Proposed Boundaries – Alberta
Overview and Explanations
According to census figures, Alberta's population grew from 3,645,257 in 2011 to 4,262,635 in 2021. Most of the increase took place in Alberta's two largest cities and nearby communities, with some rural electoral districts recording gains and others moderate declines. Population changes and the addition of three new electoral districts required adjustments to every electoral district in Alberta. In approaching its task, the Commission has been guided by the need to create electoral districts as close to the provincial quota of 115,206 as is reasonably possible, taking account of communities of interest and identity, historical patterns and geographic size.
The Commission has not found any extraordinary circumstances that would justify deviating from the electoral quota by more than 25%. All of the proposed electoral districts are within 5% of the quota. The largest proposed electoral district has a population of 120,917, or 4.96% over the quota. The smallest has a population of 110,350, or 4.22% under the quota.
The Commission has been governed by its constitutional and statutory obligations in preparing its proposed redistribution plan. As required by section 15 of the Act, the Commission considered the geographic size, community of interest or community of identity in, and the historical pattern of, each electoral district in determining whether deviation from the electoral quota was either necessary or desirable. The Commission considered the topography of each electoral district and the impact of its geographic size on the representation of any electoral district, particularly in the northern and less populated areas.
Ms. Olivia Mancuso, a skilled geography specialist, worked with the Commission. In addition, the Commission had access to data from the Department of Natural Resources and the Chief Statistician of Canada. Population figures are based on the 2021 census, as provided by Statistics Canada. The Commission considered existing federal electoral districts, provincial electoral districts, and county and municipal boundaries, and it made efforts to follow such boundaries where convenient and considered desirable.
By use of its website, the Commission invited comments and suggestions from the public. This was not intended as a substitute for the full public hearings, which will occur following publication of this proposed redistribution plan. The Commission appreciates the many comments, maps and recommendations received. These comments identified many issues, which were discussed and considered.
In determining the names of the electoral districts, the Commission wanted them to reflect an identifying physical or historical site, object or geographical feature within their boundaries. Many of the existing names were retained. However, following the federal guidelines, where an electoral district was substantially altered, a new name was selected.
The Commission welcomes full input from Albertans at the public hearings, following which it will prepare its final report in accordance with its constitutional and statutory mandate.
Proposed Electoral Districts
The Commission proposes 37 electoral districts for Alberta, listed in the table below.
|Electoral District||2021 Population||Deviation from Quota of 115,206|
|Calgary Forest Lawn||119,626||+3.84%|
|Calgary Nose Hill||118,822||+3.14%|
|Calgary Signal Hill||120,917||+4.96%|
|Edmonton Mill Woods||113,208||–1.73%|
|Fort McMurray—Cold Lake||110,779||–3.84%|
The Appendix of this proposal contains a detailed description and map for each proposed electoral district.
General Comments on Regions
City of Calgary
Calgary's population grew from 1,096,833 in 2011 to 1,306,784 in 2021; this represents an increase of 19.14%. While some of the city's electoral districts grew moderately or declined slightly, the remaining districts experienced substantial growth. Accommodating these changes required adjustments to the boundaries of all electoral districts in Calgary. The Commission proposes that the number of electoral districts be increased from 10 to 11, with an average population of 118,799, or 3.12% above Alberta's electoral quota. The Commission finds this increase acceptable and in line with the recommendations of earlier commissions. Reflecting Calgary's long-standing community of interest, all the electoral districts are located within the boundaries of the City.
The Commission considered and rejected the idea of increasing the number of the City's electoral districts to 12. Were this to be done, the average population of each district would be 108,899, or 5.48% below the province's electoral quota, which the Commission considers inappropriate.
The populations of the Calgary Nose Hill, Calgary Confederation, Calgary Centre and Calgary Signal Hill electoral districts sustained moderate increases between 2011 and 2021. The Commission proposes that the northern boundary of Calgary Nose Hill be moved southward, closer to Nose Hill Park, and its eastern boundary to Deerfoot Trail NE. Its southwestern boundary would extend to Crowchild Trail NW, resulting in a readjusted boundary with Calgary Confederation. It recommends that the boundaries of Calgary Confederation, Calgary Centre and Calgary Signal Hill be modified to bring their population numbers into alignment with other electoral districts. These changes allow adjustments to be made to accommodate growing and shifting population patterns in the City's other electoral districts.
