You may change electoral districts, without even moving

You may change your electoral district, without even moving

Several electoral districts around Montreal could be redrawn before the next federal election. Proposals on this subject have been tabled by the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission.

For example, the riding of Ahuntsic-Cartierville could be reduced to the benefit of that of Saint-Laurent, south of boulevard de l’Acadie. Some citizens would therefore change MPs, going from Mélanie Joly to Emmanuella Lambropoulos.

The only two ridings on the island where parties other than the Liberals sit, namely Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie and Pointe-de-l’Île, represented respectively by the New Democratic Party (NDP) and the Bloc Québécois, would remain almost unscathed.

If the proposal is accepted, the riding of Outremont would expand considerably. It would see the addition of Mount Royal as well as a thin part of the north of the city center, currently in Ville-Marie–Le-Sud-Ouest–Île-des-Soeurs. Outremont would also get a share of Notre-Dâme-de-Grâce–Westmount.

Saint-Léonard–Saint-Michel would also see its territory restricted. The portion east of Langelier Boulevard would be added to Honoré-Mercier, where Quebec Lieutenant Pablo Rodriguez currently sits. The electoral division of Dorval–Lachine–LaSalle would also be restricted to the south of the corner of rue Airlie and 90e Avenue. This zone would pass through LaSalle–Émard–Verdun.

A redistricting imposed by the Constitution

The publication of this redistricting proposal is required by the Constitution of Canada. This provides that the boundaries of the electoral districts be examined “after each decennial census in order to reflect the changes and movements of the population of Canada”, explains Elections Canada. In June, Parliament changed the representation formula that determines the number of MLAs to be allocated to each province, confirming that Quebec will retain its 78 MLAs.

However, in its proposal, the Commission proposes to abolish the head office of Avignon–La Mitis–Matane–Matapédia in Gaspésie and to create a new one in the Laurentians. The boundaries of some sixty other constituencies are for their part modified “to bring the population figure of these constituencies closer to the electoral quotient of 108,998”, can we read in the press release revealing the proposed scenario. A dozen ridings would see their names changed so that “the electoral map better reflects the Aboriginal presence in Quebec”.

According to commissioner Louis Massicotte, retired full professor of political science at Laval University, the he exercise, however, is not only mathematical. Other criteria such as “the community of interest or the specificity of an electoral district” and “the concern to ensure that the size of the districts in sparsely populated, rural or northern areas of the province is not too vast” must also be taken into account, as provided for in the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act.

A series of public consultations will take place this fall on the proposed new electoral map. It is possible to consult the modifications appearing in this proposal by visiting the interactive map.

With the collaboration of Benjamin Aubert

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