Federal electoral districts redistribution 2022



Every 10 years, after the decennial census is completed, the important democratic process of electoral boundary redistribution takes place. Redistribution is meant to reflect population growth and population movement among and within provinces. There are two steps in the redistribution process.

The first step involves a recalculation of the number of seats in the House of Commons given to each province, based on new population estimates and a complex formula contained in the Constitution. After the current redistribution, the number of seats in the House of Commons will increase from 338 to 342. Manitoba will retain the same number of seats that it had before the current redistribution process; that is, 14 seats.

The second step involves the establishment of 10 independent electoral boundaries commissions, one for each province. Each commission has three members: a chair appointed by the chief justice of the province and two other members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Commons.

As in other provinces, the task of the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for the Province of Manitoba is to readjust the boundaries of the province's 14 electoral districts (also called constituencies or ridings) to reflect growth and shifts in population, and to assign names to the ridings.

The main purpose of our Commission is to adjust boundaries so that each riding contains roughly the same number of people (we work with total population, not the number of voters). However, as described in more detail below, the Commission is also obligated to consider several other factors when determining the boundaries and names of ridings.

Pursuant to the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act (the Act), the Commission is required to prepare and publish preliminary maps of proposed ridings and to hold public hearings at which individuals and groups can express their views on those proposals. These public hearings will be held either in person or via videoconference. Suggestions and feedback on the preliminary maps can also be submitted by letter, e-mail and telephone, or by using the interactive map viewer at redecoupage-redistribution-2022.ca.

Once we have heard the various viewpoints, the Commission will review its proposal and draw a final electoral boundaries map.

Before becoming official, however, the proposed final map is tabled in Parliament, and members of Parliament (MPs) have the opportunity to express before a committee of the House of Commons their agreement or disagreement with the proposed new boundaries and any proposed name changes to Manitoba's 14 ridings.

Given that MPs have intimate knowledge of the communities they serve and are actively involved in the process of representing them, their views on the proposed maps must be given serious consideration by the Commission. However, to ensure an objective application of the representation principles stated in the Act, the Commission will make the final decision on the boundaries and names of ridings.

Since the Commission has significant discretion in drawing boundaries and makes the final decision on the maps, it is important that we promote maximum public participation in this key democratic process. That process is intended to establish relative parity of the vote, while ensuring that MPs are accessible to their constituents and can be responsive and effective spokespersons on their behalf. Later in this document, we describe the ways by which interested citizens can express their views during the redistribution process.

The Starting Point

In February 2022, Statistics Canada released the new population counts from the 2021 Census for each of Manitoba's 14 electoral districts. Manitoba saw an 11% overall increase in population since 2011. All electoral districts but one experienced population growth over the past decade. There was, however, significant variation in the rate of growth among them. For example, Winnipeg South saw an increase of 27,830 in its population, while Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley saw an increase of 2,903. Similarly, the population in Provencher increased by 20,850, whereas Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa added 2,129 people. Churchill—Keewatinook Aski was the only constituency to actually lose population. It experienced a drop of 3,890 people (4.57%) between 2011 and 2021. These population changes necessitate adjustment to the boundaries of Manitoba's electoral districts, to achieve greater voter parity.

Table 1 shows the total population of Manitoba to be 1,342,153. When divided by 14, this produces a population average of 95,868 per riding. The table also displays the variance or deviation from the provincial average for each riding.

Table 1 – Populations and Variances for Current Ridings
Riding Name 2021 Population Variance from Average Variance in Percentage
Brandon—Souris 89,812 -6,056 -6.32%
Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley 84,767 -11,101 -11.58%
Churchill—Keewatinook Aski 81,258 -14,610 -15.24%
Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa 89,503 -6,365 -6.64%
Elmwood—Transcona 101,691 5,823 6.07%
Kildonan—St. Paul 91,480 -4,388 -4.58%
Portage—Lisgar 100,417 4,549 4.75%
Provencher 109,445 13,577 14.16%
St. Boniface—St. Vital 95,514 -354 -0.37%
Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman 101,373 5,505 5.74%
Winnipeg Centre 87,499 -8,369 -8.73%
Winnipeg North 101,221 5,353 5.58%
Winnipeg South 113,370 17,502 18.26%
Winnipeg South Centre 94,803 -1,065 -1.11%
Total population 1,342,153
Provincial riding average 95,868

To reflect population growth and shifts, this Commission has the mandate to adjust boundaries on the basis of criteria established by the Act. Subsection 15(1) of the Act requires that the population of each riding be as close as is reasonably possible to the provincial average, or electoral quota, which for Manitoba is 95,868.

The Act, however, also requires the Commission to consider several other factors. A riding's population may vary from the provincial average by up to plus or minus 25% if the Commission considers that variance necessary or desirable in order to:

  • respect communities of interest or identity (for example, communities based around language or shared culture and history);
  • respect historical patterns and the continuity of previous riding boundaries; and
  • maintain a manageable geographic size for ridings in sparsely populated, rural or northern regions of the province.

