A federal riding lost in Gaspésie, one won in the Laurentians

The Bloc Québécois has a hard time digesting the proposed changes to the map of federal ridings, which gives a new seat to the Commons in the Laurentians at the expense of the Gaspé riding of Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, which is to be merged with its neighbors .

This is the conclusion of the report of the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for the province of Quebec, made public on Wednesday. It recommends new borders to no less than 61 of the 78 ridings in Quebec. Only 17 therefore remain unchanged.

“We cannot afford, in such a large territory, from Montmagny to the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, to lose a riding,” criticized Kristina Michaud, the current MP for the riding doomed to disappear.

She promises to do everything to « save the political weight of eastern Quebec », referring to a collaboration with Liberal minister Diane Lebouthillier and Conservative MP Bernard Généreux to put pressure on the commission to overturn its verdict. This is the third time that such a commission has proposed the elimination of a seat in the region.

Changes for 2024

This series of redistricting, work that must be done every ten years, is coming to an end. Elected officials dissatisfied with the work of retired judge Jacques Chamberland and his two expert commissioners can still be heard before a parliamentary committee. The commission could amend its final report, which the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada must normally table by the summer.

The changes must then be translated into a decree by the government. The Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, Dominic Leblanc, does not intend to change the decisions made by the Independent Commission. The new constituency boundaries will come into effect when the next election is called, if held after April 2024.

The federal electoral representation of other regions of Quebec will also be transformed. Jonquière, in Saguenay, for example, will share its headquarters in Ottawa with Alma, in Lac-Saint-Jean. « It’s laughing at our region, » reacted Bloc Québécois MP Alexis Brunelle-Duceppe, whose riding must be amputated from the city of Alma.

Montreal neighborhood divided

In Montreal, the ridings of Laurier—Sainte-Marie and Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount must be expanded by eating into the territory of Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Soeurs. Sud-Ouest borough councilor Craig Sauvé speaks of a “disaster” for the Saint-Henri district. United by its precarious socioeconomic condition and its community groups, it will soon be divided into two federal ridings, on either side of its main street, rue Notre-Dame.

“We have just massacred the natural border [du quartier]. It doesn’t make sense. It will make life more difficult for local consultation, ”he lamented in an interview with the To have to.

The electoral boundaries of the greater Québec region will be modified; still others will change names, such as Salaberry—Suroît which becomes Beauharnois—Soulanges. Other names have been changed to represent the Aboriginal reality of Quebec.

In addition, a brand new electoral division will see the light of day in the Laurentians. Named Les Pays-d’en-Haut, it will bring together the towns of Saint-Sauveur, Sainte-Adèle and their surroundings. The leader of the Bloc Québécois, Yves-François Blanchet, would have liked this new seat not to be created “to the detriment of eastern Quebec”.

“We deserved to keep the ridings in eastern Quebec and add ridings in regions where the population is growing. I don’t think people who live in the Laurentians are particularly worried about their ability to make their voices heard, especially not in the region where it’s created, which is roughly halfway between Montreal and Ottawa, » said explained Mr. Blanchet.

A law adopted last June establishes the maintenance of a minimum of 78 electoral divisions in Quebec. However, five ridings were created in other provinces: three in Alberta, one in Ontario and one in British Columbia. The relative weight of Quebec’s representation would thus be diluted in a House of Commons going from 338 to 343 elected members.

To see in video

(function(d, s, id){ var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) {return;} js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "https://connect.facebook.net/fr_CA/sdk.js"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));


Back to top button