr. Boudria’s objection is the proposed transfer of the former Township of Lancaster and the village of Lancaster to Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry.  This area has historically been part of the constituency of Glengarry-Prescott-Russell and Mr. Boudria has represented these residents since 1984.

 

36.        In hearings before the Subcommittee, Mr. Boudria noted that during the Commission’s hearings, residents of the northern part of Glengarry made representations calling for all of South Glengarry to be within Glengarry-Prescott-Russell.  Mr. Boudria’s assessment was that the municipal boundaries are recent and an administrative overlay that is not representative of the community of interest in this case.  The former Township of Charlottenburg is linked to Cornwall and contains bedroom communities for those who work and shop in Cornwall.  The Lancaster area’s ties are northwards to Alexandria, which is the rural service centre for the region.  Their major metropolitan centre is east to Montreal, not west to Cornwall.  There is a real and significant divide within South Glengarry.

 

37.        According to data from Elections Canada, the village and former Township of Lancaster comprise approximately 4,600 people.  Mr. Boudria’s suggestion would place Glengarry-Prescott-Russell at approximately 3.5% above the provincial quotient and Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry at approximately 12% below the provincial quotient.  Furthermore, Mr. Boudria’s objection proposes to split the merged municipality of South Glengarry, and it appears the Commission has attempted to have federal boundaries respect assumed communities of interest represented by lower-tier municipal boundaries in the rural regions.

 

38.        The Committee recognizes Mr. Boudria’s arguments based on community of interest.  It also recognizes that Mr. Boudria’s riding, while large and rural, is well serviced by roads, including Highway 417.  It believes that the difference in variances between Stormont—Dundas—South Glengarry and Glengarry-Prescott-Russell to be well supportable within the limits provided for in the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act.

 

Southern Ontario (excluding the Greater Toronto Area)

 

(a)     Welland

 

39.        Mr. Anthony Tirabassi, Member of Parliament for Niagara Centre, filed an objection to the proposed exclusion of the Town of Pelham from the electoral district of Welland.

 

40.        According to Mr. Tirabassi, Pelham has strong ties to the City of Welland.  For example, the two towns share a chamber of commerce; Pelham and Welland have partnered with the YMCA to construct a new recreation centre, with funding in part from the federal government; Industry Canada’s regional development agency, Venture Niagara, serves both Pelham and Welland; the two communities share local media; and policing in Pelham is provided by the Niagara regional police.  Mr. Tirabassi presented to the Subcommittee a letter from the mayor of Pelham indicating the community’s support for his objection.

 

41.        Moving Pelham to the electoral district of Welland would take it to approximately 120,000 people and about 12% above the provincial quotient.  Mr. Tirabassi suggested that moving Wainfleet, with its population of approximately 6,200, to Niagara West—Glanbrook, could redress the balance of the population somewhat in the riding of Welland.  According to numbers from Elections Canada, the result of this suggestion would be to place Welland at about 10% above the provincial quotient and Niagara West—Glanbrook at about 16% below the quotient.

 

42.        The Committee recognizes and sympathizes with Mr. Tirabassi’s arguments with respect to the relationship between Pelham and Welland.  However, it is not comfortable with the prospect of Niagara West—Glanbrook having such a negative variance.  There may be means to effect adjustments of the populations between these two ridings using as well the electoral district of Haldimand-Norfolk, which is a rural riding, but the Committee notes that Haldimand-Norfolk is at 7% below the provincial quotient.  Such adjustments could potentially split a lower-tier municipality in Haldimand-Norfolk as well.  The Committee, while recognizing problems and unhappiness with electoral redistribution in the Niagara region, cannot support the objection to the proposed boundary readjustments in this case.

 

43.        Mr. Tirabassi and Mr. John Maloney, Member of Parliament for Erie-Lincoln, both filed objections to the proposed name for the electoral district of Welland.

 

44.        Mr. Tirabassi argues that to call the riding “Welland” is to ignore other equally sizable, significant and historic communities, notably Thorold, Port Colbourne and Wainfleet.  Although the Welland Canal runs through the riding, the name would create confusion by referring to the town of Welland alone.  Furthermore, voter confusion and unhappiness with the boundary readjustments could be compounded by a name change representing only one portion of the riding.

 

45.        Mr. Maloney iterated that the proposed riding contains four separate and distinct regional municipalities and a part of a fifth.  It would be inappropriate to name the riding after just one of these municipalities.  Mr. Maloney pointed out that the defining characteristic of the four municipalities involved was that they were south of the Niagara escarpment.

 

46.        The Committee agrees with the objections to the name “Welland”.  Although the Welland Canal runs through the riding, the name “Welland” would create confusion by appearing to refer to the town of Welland alone.  The Committee also notes that the other ridings in the Niagara peninsula have Niagara in their electoral district name.  However, the riding as proposed does not have the same boundaries as the current riding of Niagara Centre.  Therefore, the Committee recommends that the name of the electoral district of Welland be changed to “Niagara South”.

 

(b)     GreyBruceOwen Sound

 

47.        Mr. Ovid Jackson, Member of Parliament for Grey—Bruce—Owen Sound, filed an objection to the proposed boundaries for the riding of Grey—Bruce—Owen Sound.

 

48.        Mr. Jackson proposes that the town of Walkerton be included in Grey—Bruce—Owen Sound.  Mr. Jackson is particularly concerned about this community, which has suffered a very public tragedy.  Mr. Jackson’s office has worked closely with municipal and provincial officials, as well as other community leaders, to deal with the issues surrounding the water contamination crisis in Walkerton.  He feels a discontinuity in their representation at this time would be particularly unfortunate.

 

49.        Mr. Jackson also notes in his objection that the community of interest of the former Brant township, Mildmay and the former Carrick township and suggests they should also remain together in Grey—Bruce—Owen Sound.  Many businesses and agencies in Bruce County have their names linked to Grey County, for example:  Bruce-Grey Children’s Services; Grey Bruce Regional Health Services; and Bruce-Grey Catholic School Board.  Mr. Jackson stated in particular the close relationship between South Bruce and the County of Grey, a relationship which includes a shared police force.  In short, Walkerton, Brant, Mildmay and Carrick are tied to Grey County through economic, cultural and service dynamics.

 

50.        Mr. Jackson also noted that Grey Highlands has been added to the riding from the current, neighbouring riding of Simcoe-Grey.  Mr. Jackson welcomes Grey Highlands to the riding, but is concerned its addition may give the riding too many people to allow the re-incorporation of Walkerton and those parts of Brockton and South Bruce.

 

51.        Mr. Jackson provided the Subcommittee with four alternatives:

 

a)            Allocate municipalities directly south of Huron-Bruce — from North Middlesex — to Huron-Bruce and leave Grey—Bruce—Owen Sound as it is; leave Grey Highlands in Simcoe-Grey;

b)            Leave Brockton and South Bruce municipalities as they are now, each currently split between the two ridings; transfer South Bruce Peninsula and Northern Bruce Peninsula to Huron-Bruce;

c)            Leave Brockton in Grey—Bruce—Owen Sound and put South Bruce, along with Arran-Elderslie, in Huron-Bruce; or

d)            Leave Grey—Bruce—Owen Sound as originally proposed by the Commission — all of Grey County including Blue Mountain.

