Canada's federal electoral map is changing
Every 10 years, after the census is conducted, the number of electoral districts and their boundaries are revised to reflect population shifts and growth. Your electoral district – which is where you live and vote for your member of Parliament – may change as a result of the redistribution process.
Ten electoral boundaries commissions have been established. They operate independently in each province to propose new boundaries, consult with Canadians and create the new electoral map for their province.
Commissions are not required for Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut since each territory is a single electoral district.
In BC the electoral boundaries commission is chaired by Justice John E. Hall of the British Columbia Court of Appeal along with members Stewart Ladyman and Dr. J. Peter Meekison.
Here is the Commission's Report for BC:
B.C.’s federal political boundaries have been substantially redrawn in the Lower Mainland in a report submitted Monday to Canada’s chief electoral officer.
Because six new electoral districts are being added, five of those in the Lower Mainland, the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for British Columbia was able to preserve the original boundaries of only three existing ridings.
Those were Vancouver East, Victoria and Okanagan-Shuswap (renamed North Okanagan-Shuswap).
Only minor changes were made to ridings in northern B.C. and the Interior, but the commission made major adjustments elsewhere, including on Vancouver Island, which would get one new riding. There are currently 36 federal ridings.
In some instances, initially proposed boundaries were altered after feedback from the public, said Justice John Hall, chairman of the B.C. commission.
In Surrey, for example, boundaries were redrawn in Surrey Centre and the Newton area because they weren’t originally drawn up the best way possible.
MPs will now be given a chance to express their views on the changes to a parliamentary committee during the next month or two, forwarding objections, if any, to the commission.
The commission will consider MPs’ views but will have the final say on the boundaries, which will likely be decided before summer.
The commission tried to strike a balance between keeping to the population standard of 105,000 people per electoral district and retaining natural and historical community boundaries, Hall said Monday.
“Sometimes people agree with you, sometimes they disagree with you. We tried to take account of (public feedback) as much as we reasonably could, but sometimes there’s just sort of choices that are less bad,” he said.
In Vancouver, the riding of Vancouver-Granville was added but changes to the original proposals were not that dramatic, added Hall.
However, the proposed electoral district of Burnaby North-Seymour — which includes Burnaby North and part of North Vancouver — was virtually unchanged from the initial proposed boundaries, despite public opposition.
Hall acknowledged those new riding boundaries might not be welcomed.
NDP MP Kennedy Stewart, who holds the riding of Burnaby-Douglas, part of which is being carved up for the new riding of Burnaby-Seymour, is not happy with the changes.
He said the Burnaby riding changes faced stiff opposition in Burnaby and North Vancouver because they are separated by the Burrard Inlet and don’t form a natural constituency. A telephone survey of 2,000 people conducted by his office found 80 per cent of north Burnaby and North Vancouver residents opposed the new riding, he said. “My community is upset, North Vancouver is upset.”
Stewart, who won the previous election by a margin of just two per cent, said if people were to vote the same way under the new boundaries, he would lose by seven per cent.
Michael Pal, co-founder of the Voter Equality initiative to help everyday Canadians understand the process, said B.C. and Alberta fared well in the redrawing of the electoral map.
“It’s usually the urban and suburban areas that are under-represented, so redrawing the map every 10 years is a way to help those places with population growth so you actually have voter equality,” said Pal, who is also a fellow at the University of Toronto’s Mowat Centre policy think-tank.
With the addition of five electoral districts, there are now 26 in the Lower Mainland, representing nearly two thirds of the province’s ridings.
Ridings were also added in the Richmond-Delta and Langley-Cloverdale areas.
B.C.’s population has increased to 4.4 million from 3.9 million since the electoral boundaries were last redrawn in 2002.
Once electoral boundary changes are in place, Canada’s ridings will have increased to 338 from 308.http://www.vancouversun.com/federal+ridings+added/7885010/story.html#ixzz2JOdq8x3L