The Commission proposes that the electoral districts of Calgary Heritage and Calgary Midnapore be realigned in an east-west rather than a north-south direction. The Commission also recommends that Calgary Shepard, which experienced the largest growth in population of any Calgary electoral district, be reduced in geographic size along its western and northern boundaries in order to manage its population numbers. In addition, the Commission proposes to offset a decline in the population of the Calgary Forest Lawn electoral district by extending its northwestern boundary and its shared southern boundary with the electoral district of Calgary Shepard.
The Commission recommends that a new electoral district, Calgary McKnight, composed of the northeastern portion of the current Calgary Forest Lawn electoral district and the southeastern portion of the existing Calgary Skyview electoral district, be created in the heavily populated northeastern sector of the City. The name Calgary McKnight is proposed because McKnight Boulevard is a major roadway that traverses the district. It honours William Lidstone McKnight, a Calgary aviator and hero in the Battle of Britain in the Second World War.
The Calgary Skyview electoral district, which recorded the City's second-highest population increase, required substantial modification. The recommended reconfiguration would see it bounded in the south by the Calgary Forest Lawn and the proposed Calgary McKnight electoral districts, and extended west along the northern boundary of the redrawn Calgary Nose Hill electoral district, to a shared boundary with a modified and renamed Calgary Crowchild electoral district, formerly known as Calgary Rocky Ridge.
The Calgary Rocky Ridge electoral district saw the third-highest population growth in the City. The Commission recommends that the eastern boundary be moved westward to achieve a more equitable population balance with other electoral districts. The Commission also proposes that the name of the electoral district of Calgary Rocky Ridge be changed to Calgary Crowchild to better reflect its new boundaries.
City of Edmonton
The population of the City of Edmonton in the 2011 census was 812,201, and, in the 2021 census, it had increased to 1,010,899, a rise of 24.46%. This growth in population and the recent expansion of Edmonton's municipal southern boundaries necessitated changes to all the City's electoral districts.
The Commission recommends that, having regard to the community of interest, all nine Edmonton electoral districts be contained within the Edmonton City limits. This has been the approach adopted with respect to Calgary for decades. The average population of the proposed electoral districts in Edmonton is 112,322, or 2.50% under the province's electoral quota. It therefore follows that Edmonton's two existing hybrid electoral districts, St. Albert—Edmonton and Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, be substantially reconfigured so that the areas falling outside the Edmonton City limits are removed and added to other electoral districts.
With respect to St. Albert—Edmonton, the Commission proposes to reassign the City of St. Albert to the reconfigured and renamed electoral district of Sturgeon River. This will have the effect of placing St. Albert in the same electoral district as other Francophone communities north of Edmonton, including Legal and Morinville.
The proposed Edmonton Winterburn electoral district is created from the portion of the present St. Albert—Edmonton electoral district that will remain within Edmonton's City limits. It also includes portions of the existing Edmonton West and Edmonton Griesbach electoral districts.
The hybrid electoral district of Edmonton—Wetaskiwin had a 2021 decennial census population of 209,431, an increase of 89.28% from the 2011 census. This was the highest growth of any electoral district in Canada. The largest portion of this growth was in the Edmonton area, annexed in January 2019. This dramatic population growth necessitated a reconfiguration of Edmonton's southern electoral districts and allows the City of Wetaskiwin to become part of a reconfigured and renamed electoral district of Wetaskiwin—Lacombe.
The Commission proposes that the Edmonton Mill Woods electoral district be extended south to the City limits. The area west of 66th Street NW in the present Edmonton Mill Woods electoral district will become part of a new electoral district, Edmonton Gateway.
The creation of the proposed electoral district of Edmonton Gateway in the south-centre of the City allows the population growth on the south side of the City to be shared among three electoral districts.
The Commission recommends that the Edmonton Riverbend electoral district be extended south to the City limits, with the eastern portion relocated to the proposed Edmonton Gateway electoral district. A small section in the north has been moved into the electoral district of Edmonton Strathcona.
With the disparity of population between the north and south sides of the North Saskatchewan River, it is proposed that the electoral district of Edmonton West span the river. Most of the Windermere community, located on the east side of the river, has been added. The communities on both sides of the river have newer developments with similar character and interests.
The electoral district of Edmonton Manning's high population growth required adjustments to bring its numbers into closer alignment with other electoral districts. It is proposed that the most westerly communities be moved into the Edmonton Griesbach electoral district. The communities south of Yellowhead Trail NW, east of 50th Street NW and north of the river are added to the Edmonton Manning electoral district.