The Committee recognizes and sympathizes with Mr. Jackson’s objection.  It appreciates the proposals Mr. Jackson has put forward.

 

52.        Many of these proposed alternatives would create imbalances in the neighbouring ridings, none of which has filed an objection.  The addition of the former townships of Carrick and Brant would transfer some 11,000 people from Huron-Bruce to Grey—Bruce—Owen Sound.  This would leave the latter at 6% above the quotient and Huron-Bruce at 14% below the quotient.  Further adjustments to accommodate Mr. Jackson’s proposals could have a potentially significant ripple effect on ridings in the region.

 

53.        In hearings before the Subcommittee, Mr. Jackson re-emphasized that Brockton (including Walkerton) is most significantly affected by the redistribution.  The addition of Brockton would place Huron-Bruce at 12% below the variance and Grey—Bruce—Owen Sound at 4% above, a more tolerable divergence of variances.

 

54.        The Committee recommends that, at a minimum, the town of Walkerton should remain in Grey Bruce—Owen Sound. We recognize the Commission might be reluctant to divide a lower-tier municipality across two electoral districts as a general rule, but we believe the community of interest to be a more compelling argument in this case.  We recommend the Commission use a natural boundary such as Regional Road 19, rather than a municipal boundary, to delineate the riding.  This would take Walkerton into Grey—Bruce—Owen Sound with much less disruption to other electoral districts.

 

(c)     Whitby-Oshawa

 

55.        Ms. Judi Longfield, Member of Parliament for Whitby-Ajax, filed an objection to the proposed boundary adjustment between the electoral districts of Whitby-Oshawa and Oshawa.  Ms. Longfield is concerned that the proposed division between these two ridings does not reflect the appropriate communities of interest, transportation linkages, maturity of certain residential districts, and the physical proximity of certain areas.

 

56.        In her appearance before the Subcommittee, Ms. Longfield stated that the original proposal put forward by the Commission was preferable to the final proposal.  For that reason, there were no representations made on this issue at the Commission’s hearings.

 

57.        Ms. Longfield proposes that the boundary run along King Street to Simcoe Street, then north on Simcoe Street to Winchester Road, then west on Winchester Road to the Clarington-Scugog-Uxbridge electoral district boundary.  This would place the old part of Whitby bounded by King Street and the Creek River into the new riding of Whitby-Ajax and place the new growth areas of Oshawa between Simcoe Street and Rossland Road south of Winchester Road in the riding of Oshawa.  According to numbers provided by Elections Canada, Ms. Longield’s proposal would place Whitby-Oshawa at 5% above the provincial quotient and Oshawa at 6% above the provincial quotient. These two variances are identical to those proposed in the Commission’s report, save they are reversed.

 

58.        Ms. Longfield advised the Subcommittee that Mr. Ivan Grose, the Member of Parliament for Oshawa, has no difficulties with her suggestion.  The issue for both Members is how one divides a self-contained unit of two municipalities — one with 89,000 and one with 130,000 — in a manner consistent with the letter and the spirit of the legislation.

 

59.        The Committee agrees with Ms. Longfield’s objection, and notes it will have no adverse effect on other ridings in the region.  We recommend that the Commission redraw the boundary between the two ridings according to her objection.

 

(d)     Essex

 

60.        The Hon. Susan Whelan, P.C., Member of Parliament for Essex, filed an objection to the proposed boundary adjustment for the electoral district of Essex.  Ms. Whelan’s objection is regarding the placement of the former Township of South Sandwich into the proposed electoral district of Windsor-Tecumseh.  This placement apparently was done in order to represent the newly created lower-tier municipality of Tecumseh.  Ms. Whelan proposes that the boundaries of Essex be left as they currently are.

 

61.        Essex is a riding composed of rural, single-family farms that form a natural community of interest, and which is distinct, even compared to agricultural ridings elsewhere in the province.  According to Ms. Whelan, the about 20% Township of Tecumseh is made up of suburban residents in the environ of Windsor and about 80% from the agricultural community of the former town of South Sandwich. The community of interest for these two groups lies with their neighbouring electoral districts, not with each other – the suburban portion with Windsor to the northeast; South Sandwich with West Sandwich Township.  Furthermore, the E.C. Row Expressway, which is going to become a six-lane highway for trucks as they come off the 401, forms a natural boundary between these two sections of Tecumseh, effectively splitting it.

 

62.        Ms. Whelan also testified that it would not make sense to dislocate those 7,500 people. Should that be done, the shape of the riding would make little sense because a section of a farming community would be split off; one would have to go around Lasalle and around Tecumseh in order to get back to the town of Lakeshore and connect with the rest of the riding.  There are would be no access routes within the riding.

 

63.        In the Subcommittee hearings, Ms. Whelan explained the difficulties of adjusting the population numbers by using sofme other part of the riding, such as Lasalle Township.  A strong part of the industrial section relating to the automotive sector would be removed from the eastern section of the electoral district.  In South Sandwich there exists a strong automotive parts manufacturing sector that employs a large number of those people in adjacent Lasalle, Amherstburg, and in the towns of Lakeshore and Essex.

 

64.        Ms. Whelan enclosed with her objection letters from the Mayor of the Town of Tecumseh, the vice-president of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, the president of the Essex County Federation of Agriculture, and the Essex County Corn Producers Association, all of which argue that the movement of the boundaries of the riding of Essex in Windsor—St. Clair would affect the agricultural community of interest that currently exists.  She also provided the Subcommittee with letters of support for her proposal from individuals and community leaders.

 

65.        According to data available from Elections Canada, adding the former township of South Sandwich to the electoral district of Essex adds 7,500 residents, placing the riding of Essex at 13% above the provincial quotient and the electoral district of Windsor–Tecumseh at 1% above.  This would create a rural riding significantly more above the provincial quotient that the neighbouring urban one.  When questioned by the Subcommittee on the potential size of the riding, Ms. Whelan emphasized that this was the nature of Essex riding — the population in Essex has traditionally been larger than the two city ridings.

 

66.        The Committee supports Ms. Whelan’s objection and recommends that the boundaries of Essex be left as they currently are.  We refer the Commission to Mr. Adams’ comments in testimony — paraphrased in the introductory general comments of this Report — that there exist some natural ridings, integral unto themselves, that should be left as they are.  We firmly believe the electoral district of Essex to be one such riding.

 

(e)         Hamilton Centre

 

67.        Mr. Stan Keyes, Member of Parliament for Hamilton West, filed an objection to the proposed boundaries for Hamilton Centre.  Mr. Keyes’ objection is to the separation of Westdale from the current riding of Hamilton West.

 

68.        According to Mr. Keyes, Westdale is an integral part of the Hamilton West community.  Westdale residents gravitate naturally eastwards to Hamilton.  The area is an urban area, not a suburban one.  The residents do not as a rule shop, travel to or work in the current riding of Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough. Mr. Keyes also expressed concern that this would split the community centred on McMaster University, which is in Westdale.  McMaster has worked closely with the City of Hamilton and has recently opened its new McMaster Centre in downtown Hamilton, only a seven-minute drive from the main campus in Westdale.

