Ontario’s Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission concludes redistricting consultation: Beaches-East York boundary retained

Map image from the 2022 Redistribution Federal Electoral Districts website. After public consultation, the Beaches-East York federal electoral boundaries will remain the same. Click here to visit redecoupage-redistribution-2022.ca to filter the new federal electoral district redistribution boundaries for the province.

By AMARACHI AMADIKE, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Ontario’s Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission has completed its final report on the proposed federal electoral map after months of public consultation with residents and Members of Parliament.

The commission, consisting of The Honourable Justice Lynne C. Leitch (Chair), Dr. Karen Bird, and Peter John Loewen, tabled their report on Wednesday, July 19.

“In concluding this federal electoral district redistribution for the province of Ontario, the Commission wishes to express its sincere gratitude to the many members of the public who took part in this undertaking that is such an important part of Canada’s democratic process,” said Leitch.

Their initial proposal would have seen Beaches-East York lose a small section of the riding (east of Coxwell Avenue to Glebemount Avenue) with a northern expansion to Eglinton Avenue.

However, after public consultation, the commission opted to make no changes to the riding.

Beaches-East York MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, who was against altering his riding’s boundaries, told Beach Metro Community News that he is “glad to see the Commission reverse its changes to the boundaries.” The changes would have seen Erskine-Smith serve a larger number of constituents as well as potentially creating confusions for voters during the upcoming election.

“As it stands, our riding boundaries will remain the same,” said Erskine-Smith.

The Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act mandates a reassessment of the electoral map every decade. This practice aims to fairly divide the province into 122 ridings, meeting a population quota which is calculated by dividing the population of the province by the number of electoral districts.

As of the 2021 census, Ontario’s population has increased to 14,223,942 residents. This increase has changed the target quota for each riding to 116,590 residents of voting age.

Although Beaches-East York will remain the same, other ridings are experiencing a different fate.

The redrawn electoral map sees Northern Ontario lose one riding–Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing–which was merged with Timmins-Bay and renamed Kapuskasing-Timmins-Mushkegowuk. This adds 10,000 residents to the riding.

With the loss of Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, other ridings will be expanded in order to meet the new population quota.

Northern MPs have voiced concerns about the distance they will now need to travel in order to effectively serve their constituents with reports of MPs having to serve areas as large as 13,000 square-metres.

Scarborough will also lose one riding, reducing the region’s representation from six to five. Scarborough-Guildwood and Scarborough-Rouge Park were consolidated and renamed to Scarborough-Guildwood-Rouge Park.

Agincourt, a Liberal stronghold since its inception in 1988 which was initially proposed to be dissolved, was instead extended westward to Hwy. 404.

“It remains concerning that we will lose districts and representation in both Toronto and in northern Ontario,” said Erskine-Smith. “In my view, a better solution would have been to grow the number of MPs in the House of Commons by a modest amount, adding new districts where necessary without eliminating any.”

Although the commission has completed its report, a final approval won’t be done until Members of Parliament meet again in September.

Following the final approval, changes won’t come into effect until the 2025 federal election. However, if an election is called within the next seven months, the old boundaries will be used.

For more information on the electoral boundary redistribution, visit www.redistribution2022.ca

— Amarachi Amadike is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter for Beach Metro Community News. His reporting is funded by the Government of Canada through its Local Journalism Initiative.

 

 


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