The proposed new orientation of the electoral district of Edmonton Griesbach is in a more north-south direction, extending north to the City limits and south to the North Saskatchewan River. This configuration increases the population of the electoral district of Edmonton Griesbach.
Edmonton's inner-city electoral districts experienced little change in their populations. The Commission proposes that the electoral district of Edmonton Centre be shifted slightly east, gaining some population from Edmonton Griesbach. The southwestern boundary of the electoral district is moved north to 95th Avenue NW.
The Edmonton Strathcona electoral district is altered only slightly, with a few communities to the south of Whitemud Drive NW being added to it. Where possible, the Commission has maintained the North Saskatchewan River as a boundary. The community of Riverdale on the north side of the river has been kept in Edmonton Strathcona as the interests of Riverdale align well with the Cloverdale and Forest Heights communities, which are immediately across the river.
The electoral district of Sturgeon River—Parkland is located directly north and west of Edmonton. The Commission proposes that the City of St. Albert be placed in this electoral district. This configuration has the benefit of allowing St. Albert and other Francophone communities, such as Legal and Morinville, to maintain their historical and cultural communities of interest. Since only a small portion of the County of Parkland remains in the reconfigured electoral district, it is proposed that the name be changed to Sturgeon River.
Large population growth in communities surrounding Edmonton and Calgary, as well as the corridor between the two cities, has led the Commission to propose the creation of two new electoral districts, Spruce Grove—Leduc and Airdrie—Chestermere, and to recommend significant changes to the adjacent electoral districts.
The new electoral district of Spruce Grove—Leduc includes the growing communities of Spruce Grove, Leduc, Stony Plain and Devon. It is composed of portions of the existing Sturgeon River—Parkland and Edmonton—Wetaskiwin electoral districts.
The new electoral district of Airdrie—Chestermere encompasses the communities of Airdrie and Chestermere, which have experienced particularly rapid population growth over the past decade. Airdrie and Chestermere are located, respectively, to the north and east of Calgary. This new electoral district includes parts of the current Banff—Airdrie and Bow River electoral districts.
The Commission recommends that two reconfigured electoral districts, Wetaskiwin—Lacombe and Red Deer, be created to replace the existing hybrid districts of Red Deer—Lacombe and Red Deer—Mountain View. The proposed Wetaskiwin—Lacombe electoral district, which includes the communities of Wetaskiwin, Lacombe and Sylvan Lake, consists of portions of the current electoral districts of Edmonton—Wetaskiwin, Red Deer—Lacombe and Red Deer—Mountain View. The proposed Red Deer electoral district, which includes the City of Red Deer in its entirety, occupies a portion of the current Red Deer—Mountain View electoral district.
The proposed electoral district of Canmore—Cochrane—Olds responds to the growing populations of Canmore and Cochrane, and includes the communities of Didsbury, Carstairs and Olds. It consists of portions of the current Banff—Airdrie and Red Deer—Mountain View electoral districts as well as small portions of the electoral districts of Foothills and Bow River.
Remaining Electoral Districts
The Commission proposes that the current electoral district of Yellowhead be extended to include Banff National Park. This places Banff and Jasper National Parks together in a common community of interest. In addition to the inclusion of Banff National Park, the Yellowhead electoral district is expanded to encompass an area west of Range Road 33 and west of Highway 766 taken from the current Red Deer—Lacombe electoral district. The area west of Range Road 50 and a small portion west of Range Road 281 are also added to the Yellowhead electoral district from the current Edmonton—Wetaskiwin electoral district. Finally, an area that was formerly part of the Sturgeon River—Parkland electoral district west of Highway 33 is added to the Yellowhead electoral district.
The Commission recommends that the four existing electoral districts in southern Alberta be retained, but with alterations to each.
The Commission proposes that the electoral district of Foothills' southeastern boundary be moved eastward to include the Blood Indian Reserves No. 148 and No. 148A, which will now be located within the same electoral district as Piikani Nation, Eden Valley Indian Reserve No. 216 and Tsuu T'ina First Nation. The areas to the south and west of the Tsuu T'ina First Nation Indian Reserve and a small portion to the north of the reserve are added to the reconfigured electoral district of Foothills. Last, the Town of Vulcan is included in the electoral district of Foothills. The eastern boundary now runs along Highway 23 and Highway 24.