We did not see a need to exercise this wide latitude when drawing the boundaries for any of Manitoba's 14 ridings, but we have sought to balance a primary commitment to reasonable parity of the vote in all parts of the province, with recognition of the other considerations that are relevant to effective representation.

Public Participation

The Commission considers the process of boundary readjustment to be a key democratic moment in establishing fair and effective representation for Manitobans in the House of Commons. To this end, we wish to encourage and support the maximum feasible amount of public participation in the process.

As was done by the 2012 Commission, the current Commission reached out at an early stage in its work to a wide range of organizations and individuals, announcing the commencement of our work and inviting them to provide comments on the principles and criteria that would guide the development of our proposed maps. There was also publicity in conventional and social media across Manitoba.

The Commission also prepared a Guide to Participation in the electoral boundary readjustment process, which can be found on our website at redecoupage-redistribution-2022.ca. We received a variety of submissions, including several offering detailed descriptions of potential changes to the boundaries. We incorporated some of these suggestions into this proposal. We thank those individuals and organizations for their input in this first phase.

To support transparency and fairness, the Commission decided to post written submissions on the website. This will enable interested organizations and individuals to review the proposals and supporting evidence being presented by others and to learn from the representations being made.

We will continue to welcome input throughout the course of our work, whether by regular mail, e-mail or telephone. Interested individuals, groups and organizations can consult our website at redecoupage-redistribution-2022.ca for more information on the boundary readjustment process. Contact information for all modes of communication with the Commission is found there and at the end of this proposal.

In describing our preliminary maps in this document, we have sought to identify clearly and fully the challenges that we faced in terms of balancing voter parity and effective representation. We identify the parameters in terms of population variation among the constituencies that we consider desirable. We explain how we assigned meaning to and applied elusive concepts such as community of interest and manageable geographic size that can be effectively serviced by an MP. In this way, we hope to make it easier for people to respond to our initial thinking on how to achieve effective representation.

In explaining the changes proposed for the boundaries of Manitoba's 14 ridings, we have decided to highlight only what we judged to be the most significant transfers of territory and population centres from one riding to another.

We recognize that people will be interested to learn whether changes are proposed for their communities. We encourage them to study the maps in detail and to share their opinions and feedback with us. The province is vast and comprises many diverse communities. As the Commission cannot be aware of all local social and economic circumstances, we welcome advice from Manitobans.

In developing our schedule of public hearings (see below), we have planned to visit parts of the province where major changes to the boundaries of constituencies are being proposed. In -person hearings have been scheduled for Winnipeg, Brandon and Steinbach. A virtual hearing has been scheduled for Thompson. The final hearing will be a virtual hearing intended for the entire province of Manitoba. Simultaneous translation will be provided at the hearing in Winnipeg and in the virtual hearing for all of Manitoba. We have also scheduled our hearings at 7:00 p.m. to facilitate participation.

We wish to emphasize that members of the public may attend and participate in any hearing they wish regarding the Commission's proposals. Participation in the hearings and representations from the public are not limited to the area where a hearing is held. For example, persons who would like to make a submission about a proposal that doesn't involve any of the electoral districts in Winnipeg may still attend the meeting in Winnipeg to make their submission.

In addition to registering to make a presentation before the Commission at a public hearing, individuals are also welcome to attend the hearings. However, due to technological constraints, even if you do not wish to make a presentation, you must register beforehand if you wish to attend a virtual hearing. Following the formal presentations at each hearing, the Commission will determine, at its discretion, whether to receive further comments from the floor.

Guiding Principles

As did our predecessors in 1992, 2002 and 2012, our Commission accepted as a fundamental principle the desirability of population equality among all ridings (such that each vote cast in the province shall have approximately the same weight) and set a tolerance goal of plus or minus 5% from the provincial average. During past redistribution processes, no one has challenged, in general terms, the reasonableness or fairness of this guiding principle, although there have been objections to how it has been applied to the boundaries proposed for particular ridings. We saw no basis to deviate from this deep-rooted principle, and therefore adopted a ±5% guideline.

Other considerations include geography, community interests and history, and minority representation. A more in-depth description of our guiding principles can be found on our website at redecoupage-redistribution-2022.ca.

Manitoba's 14 ridings can be divided into two groups: the eight Winnipeg-area ridings and the six mostly rural ridings. The Commission faced a similar challenge for each group: proposing boundaries that would ensure, to the extent reasonably possible, that the population of each riding would remain within 5% of the provincial average over the course of the next 10 years. To accomplish this, we decided to factor in population projections.

At the time of writing, the City of Winnipeg had not released a population growth analysis that factored in the 2021 Census, although the Commission did have the benefit of one prepared in 2016. Nonetheless, as a result of the 2021 Census, the Commission was able to determine neighbourhoods where significant population growth occurred. We also researched growth projections for various neighbourhoods and factored those into our considerations.

