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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
Mr. Adams proposes to have all of the Township of Cavan-Millbrook-North
Monaghan placed in the riding of Peterborough.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nepean-Carleton and Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
According to Mr. Reid and numbers available from Elections
Canada, his proposals would result in the following variances:
Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington: +0.61%
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.
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
(c) Ottawa South
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
(excluding the Greater Toronto Area)
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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) Grey—Bruce—Owen Sound
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.
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.
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.
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
Mr. Jackson provided the Subcommittee with four alternatives:
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;
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;
Leave Brockton in Grey—Bruce—Owen Sound and put South
Bruce, along with Arran-Elderslie, in Huron-Bruce; or
Leave Grey—Bruce—Owen Sound as originally proposed by the
Commission — all of Grey County including Blue Mountain.
Committee recognizes and sympathizes with Mr. Jackson’s objection. It appreciates the proposals Mr. Jackson has
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Ridges—Markham
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.
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.
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.
Mr. Byron Wilfert, Member of Parliament for Oak Ridges, also
filed an objection to the proposed name for the riding of
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 East—Stoney Creek
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.
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
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
appears to be a discrepancy between this comment on page 34 of the Commission’s
report and the map on pages 106 and 107.
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.
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) Pickering—Scarborough East
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
(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.
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”.
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”.
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”.
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.
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.
to data available from Elections Canada, Ms. Parrish’s suggestion would
transfer approximately 9,000 residents from Mississauga South to
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Steven Mahoney, Member of Parliament for Mississauga West, filed an objection
to the name of the proposed electoral district of
Mr. Mahoney suggests that the new riding needs to reflect the
community of Meadowvale and be called
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.
Committee concurs with Mr. Mahoney’s objection and recommends the riding
be called “Mississauga–Streetsville–Meadowvale”.
(g) Toronto Centre
Hon. Bill Graham, P.C., Member of Parliament for Toronto Centre—Rosedale,
filed an objection to the proposed name of “Toronto Centre”.
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.
Committee agrees with Mr. Graham and recommends the name remain
(h) East York and
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
to numbers available from Elections Canada, the above proposal would produce
the following variances:
Nickel Belt: -29.6%
Timmins—James Bay: -22.43%
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
Thunder Bay: -21%
Kenora—Rainy River: -23%
variances are within the statutory limits, and are completely supportable given
the character of the ridings involved.
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.