Due to the population growth of the City of Lethbridge, the Commission recommends that the electoral district of Lethbridge be reduced in geographical size by moving its northern boundary south to the Oldman River. The City of Lethbridge and the outlying communities of Coaldale and Coalhurst will remain within the electoral district.
The Commission proposes that the western boundary of the Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner electoral district be moved eastward so that the Blood Indian Reserves No. 148 and No. 148A can be located within the Foothills electoral district. The Town of Taber and the Village of Barnwell, currently located in the Bow River electoral district, are proposed to be added to the electoral district of Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner. The proposed northern boundary of Medicine Hat—Cardston—Warner will move south to Township Road 150.
The boundaries of the Bow River electoral district are proposed to be moved north and east to the Alberta-Saskatchewan border. A number of communities currently in the Bow River electoral district are proposed to be reassigned to other electoral districts. Chestermere, Beiseker and Irricana are proposed to be reassigned to the new Airdrie—Chestermere electoral district, with the Town of Vulcan being moved into the electoral district of Foothills. On the other hand, proposed to be added to the electoral district of Bow River are the following centres: Drumheller, Hanna, Innisfail, Bowden, Oyen, Three Hills, Youngtown, Trochu, Barons, Nobleford and Picture Butte.
The Commission recommends that the three existing electoral districts in central-eastern Alberta be retained, but, in each instance, some changes are made to their boundaries.
The southern boundary of the Battle River—Crowfoot electoral district is proposed to be moved north to follow the southern limits of Paintearth County No. 18 and Special Area No. 4, and to proceed along Highway 589. The proposed northern boundary is, for the most part, defined by the Yellowhead Highway. The municipalities of Lloydminster and Vegreville are to be located within the electoral district of Battle River—Crowfoot. The communities of Camrose, Stettler, Wainwright and Tofield are to remain within its boundaries.
It is proposed that the electoral district of Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan's southern boundary be moved south and then west, wrapping around Edmonton's southern City limits to include the City of Beaumont. The proposed northern boundary will mainly follow the Yellowhead Highway. As a result, Fort Saskatchewan will now be located within the proposed boundaries of the Lakeland electoral district. Due to these changes, it is proposed that the name of the Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan electoral district be changed to Sherwood Park—Beaumont.
The Commission proposes that the southern boundary of the Lakeland electoral district be moved north and mainly follow the Yellowhead Highway. Although Lloydminster will no longer be within the electoral district of Lakeland, Fort Saskatchewan will be added. Redwater and Gibbons, which are in the current Sturgeon River—Parkland electoral district, are to be assigned to the newly reconfigured Lakeland electoral district. Adjustments are also made to the northern boundary of the Lakeland electoral district.
In 2012, northern Alberta was divided into three electoral districts. The Commission proposes maintaining this configuration, although with some changes.
The City of Grande Prairie has grown substantially. To accommodate this growth, it is proposed that the northern boundary of the Grande Prairie—Mackenzie electoral district end at the northern boundaries of the County of Northern Lights and Paddle Prairie Metis Settlement. As Mackenzie County is no longer included in the reconfigured electoral district, the Commission recommends changing the name of the electoral district to Grande Prairie.
The electoral district of Peace River—Westlock declined slightly in population; thus, it is proposed that Mackenzie County be included. This brings the populations of the proposed electoral districts of Grande Prairie and Peace River—Westlock into closer alignment. As well, small adjustments are proposed to the Peace River—Westlock electoral district's southern boundary around Lac la Nonne.
The Commission recommends two boundary changes to the electoral district of Fort McMurray—Cold Lake. The first of these is that the area of Athabasca County located north of the La Biche River and the area including the La Biche River Wildland Provincial Park be added to the Fort McMurray—Cold Lake electoral district. The second change adds a small portion of land located south of Highway 28 to the west of Cold Lake Indian Reserve No. 149 and north of Highway 659.
The electoral district landscape of Alberta has been modified to accommodate three new electoral districts as well as population shifts and changes, as recorded in the 2021 census.
All the existing electoral districts have been changed. Calgary and Edmonton comprise 54.37% of the 2021 census population count for the province of Alberta. Together, they have 20 of Alberta's 37 electoral districts, which equates to 54.05%.
The Commission proposes one new electoral district for the City of Calgary (Calgary McKnight), and two new electoral districts, one adjacent to the City of Edmonton (Spruce Grove—Leduc), and one adjacent to the City of Calgary (Airdrie—Chestermere). The Commission is satisfied that all the proposed electoral districts can be effectively represented.