 

69.        Mr. Keyes made the point that Hamilton West, as it is now, is a compact, dense riding with a stable population count.  Adjusting the boundaries of Hamilton West makes little sense compared to adjustments that could be made elsewhere.  Adding Westdale to Hamilton Centre with no other changes would place Hamilton Centre at a variance of +25% and Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale at a variance of -17%.

 

70.        Mr. Keyes suggested that even the population numbers between ridings in the region could be better achieved by looking at the eastern end of Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, at Puslinch, for example.  An alternate suggestion would be to adjust the boundaries with Hamilton East—Stoney Creek, at the southeast end of the riding.  Unfortunately, both these suggestions would have complicated ripple effects on constituencies across the region, making such adjustments extremely difficult to achieve.

 

71.        In Subcommittee it was proposed that some section of “the Mountain” (a section of the city of Hamilton) could be apportioned to the riding of Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale in a manner that could allow for the incorporation of Westdale back into Hamilton Centre and an evening of the populations across these three contiguous ridings.  Mr. Keyes returned to the Subcommittee at a later hearing to report that he could not find a solution that would not replicate the problem of Westdale for that section of the Mountain.

 

72.        In testimony before the Subcommittee, and in the filed objection, Mr. Keyes notes that he made representations to the Commission at public hearings expressing his objection to the proposed boundaries.

 

73.        The Committee recognizes and sympathizes with the substance of Mr. Keyes’ objection.  If there is a solution that would allow Hamilton Centre to retain Westdale, the Committee would be happy to see that occur, but the Committee cannot readily see a solution that does not have a large impact on the rest of the region.

 

(f)         Middlesex-Kent-Lambton

 

74.        Ms. Rose-Marie Ur, Member of Parliament for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, filed two objections.  One objection is to the proposed boundaries for the electoral district of Middlesex-Kent-Lambton.  The other objection is to the proposed name change of the electoral district.

 

75.        Ms. Ur’s objection to the boundaries of Middlesex-Kent-Lambton is based on a lack of community of interest.  The Commission’s proposal adds a large section to the western end of the riding, increasing it from 4,700 to 6,000 km2.  According to Ms. Ur, the western and eastern sections of the riding would have nothing in common.  Ms. Ur also mentioned that she felt the riding would become difficult to serve effectively.

 

76.        According to Ms. Ur, the area comprising Wallaceburg, Dover and Walpole Island has a greater community of interest with the City of Sarnia and the constituency of Sarnia-Lambton; for example, they share customs concerns, Great Lakes issues, and urban issues concerning the City of Sarnia and its environs.  The link with Sarnia is along Highway 40, where a continuum of community — shopping and schools, for example — stretch along the highway.  Ms. Ur also suggests leaving Petrolia-Enniskillen and Plympton-Wyoming within the riding rather than transferring them to Sarnia-Lambton as the Commission Report proposes.  These are rural townships and share a community of interest with Middlesex-Kent-Lambton.

 

77.        Ms. Ur stated that, at the Commission’s public hearings on the proposed changes, she had made a presentation urging what she was putting to the Subcommittee.  The County of Middlesex, the Lambton-Kent-Middlesex riding association, and the provincial representatives for Sarnia-Lambton and Lambton-Kent-Middlesex made presentations that generally agreed with the suggestion she put to the Subcommittee.

 

78.        According to the Commission’s report, both these proposed electoral districts are about 2% below the provincial quotient.  According to data available from Elections Canada, the effect of Ms. Ur’s objection would be to bring Sarnia-Lambton to 107,000 people and 1% below the provincial quotient, while Middlesex-Kent-Lambton would have 105,000 people and be at 4% below the quotient.

 

79.        The Committee concurs with Ms. Ur. and commends her for her clear, straightforward and well-researched presentation.  Her solution also provides a rural riding with a lower population count than its more urban neighbour.  The Committee recommends that the boundaries of Middlesex-Kent-Lambton be changed to reflect Ms. Ur’s objection.

 

80.        With regard to the name of the riding, Ms. Ur suggests that Middlesex-Kent-Lambton retain the designation “Lambton-Kent-Middlesex”.  While Middlesex might comprise the larger portion of the riding, to change around the names would incur unnecessary costs to achieve little effect:  business cards, stationary, etc. would all have to be discarded and new ones printed up.  The Committee concurs with Ms. Ur and recommends the name remain as it is.

 

(g)         Oak RidgesMarkham

 

81.        The Hon. Maurizio Bevilacqua, P.C., Member of Parliament for Vaughan-King-Aurora, filed an objection to the division of the Township of King between two electoral districts.  Furthermore, Mr. Bevilacqua’s objection states that the proposed name “Oak Ridges—Markham” does not reflect the Township of King contained within the riding.

 

82.        Mr. Bevilacqua’s objection is based on a community of interest and seeks to retain the Township of King intact within the riding of Dufferin-Caledon.  Failing that, the Township of King would prefer to be placed in its entirety in York-Simcoe.  According to the objection, the Township of King shares a strong rural identity with three distinct communities:  Nobleton, Schomberg and King City.  The proposed electoral boundaries, however, provide an inconsistent mix of large urban areas and strong rural communities that does not reflect the rural identity of the Township of King.

 

83.        According to numbers available from Elections Canada, the Township of King has a population of 19,000 people.  We are initially sympathetic to Mr. Bevilacqua’s objection.  Unfortunately, we could not accommodate Mr. Bevilacqua’s appearance before the Subcommittee and feel unable to present a fair solution to this objection without more information.  We refer the objection on to the Commission and hope that they will give it their full consideration.

 

84.        Mr. Byron Wilfert, Member of Parliament for Oak Ridges, also filed an objection to the proposed name for the riding of Oak Ridges—Markham.  Mr. Wilfert asks that the Commission consider that the town council of Whitchurch-Stouffville wishes their community to be represented in the riding name.  The Committee feels that the riding name “Oak Ridges—Markham” is a more inclusive option to the alternative of naming the several communities that make up, in part or in whole, the Oak Ridges portion of the electoral district.  We do not support Mr. Wilfert’s objection.

 

(h)         Hamilton EastStoney Creek

 

85.        Mr. Tony Valeri, Member of Parliament for Stoney Creek, filed an objection to the proposed riding of Hamilton East—Stoney Creek.  In his objection, Mr. Valeri focused on the division of the former municipality of Stoney Creek and proposed that Stoney Creek remain intact in one riding.

 

86.        According to Mr. Valeri, the community of Stoney Creek is an active and historically-minded one — Stoney Creek was the site of a crucial battle in the War of 1812 — with a distinct character.  It has its own newspaper and its own chamber of commerce.  Mr. Valeri believes it is unfair that this community’s representation should be divided on the basis of a provincial reorganization of municipal administrations.  He also noted that every other former municipality in Hamilton-Wentworth survived federal boundary realignment intact with the exception of the city of Stoney Creek.  That would include areas both in Niagara and in Hamilton, the areas of Pelham, Lincoln, Glanbrook, West Lincoln, Grimsby, Ancaster, Dundas and Flamborough.

 

87.        In hearings before the Subcommittee, Mr. Valeri withdrew his objection on the basis that there would be no means he could see to meet Stoney Creek’s wishes without creating a severe ripple effect across the other electoral districts in the region.  He drew the Subcommittee’s attention to the changing demographics in the Niagara region.  Mr. Valeri believes that the current redistribution does not reflect the pattern of anticipated growth for this area.

