Redécoupage des circonscriptions fédérales de 2022

Commentaire 17 (23 juin 2022) commentaires et rétroaction

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Les documents ci-dessous sont affichés dans la langue officielle d'origine tels qu'ils ont été reçus.

Dr. James A. McAllister

The federal electoral boundaries commission has released its proposals to show how it wants to redraw Manitoba's riding boundaries, but it has made a major error in its proposals for the Churchill-Keewatinook Aski district, an error which exacerbates problems with the existing boundaries. The commission plans to increase the riding's population, but its sheer size and the remoteness of some communities currently makes effective representation in Ottawa problematic to the extreme and the commission proposes to make these problems worse.

The commission points out that the federal Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act permits a variance from the provincial average to maintain a manageable geographic size for ridings in sparsely populated, rural or northern regions of the province and then goes on to ignore this provision of the Act. It permits the commission to take into account circumstances that are extraordinary as just cause to increase the variance from one district to another, but the commission ignores this provision when it comes to northern Manitoba. The commission says that it recognizes that any redistribution must involve protecting the constitutional rights of the Indigenous communities and cites sections 25 and 35 of the Charter, but it proposes to make the problems of adequate representation worse for Indigenous peoples living in northern Manitoba.

The commission is proposing to expand the boundaries of one, northern Manitoba riding, increase its population from 81,258 to 89,132 and have it include a land mass covering four fifths of the province. Elsewhere, federal commissions have recognized the unique nature of their northern and remote regions. In Saskatchewan, their current commission has indicated that a substantial variation from the electoral quota is potentially justified and has proposed their northern district be reduced to 45,524 people. In Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador, previous federal commissions concluded that there were reasonable grounds to apply the extraordinary circumstances provision of the Act. Also, each of the northern Canadian territories has one MP who represents a fraction of the population of districts south of 60.

The commission should recognize the absurdity of the current situation in Manitoba, recognize the extraordinary circumstances of the north and reduce the geographic size and population of Churchill-Keewatinook Aski, not increase it.

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