 

88.        Mr. Valeri also suggested that if the proposed riding is to be as described in the Commission’s report, then the riding name should more accurately reflect its composition.  He suggested that the “East” in “Hamilton East” is redundant.  Stoney Creek is now effectively conjoined with the eastern section of Hamilton and the riding name should be Hamilton—Stoney Creek.  The Committee agrees with Mr. Valeri’s suggestion and recommends that the name of the electoral district be “Hamilton—Stoney Creek”.

 

(i)         Cambridge

 

89.        Mr. Janko Peric, Member of Parliament for Cambridge, filed an objection to the to the transfer of the Township of North Dumfries, including the Town of Ayre, to the proposed new riding of Kitchener-Conestoga.

 

90.        According to Mr. Peric, North Dumfries is connected to the electoral district of Cambridge.  There is a nearby military base where many from North Dumfries work.  The catchment area for North Dumfries’ high schools is in Cambridge; its fire department is in Cambridge; the local legion is in Cambridge; the hospital is in Cambridge. According to Mr. Peric, North Dumfries is essentially and physically a part of Cambridge.

 

91.        The Township of North Dumfries unanimously passed a resolution that they want to be part of the Cambridge federal riding.  Furthermore, due to the unusual shape of the riding — essentially a doughnut with the twin city of Kitchener-Waterloo in the middle — if North Dumfries goes to the newly named riding of Kitchener-Conestoga, people would have to travel all the way to St. Jacob to reach the constituency office, an unacceptable prospect for people of North Dumfries.

 

92.        According to numbers available from Elections Canada, the Township of North Dumfries contains about 8,800 people.  The transfer Mr. Peric proposes would place Kitchener-Conestoga at –10%, and Cambridge at +10%, variance from the provincial quotient.

 

93.        The Committee understands Mr. Peric’s objection and questions the shape of the riding of Kitchener-Conestoga.  It understands, also, that there were objections to the Commission’s original proposal that the final proposal attempted to address.  The Committee does not have the resources or local knowledge at its disposal to suggest an alternative that does not create a significant ripple effect across other ridings in the region.

 

(j)      Halton

 

94.        Mr. Julian Reed, Member of Parliament for Halton, filed an objection to the proposed electoral district of Halton.  Mr. Reed’s objection has two aspects:  one is to the splitting of Halton Hills from the rest of Halton region; the second has to do with the proposed southern boundary with the riding of Burlington.

 

95.        According to Mr. Reed, the Town of Halton Hills shares a documented social, economical, political and physical community of interest within the Regional Municipality of Halton, along with the towns of Milton and Oakville and the City of Burlington.  The Commission’s proposal to place the Town of Halton Hills in an electoral district with Wellington County is of serious concern to the mayor and council of the Town of Halton Hills, its residents, and the directly elected Chair of Halton region.  They recognize that the Commission has improved upon its original proposal to split the Town of Halton Hills and to acknowledge municipal boundaries.  At the same time, however, there is no affinity of interest between Halton and the County of Wellington.

 

96.        During the Subcommittee’s hearings, Mr. Reed said he believed Halton region to be about the fastest growing in the country.  Should the Commission wish to be prescient, it should create an extra riding in this region now, during this adjustment cycle.  A better approach in his opinion would be to return Halton Hills to Halton and to create a separate riding out of the Milton-Acton portion of the region.

 

97.        Mr. Reed also brought up the issue of the southern boundary of the proposed riding of Halton, the corner of Burlington referred to as the “Palmer community”, bounded by Upper Middle Road, Walkers Line, the Queen Elizabeth Way and Guelph Line.  The mature area of Burlington known as Palmer is located south of Upper Middle Road and very much identifies itself as part of the City of Burlington.  It has no ties to rural Milton.  There is no public transport to the proposed riding of Halton.  The schools, churches and community centres are focused on Burlington activities and access federal services in Burlington.  The Palmer area shares recognized social, economic, political ties and a physical community of interest with the riding and City of Burlington.

 

98.        Mr. Reed stated that Palmer should remain in the riding of Burlington, as initially proposed by the Commission.  The Commission moved it to the riding of Halton, even though this was never proposed and no one at the public hearings requested that it be included in Halton.  Furthermore, the Commission wrote:

 

The only other change to this electoral district is to follow a suggestion made at the hearing that Guelph Line be the north-south boundary between Dundas Street and Upper Middle Road rather than Highway 407.

 

There appears to be a discrepancy between this comment on page 34 of the Commission’s report and the map on pages 106 and 107.

 

99.        With regard to Mr. Reed’s first proposal, the Committee sympathizes with his objection, but can see no way to move the 50,000 people of Halton Hills back into the riding without creating a major ripple effect on other ridings.  Creating another riding in Halton probably is the best solution, but it may not be practicable at this time and probably will have to wait for the next census/redistribution cycle.

 

100.    With regard to the Palmer community, we find Mr. Reed’s comments persuasive and we urge the Commission to accept his objection. This would place the urban electoral district of Burlington at +9% and the more rural riding of Halton at -7%, both well within the allowable variance. We remind the Commission that for the immediate future Halton is believed to be one of the most rapidly growing communities in Canada. We also reiterate our strong belief that the Commission should rethink the electoral boundaries in this section of the province.

 

Greater Toronto Area

 

(a)         PickeringScarborough East

 

101.    Mr. John Mackay, Member of Parliament for Scarborough East, filed an objection to the proposed electoral district of Pickering—Scarborough East.  The objection is based on a lack of community of interest.

 

102.    According to Mr. Mackay, it makes little sense to create a riding that is one-third within the municipality of Toronto and two-thirds within Pickering (the Municipality of Durham) and having these two sections split by the Rouge River Valley — the most significant natural boundary in the region.  There is no public transport between the two sections of the riding; the only means across the Rouge is Highway 401 — probably the busiest stretch of highway in Canada along its Toronto section — or Kingston Road, which crosses the river at the same place as the 401.

 

103.    The two sections have little in common.  Scarborough is part of Toronto, readily identifiable as a community within the 416 telephone-code area, and bound up with the social and economic concerns, and the political structures, of Toronto.  Pickering is part of the 905 belt and bound with the Municipality of Durham; its political and municipal concerns gravitate eastwards.

 

104.    In Subcommittee, Mr. Mackay stated that he did not make a representation during the Commission’s public hearings because the Commission’s initial proposal was drastically different from that in the Commission’s report, and the initial proposal was one he supported.  Furthermore, he doubted that the “City of Toronto” referred to in the Commission’s report was an official representation by the City.  He believed, rather, that it was an individual councillor from Etobicoke — a section of western Toronto far removed from Scarborough.

 

105.    The Committee agrees with Mr. Mackay that this riding makes little sense with regard to natural geography and with regard to the two physically separate and differently orientated sections.  It also appears that the Commission has split a riding between two lower-tier municipalities; something it has seemingly been reluctant to do elsewhere in the province, particularly in rural ridings.

 

106.    According to numbers available from Elections Canada, the Scarborough section of the proposed riding contains 46,000 people and the Pickering section of the riding contains 60,000 people.  The Committee does not have the resources to compute how these large population segments can be compensated for with a minimal ripple effect on the rest of the region.  However, it does concur with Mr. McKay’s suggestion that the Commission should follow north along the Rouge River instead of east-west, as they have in this proposal, to make up the ridings of Scarborough and Pickering.

 

107.    The Committee supports Mr. Mackay’s objection and strongly urges the Commission to rethink the boundaries for the proposed riding of Pickering—Scarborough East. There may in fact be a potential place for an electoral district to cross over between the municipality of Toronto and an adjacent township — although from testimony the Subcommittee heard, we are not inclined to believe so — but this area is possibly the least suited of all for making that experiment.

 

(b)         Bramalea-Gore-Malton

 

108.    Mr. Gurbax Singh Malhi, Member of Parliament for Bramalae-Gore-Malton-Springdale, filed an objection to the proposed riding of Bramalea-Gore-Malton.  The objection is against the separation of Springdale from the riding of Bramalea-Gore-Malton, which would sever a community of interest.

 

109.    According to Mr. Malhi, Springdale shares a community of interest more properly with Malton and Gore.  The development pattern of the area has pulled residents, business and shopping northwards, as it is the northern edge of the community that has the space for new housing and businesses.  By contrast, the section west of Springdale — Trinity Mall — shares more with Brampton.  Mr. Malhi noted that he did not make a presentation to the Commission at the public hearing stage as the Commission had put forward a very different initial proposal, with which he had few difficulties.

 

110.    Mr. Malhi proposes using Bramalea Road, north to Boviard Drive, as the natural boundary between Bramalea-Gore-Malton and Brampton-Springdale.  There is already voter confusion amongst Mr. Malhi’s present constituents west of Bramalea Road as to whether their representative is the Member from Brampton-Centre or the Member from Bramalae-Gore-Malton-Springdale.  Mr. Malhi therefore proposes that Brampton-Springdale contain the area bounded by Derry Road, Bramalea Road and Boviard Drive, while Brampton-Gore-Malton retain the area circumscribed by Dixie Road and Mayfield.

 

111.    According to data available from Elections Canada, this would move 24,000 into Brampton-Gore-Malton, placing it at 2% above the provincial quotient.  It would place 35,000 people into Brampton-Springdale and put the riding at 18% above the quotient.

 

112.    In testimony before the Subcommittee, Mr. Malhi indicated that retaining the community of Sandalwood was particularly significant.  A modification to his proposal that would divide the ridings north-south along Williams rather than Boviard would retain the core of his objection.  This modification would place Bramalea-Gore-Malton at 12% above the provincial quotient and Brampton-Springdale at +8%.  These variances approximate those put forward in the Commission’s report.

 

(c)         Mississauga-Cooksville

 

113.    Ms. Albina Guarnieri, Member of Parliament for Mississauga East, filed two objections.  One objection is to the proposed boundaries of Mississauga-Cooksville.  The other is to the proposed name for the riding.

 

114.    Ms. Guarnieri’s objection to the boundaries of Mississauga-Cooksville pertains to Central Parkway East as the boundary line between this riding and Mississauga Centre, and to the inclusion of Coram Crescent in Mississauga South.

 

115.    Coram Crescent is a small street completely isolated from Mississauga Centre by urban development and by major thoroughfares.  To reach the rest of their riding, residents of Coram Crescent would have to drive along Dundas Street to Dixie Road, then south beyond the Queensway to the next small community.  According to numbers available from Elections Canada, Coram Crescent has only 375 people.  The Committee concurs with Ms. Guarnieri and recommends that Coram Crescent be attached to Mississauga-Cooksville.

 

116.    According to Ms. Guarnieri, the area bounded by Hurontario Street, Burnhamthorpe Road, Cawthra Road and Highway 403 comprises a single community bounded by these major thoroughfares.  Central Parkway is not a major thoroughfare, but a smaller road through the centre of this community that contains churches, a school and shops.  The eastern boundary of Mississauga-Cooksville more properly belongs at Cawthra Road.

 

117.    According to data from Elections Canada, this area contains 5,200 residents.  Adding it to Mississauga-Cooksville would take the riding to 18% above the provincial quotient.  Adjacent Peel Centre would go to 11% above the quotient.  The Committee recognizes that Mississauga-Cooksville is a mature, urban riding with a stable population count; and while a variance of +18% approaches the maximum allowable quotient, it is likely that the population of Peel Centre will increase more rapidly than that of Mississauga-Cooksville.

 

118.    The name of the riding has been “Mississauga East” since the 1970s.  Ms. Guarnieri notes that “Mississauga-Cooksville” could be misleading.  The only association with “Cooksville” in the area is the GO Train station name, but the station is in the adjacent riding of Missisauga-Erindale.  The Committee agrees with Ms. Guarnieri and recommends the riding retain the name of “Mississauga East”.

 

(d)     Peel Centre

 

119.    Ms. Carolyn Parrish, Member of Parliament for Mississauga Centre, filed an objection to the proposed name of “Peel Centre”.  Peel Centre is a proposed new electoral district with no representative.  The five Members of Parliament from Mississauga and Brampton have signed Ms. Parrish’s objection.

 

120.    According to Ms. Parrish, residents in the area do not identify themselves as residents of Peel, but rather as being from Mississauga or Brampton.  Peel Centre itself is a confusing designator and geographically inaccurate; local inhabitants would be unable to indicate where Peel Centre is.  In testimony before the Subcommittee, Ms. Parrish indicated that a more appropriate name would be “Mississauga Centre—Brampton South”.

 

121.    Mr. Steven Mahoney, Member of Parliament for Mississauga West, also filed an objection to the proposed name of “Peel Centre”.  In his objection he supports Ms. Parrish’s objection and suggests the name “Brampton South—Mississauga Centre”.

 

122.    The Committee concurs with Ms. Parrish and Mr. Mahoney.  It notes that other ridings in the region are associated with Mississauga or Brampton.  However, for the sake of simplicity, and to better reflect the population balance between the different portions of the riding, we recommend the Commission rename the riding “Mississauga—Brampton South”.

 

(e)         Mississauga-Erindale

 

123.    Ms. Carolyn Parrish, Member of Parliament for Mississauga Centre, filed an objection to the placement of Erindale Village and Glensharon in the constituency of Mississauga South.

 

124.    According to Ms. Parrish, Erindale is part of a larger community of interest known as Erindale Woodlands.  The major roads for this community, Credit Woodlands and Cedarglen Gate, connect it to Mississauga-Erindale; whereas the natural southern boundary for the riding follows the river to the Queensway West, where it ends, and then west to Mavis Road.  The area has traditionally straddled Dundas Street, as evidenced by the historical marker for Erindale Village, which dates the community to 1820.  Erindale Woodlands is readily identifiable by many business and organization names in the area, as well as by churches and shopping.  The name “Erindale” is therefore visible north and the south of Dundas Street.  Erindale Woodlands has its own secondary school.

 

125.    According to data available from Elections Canada, Ms. Parrish’s suggestion would transfer approximately 9,000 residents from Mississauga South to Mississauga-Erindale.  Mississauga-Erindale would have approximately 120,000 people and be at a variance of +12%, while Mississauga South would have approximately 113,000 people and at a variance of +5%.  The Committee notes that Mississauga-Streetsville has a population of 118,000 and Mississauga-Cooksville has a population of 122,000.

 

126.    Mr. Steven Mahoney, Member of Parliament for Mississauga West, also filed an objection to the placement of Erindale Village in the riding of Mississauga South.  Mr. Mahoney’s objection agrees with Ms. Parrish’s objection in asserting that Erindale comprises a historic community, integral to the riding of Mississauga-Erindale and joined to it north-south across Dundas Street.  Erindale Village is isolated from Mississauga South by the Credit River along its southern boundary.

 

127.    According to Mr. Mahoney, Old Carriage Road is a significant thoroughfare that separates Erindale Village from the section that goes east to Mavis Road.  In Subcommittee, Mr. Mahoney stated that to his recollection there were no pedestrian linkages between Erindale Village and the residential area to the east.  They form quite different communities of interest.

 

128.    According to data available from Elections Canada, Mr. Mahoney’s objection would transfer 1,200 people to Mississauga-Erindale.  This would give Mississauga-Erindale approximately 115,200 people and Mississauga South approximately 118,500 people.  It would change their variances minimally:  +1% and –1%, respectively.

 

129.    The Committee concurs with both Mr. Mahoney and Ms. Parrish that Erindale Village is naturally a part of Mississauga-Erindale.  It seems apparent that the area referred to as Glensharon is not part of the core community of Erindale Village.  However, the evidence presented by Ms. Parrish does seem to indicate that this area between Old Carriage Road and Mavis Road does have north-south links across Dundas Street and with the riding of Mississauga-Erindale.

 

130.    Also, in testimony provided by Mr. Mahoney, it seems clear that the characters of both sides of Old Carriage Road have much in common with each other:  large, single-dwelling homes located along the river and the golf course.  Furthermore, Mavis Road seems to provide a more natural eastern boundary than Old Carriage Road.  To transfer only Erindale Village would leave Glensharon more isolated from Mississauga South.

 

131.    The Committee recommends that the area Ms. Parrish refers to as Erindale Woodlands be placed in the riding of Mississauga-Erindale.

 

132.    Mr. Mahoney also filed an objection to the name “Mississauga-Erindale” for the riding.  According to Mr. Mahoney’s objection, the riding ignores the significant and larger part of the community — known as Erin Mills — contained within its boundaries.  He proposes the name “Mississauga—Erin Mills—Erindale”. Ms. Parrish has communicated to the Subcommittee her disagreement with Mr. Mahoney’s proposal.  She believes that “Erindale” reflects the historic community of Erindale and is worth marking; whereas “Erin Mills” is not a name representing a community, but rather is the appellation of a particular development within Mississauga.

 

133.    The Committee finds Mr. Mahoney’s suggestion more cumbersome than the Commission’s proposal.  It may well be that there are other communities within the riding, similar to Erin Mills, that would also appreciate recognition.  We note, too, that the Erin Mills Parkway continues through the electoral district of Mississauga-Streetsville, signalling to this Committee that Erin Mills may not be a discrete, contained area solely within Mississauga-Erindale.

 

134.    The name “Mississauga-Erindale”, we find, gives disproportionate weight to one section, and in particular one small community, within the riding.  And as it currently stands, the Village of Erindale is not in the riding of Mississauga-Erindale.  Should Erindale Village be placed within Mississauga-Erindale, there would be no cause for confusion.  Notwithstanding the issue of where Erindale is placed, the Committee is not convinced that any of the proposed names are fully appropriate.  We recommend that the Commission rename this electoral district in a manner understandable to the local residents and which broadly describes and locates the entire riding to those outside the electoral district.

 

(f)         Mississauga-Streetsville

 

135.    Mr. Steven Mahoney, Member of Parliament for Mississauga West, filed an objection to the name of the proposed electoral district of Mississauga-Streetsville.  Mr. Mahoney suggests that the new riding needs to reflect the community of Meadowvale and be called “Mississauga-Streetsville-Meadowvale”.  Mr. Mahoney currently represents both Streetsville and Meadowvale, and notes they are very distinct communities.  They are separated by a six-lane highway — Erin Mills Parkway.  He told the Subcommittee that people in Meadowvale go shopping in Streetsville and each community recognizes the name of the other.

 

136.    The Committee concurs with Mr. Mahoney’s objection and recommends the riding be called “Mississauga–Streetsville–Meadowvale”.

 

(g)     Toronto Centre

 

137.    The Hon. Bill Graham, P.C., Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre—Rosedale, filed an objection to the proposed name of “Toronto Centre”.

 

138.    According to Mr. Graham, while only 10% of the constituents of Toronto Centre live in Rosedale, Rosedale comprises some 30% of the riding’s geography.  Rosedale is an historic and integral component of the riding and represents a considerable part of the riding’s character and its diversity.  It is an immediately identifiable signifier of that section of Toronto and an important part of Toronto’s downtown heritage.  Mr. Graham notes that in the previous redistribution, he supported the change of name from “Rosedale” to “Toronto Centre—Rosedale” as the name best describing this electoral district.

 

139.    The Committee agrees with Mr. Graham and recommends the name remain “Toronto Centre—Rosedale”.

 

(h)     East York and Beaches-Riverdale

 

140.    The Hon. Maria Minna, P.C., Member of Parliament for Beaches—East York, and Mr. Dennis Mills, Member of Parliament for Toronto-Danforth, each filed an objection to the proposed new ridings of East York and Beaches-Riverdale.

 

141.    Both Ms. Minna and Mr. Mills object to the division of the region comprising their current ridings along Danforth Avenue, rather than down Coxwell Avenue as the Commission’s original proposal suggested.  Both Ms. Minna and Mr. Mills also object to the name of the proposed riding of East York.

 

142.    Ms. Minna and Mr. Mills made a joint presentation to the Subcommittee on this issue.  They stated to the Subcommittee that their two ridings, divided approximately by Coxwell Road, are different in character and have little to do with each other.  What the ridings share is that they comprise a series of side-by-side communities that are centred on Danforth Avenue and which stretch north-south across Danforth Avenue.

 

143.    There is, for example, a Greek community whose commercial activity is centred on Danforth Avenue, with residential neighbourhoods running north and south from this centre.  Next to that is a Muslim community, north and south of the Danforth, with mosques and community centres north and south as well.  Next to that is an Italian neighbourhood, and so on.  Ms. Minna and Mr. Mills asserted, when questioned, that anyone familiar with Toronto would know the communities along Danforth Avenue and would recognize instantly the north-south orientation of the region.

 

144.    Ms. Minna pointed out that these communities use federal, municipal and provincial services, some of these delivered through joint programs, some in coordination with local community organizations.  Over time, program delivery in the area has been tailored to match the federal ridings and the north-south orientation of the community neighbourhoods.  Many of these communities contain people new to Canada and who are more reliant on these services and on their constituency offices.  To rotate federal representation 90 degrees would be to disrupt tens of thousands of people, their continuity of representation, and the local knowledge provided by their constituency offices.

 

145.    Mr. Mills informed the Subcommittee that the notion of a community of East York is not substantiated.  The proposed riding represents less than a third of East York.  Two-thirds of the real East York — the old Toronto Borough of East York — are in the ridings of Don Valley East and Don Valley West.  In his opinion, the logic is flawed that this really represents the community of East York.

 

146.    The Committee finds this to be perhaps the most egregious example of the potential for the current process to go seriously astray, as well as potentially being open to abuse.  Both Ms. Minna and Mr. Mills agreed with the Commission’s original proposal to extend Coxwell Avenue right down to the waterfront and back.  Because they agreed, and because there was a confidence vote that day in the House of Commons, they did not attend the public hearings.

 

147.    It appears from testimony that a local councillor, for reasons outside the purposes of the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act, and which may have more to do with contentious municipal politics, was able to persuade the Commission to enact a riding adjustment that makes no sense that the Committee can discern.  There was no consultation or input from the federal representatives of the region on the change.  Nor, does it seem, consultation with the local community occurred.

 

148.    The result of this redistribution has been an eruption of protest that such a thing could have happened.  Ms. Minna provided the Subcommittee with voluminous correspondence against this redistribution.  She also read into the record several examples to indicate the depth of feeling on this issue.  The written submission from Ms. Minna will be included with this Report and the Subcommittee evidence when they are sent to the Commission.

 

149.    The Committee recommends that the Commission adopt its original proposal so that the Danforth and Beaches communities of Toronto might have their representation restored in a manner consistent with their real communities on the ground.  The names of these electoral districts should reflect the change back to their original and natural constituencies.

 

Northern Ontario

 

150.    The objections from northern Ontario highlighted grave problems with the redistribution process.  The objections from Members of Parliament came forward because the changes made between the public hearing stage and the final proposal were substantial.  It appears that the Commissioners had, and still have, a very difficult decision to make, given that they have to respect a uniform provincial quotient for all of Ontario.  They can create one exceptional riding, or they can treat northern Ontario as a region deserving an exception as a whole.  The Commission can do as it proposes and create one riding with a probably precedent-setting variance from the provincial quotient, or it can create a series of ridings that are only just in excess of the maximum statutory variance of -25%; or it can remove one more electoral district from northern Ontario than it already has.

 

151.    We commend the Commission for keeping as much representation in northern Ontario as possible, given the constraints of the current legislation.  In our general comments we have already noted our desire to explore a separate, northern population quotient for future redistributions; northern Ontario deserves a voice for sound social, cultural and economic reasons.  Furthermore, we ask the Commission to look at the objections presented here and to reflect again on their original and their final proposals for redistribution in northern Ontario.  We believe that some work is still to be done.

 

152.    Mr. Brian Masse, Member of Parliament for Windsor West, filed an objection to the Commission’s handling of representation in northern Ontario.  Mr. Masse wishes to register his strong objection to the reduction of the number of seats in northern Ontario from 11 to 10.  He also expressed strong concern about the alignment of the redistributed constituencies, which seems to ignore completely the established pattern of interaction among northern communities.  Mr. Masse points out that the geography of northern Ontario, and its severe climate, means the reduction of ridings places burdens on the remaining representatives to effectively represent the region.

 

153.    Mr. Masse also wanted the Commission to know that he felt a key component of democratic representation is being able to meet the Member of Parliament face to face.  The mechanisms of democracy may be substitutable through technological means, such as the Internet, but without a person to talk to and to meet, such means merely reproduce faceless, governmental decisions, which is nothing like having individual representatives working at the people’s behest.  The reduction of ridings will make the face-to-face contact less likely and will potential increase political disengagement in a region already confronting considerable barriers to participation.

 

154.    The Committee refers the Commission to its general comments on northern Ontario and its introductory comments to this Report, which echo some of Mr. Masse’s concerns.  It also refers the Commission to the specific comments and suggestions contained within the objections of those Members from northern Ontario ridings who appeared before the Subcommittee.  The Committee also recognizes, however, that any issue regarding representation in northern Ontario must be handled with an eye to ensuring that representation in southern Ontario is also balanced.

 

(a)         Nipissing-Timiskaming and TimminsJames Bay

 

155.    Mr. Bob Wood, Member of Parliament for Nipissing, filed an objection to the proposed riding of Nipissing-Timiskaming, based on a community of interest.

 

156.    Mr. Wood’s objection states that if there must be redistribution, then the Township of West Nipissing should be added to the current riding of Nipissing, and also that the proposed northern part of the riding — the New Liskeard region — has little in common with the North Bay area.

 

157.    In his testimony before the Subcommittee, Mr. Wood also added his personal concern regarding the loss of representation by northern Ontario as a whole.  His preferred solution would be for the ridings to remain more or less as they are, with northern Ontario retaining 11 Members of Parliament.

 

158.    According to Mr. Wood, West Nipissing was previously part of Nipissing riding.  West Nipissing is a very compact area less than 40 km west of North Bay.  There is an established relationship with the communities along Highway 17, between West Nipissing and the electoral district of Nipissing.  Sturgeon Falls and surrounding communities such as Field and Verner — now consolidated in the municipality of West Nipissing — have historic, social and economic ties with North Bay.  Many residents in the area already commute to Nipissing and are likely to shop and seek services in North Bay.  Mr. Wood informed the Subcommittee, during hearings, that it was not unusual for his constituency office to get requests for help, or for passport applications, from residents of West Nipissing.

 

159.    By comparison, the area of Timiskaming has little in common, socially or culturally, with North Bay.  Mr. Wood believes that to include this area in Nipissing riding would leave the northern sector of the riding isolated; the northern section would lose its economic, cultural and social identity.

 

160.    West Nipissing comprises a population of 14,500.  Transferring it from the electoral district of Nickel Belt would leave Nickel Belt with 75,000, at a variance below the maximum allowed -25%.  In the Subcommittee hearings, Mr. Wood agreed with the idea that the area of Temagami and north could be added to Nickel Belt to compensate.  The area is connected through Highway 11 and Highway 60.  This would add 15,000 to the riding of Nickel Belt, returning both ridings to approximately the numbers they have in the Commission’s report.  While this solution appears better suited to the issue of community of interest, members of the Subcommittee expressed some concern as to whether the riding could be readily travelled by road.  The opinion of the Member for Nickel Belt is not known.

 

161.    Mr. Benoit Serré, Member of Parliament for Timiskaming-Cochrane, filed an objection to the splitting of the electoral district of Timiskaming-Cochrane.  Mr. Serré’s objection is based on a community of interest and a community of identity.

 

162.    According to Mr. Serré, there are about 70 communities in the current riding of Timiskaming-Cochrane, all rural — the biggest being Kirkland Lake at 8,000.  It contains the highest population of francophones in northern Ontario, as well as the second largest by percentage of population, at 42%.  The riding borders Quebec and has a strong community of interest with people in Quebec.  The community started a group called Entre Amis / Between Friends, which has cultural, economic and social exchanges between the Quebec and Ontario sides of the provincial boundary.

 

163.    The proposed boundary would divide all of what is known as the “clay belt”, which is Timiskaming proper.  The riding currently extends north to Cochrane, west to West Nipissing and almost through to Sudbury, touching basically all the big centres in northern Ontario.  The Commission’s proposal would cut the clay belt in two, which means that Timiskaming’s traditional cultural base would be cut in half.  They would also be cut off from West Nipissing, which is the only other farming centre in northern Ontario.

 

164.    According to Mr. Serré, Timiskaming-Cochrane holds 63% of all farm land in northern Ontario, which forms the largest component for representation of that community.  The Commission’s proposal would split that farming community of interest three ways.  In addition, the Commission’s proposal would cut in half the community served by the local Association canadienne française de l’Ontario (ACFO).  Parishes served by the same French-language church would be divided.  The catchment area for the only French high school in the area would be divided.  Mr. Serré testified before the Subcommittee that it would be a total division of every single community of interest or economic tie imaginable:  the worst scenario for these groups.

 

165.    Mr. Serré informed the Subcommittee that the Commission’s initial proposal did not reflect their final proposal to split the clay belt.  For that reason, no representations or objections were made at the Commission’s hearings.  Since the final proposal was issued, every single municipality in the riding passed resolutions opposing the changes.  Every group — from farmers, group co-ops, churches, ACFO, francophone groups, etc. — has protested the changes.  The opposition to the changes is almost unanimous.  Mr. Serré presented the Subcommittee with a file containing these oppositions.

 

166.    Mr. Serré’s proposed best solution would be to leave the northern Ontario ridings unchanged.  He emphasized that representation in northern Ontario requires special attention.  His riding contains 70 communities, about 35 of which are organized. There are 35 town councils to deal with, 28 legions and about 500 service clubs.  So on any given weekend there are about 50 events that require an MP’s presence.  Furthermore, the distances and means of travel require considerable road and air travel.  In Mr. Serré’s opinion, if the Commission takes a riding out of northern Ontario, it may be just simply impossible to do as good a job as Member of Parliament.

 

167.    Should northern Ontario lose an electoral district as proposed, Mr. Serré would prefer an adjustment of the boundaries between the electoral districts of Nickel Belt, Nipissing-Timiskaming and Timmins—James Bay. Mr. Serré, in conjunction with Mr. Wood and Mr. Réginald Bélair, Member of Parliament for Timmins—James Bay, came back to the Subcommittee with the suggestion to place West Nipissing and Earlton (Armstrong Township) into Nipissing-Timiskaming.  These three Members stated that these changes would go a long way to mitigate the community-of-interest concerns raised by all involved.

 

168.    According to numbers available from Elections Canada, the above proposal would produce the following variances:

 

·              Nickel Belt:                     -29.6%

·              Nipissing-Timiskaming:             -0.17%

·              Timmins—James Bay:                -22.43%

 

169.    The Committee feels that redistribution across these three ridings and based on the Members’ proposal could be a workable solution, but lacks the local knowledge and the resources to suggest any modifications to electoral boundaries which would respect the maximum allowed variance for all the ridings involved — including Nickel Belt.  We also note that the Member for Nickel Belt has not commented on the Members’ suggestion.  Nonetheless, we recommend that some changes to the Commission’s proposal be undertaken to ensure the consolidation of the communities of interest, and the community of identity, that are central to these Members’ concerns.

 

(b)     Kenora

 

170.    The Hon. Bob Nault, Member of Parliament for Kenora—Rainy River, filed an objection to the proposed new electoral district of Kenora.  Mr. Nault’s objection asks that Kenora—Rainy River and Thunder Bay—Atikokan be described as they were in the Commission’s original proposal.  A less preferred, alternative suggestion is that the electoral districts in the region be left as they currently are.

 

171.    Mr. Nault informed the Subcommittee that the community of interest in the region is between the municipalities and residents in Rainy River and Kenora, rather than between Rainy River and Thunder Bay.  Fort Frances, Emo and Rainy River are linked historically with communities such as Dryden, Kenora, Sioux Lookout and Red Lake.  Mr. Nault is also concerned that Fort Frances, the largest and most important community in the region, would lose its voice through the dominance of the much larger City of Thunder Bay within the Commission’s proposed riding boundaries.  Furthermore, with regard to representation, Thunder Bay is a six-hour drive from Kenora, whereas Rainy River is only a two-hour drive from his current constituency office.

 

172.    Mr. Nault’s objection has the support of these communities.  As in many other cases, no representations were made at hearings on the Commission’s initial proposal because the initial proposal was very different from the one in the Commission’s report.  And in this case the initial proposal was supported by the local community.  The Committee notes that many of the mayors from Mr. Nault’s riding were in Ottawa to discuss issues relevant to northern Ontario and attended as guests of Mr. Nault to support him in his presentation to the Subcommittee on this issue.

 

173.    Mr. Nault also indicated that Atikokan shares the community of interest described above.  It is geographically close to these communities by northern Ontario standards.  According to Mr. Nault, some 40% of Atikokan’s population comes from the Rainy River electoral district.  The municipal government belongs to the Rainy River District Municipal Association.  Mr. Nault informed the Subcommittee that the addition of Atikokan would impose no extra burden to his representation.

 

174.    Mr. Nault also told the Subcommittee that the communication links of roads and air travel in the region tied these communities together.  The southern section of the region is well served by roads, and service has not been an issue for him as a Member of Parliament.  Northern Ontario residents are also well accustomed to using air travel to cover large distances; northern communities, like similar ridings across the country, have airstrips.  For this reason, Mr. Nault disagrees with the Commission’s assertion that the current riding is too difficult to serve.  Mr. Nault also observed that the proposed riding of Timmins—James Bay is approximately the size of the proposed riding of Kenora, with the same issues of transportation, yet has a variance of –22%, half that of Kenora’s.

 

175.    Mr. Nault also brought to the Subcommittee’s attention the exceptional variance of the proposed riding of Kenora.  It would be 43% below the provincial quotient so that a vote in Kenora would have almost the same weight as two votes in the dense ridings of southern Ontario.  In Mr. Nault’s opinion, this conflicts far more with the intent of the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act than does having the current variances of ‑26.8% and ‑29.3% in the two existing ridings.

 

176.    According to numbers available from Elections Canada, Atikokan comprises 3,500 people.  The transfer of Atikokan to Kenora—Rainy River, leaving current boundaries as they are, would give Kenora—Rainy River about 82,000 people and a variance of about ‑24%.  It would give the current electoral district of Thunder Bay—Atikokan, without adjustments made from elsewhere, about 71,000 people and a variance of about ‑33.5%, which would necessitate boundary readjustments in adjacent ridings in order to bring the current riding of Thunder Bay—Atikokan to a tolerable variance.  This is what the Commission appears to have done in its initial proposal.

 

177.    The Committee understands the frustration of the communities of Kenora and Rainy River.  It appears the region bears the brunt of the Commission’s decision to create one exceptional riding in order to redress the variances of the rest of northern Ontario, so that they might meet statutory population limits.  We do not believe that a small section of the population should be so differently treated in order that the rest should have a simulacrum of equality.  We are not convinced this is the best way to address this issue.

 

178.    We support Mr. Nault’s objection and strongly recommend the Commission return to its original proposal for Kenora—Rainy River and Thunder Bay.  This would place the riding variances as follows:

 

·              Thunder Bay:          -21%

·              Kenora—Rainy River:     -23%

 

These variances are within the statutory limits, and are completely supportable given the character of the ridings involved.

 

Conclusion

 

179.    In accordance with the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act, the Report of the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario, 2003, the objections, and the minutes of proceedings and evidence of the Subcommittee will be returned to the Speaker and the Chief Electoral Officer. We urge the Commission to consider carefully the objections, and the comments and recommendations contained in this report.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,



Peter Adams
Chair

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