For the six constituencies outside of the Winnipeg area, we assumed that existing population trends would largely continue over the next decade, with some variations (for example, anticipated incremental growth in the City of Brandon).

In the City of Winnipeg, the electoral district of Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley posed a particular challenge. As earlier stated, the population of that constituency grew by only 2,903 between the 2011 and 2021 censuses. The result was that, in 2021, the population in that riding was 11.58% below the provincial average. To address this disparity, the rural municipalities of St. François Xavier and Cartier, as well as a small amount of territory from the eastern area of the Rural Municipality of Portage La Prairie, were added to the riding. Neighbourhoods from the riding of Winnipeg South Centre were also added.

Winnipeg South experienced the greatest population growth since 2012, and it is expected that this riding will continue to grow. Future growth is also expected in the ridings of St. Boniface—St. Vital, Elmwood—Transcona and Kildonan—St. Paul. To maintain our guideline, we adjusted the boundaries of all of the electoral districts in Winnipeg to account for the shifting and growing population in the city.

Outside of the City of Winnipeg, the one electoral district that experienced a decrease in population between 2011 and 2021 was ChurchillKeewatinook Aski. Prior to the proposed adjustment of its boundaries, the population of this riding was 15.24% below the provincial average. As stated earlier, this Commission, like its predecessor, aimed for a variance range within ±5% of the provincial average. Bringing Churchill—Keewatinook Aski close to parity with other constituencies would make representation by the MP, seeking to communicate with all parts of such a vast territory, impractical. Therefore, as a compromise, the Commission's proposal yields a variance of -7.02% for this riding, which is greater than our guideline.

To add the necessary population to the riding, the proposed map includes the addition of several communities from the Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa electoral district, including six First Nation communities, two rural municipalities and one municipality. We also added two First Nations from the riding of Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman.

The Commission recognizes that the large size of the ChurchillKeewatinook Aski electoral district poses challenges to effective representation, related to accessibility, commuting time and community of interest. However, technology has continued to improve, and new technologies allow for better access and communication, including by videoconference. As well, unlike some communities already in the riding, the added communities are accessible by road.

As for community of interest, a large number of constituents who live in the areas that are being added are from Indigenous communities, which presently represent a significant portion of that riding. We note that, since the 2012 proposal, the constituency offices for the electoral district of Churchill—Keewatinook Aski have changed: there is now an office in Peguis. This development provides the added First Nation communities with the opportunity to access a constituency office in a First Nation, which they would not otherwise have had.

As we have indicated, our three immediate predecessors accepted the fundamental principle of the desirability of population equality among all ridings when setting the guideline variance of ±5%. While the proposed changes in the Churchill—Keewatinook Aski electoral district will yield a variance of 7.02% below the provincial average, the Commission considers that to be a significant improvement from the current population variance of -15.24%. The Commission recognizes that, if the riding population continues to decline, as it has over the past several censuses, a different response than further expansion of the territory will likely be needed in the future.

The addition or subtraction of population from one constituency affects adjacent constituencies. This can be seen with the proposed moving of territory and population into Churchill—Keewatinook Aski, which is achieved, in part, by adding some northern parts of the current Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa riding. Because this change would mean that Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa would have a population significantly below the provincial average, the Commission looked for territory and population from other ridings. The best option we could identify was to take some territory, including the Town of Virden, from the northwest corner of the Brandon—Souris constituency, and add it to Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa.

We recognize that this proposal might be contentious, because Virden has long been part of Brandon—Souris, with close economic, transportation and social connections with the City of Brandon. However, with just over 3,000 people and many medium and small businesses, Virden serves as regional service centre for the nearby rural communities, some of which are in the current Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa riding.

Another consideration is that, due to anticipated population growth in the Brandon—Souris riding, particularly within the City of Brandon, the Commission believes that the population of the proposed riding should not be significantly above the provincial average. Leaving room for future growth was achieved by the movement of Virden and surrounding territory into Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa. The Commission invites comments on these reasons and welcomes alternative proposals for achieving voter parity in the western part of the province.

In making these and other changes to Manitoba's electoral map, the Commission was determined, to the extent reasonably possible, to respect community of interest and identity. We recognize that such concepts are inherently vague and difficult to apply precisely. Among the ways that the Commission has sought to give them concrete meaning has been to respect, as much as possible, the territorial integrity of entities such as municipalities, Indigenous communities and Manitoba's designated bilingual areas. If a proposed boundary passed through one of these entities, the Commission sought an alternative solution.

We have been able to achieve this goal with respect to First Nations, by not having to divide any First Nation in two. In fact, we are pleased that we were able to reunite the Little Saskatchewan First Nation within Churchill—Keewatinook Aski. It had previously been divided between that riding and Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman.

As for the province's five contiguous designated bilingual areas, we note that the rural municipalities of St. François Xavier and Cartier are now located in the Winnipeg region. As explained, the Commission felt it necessary to significantly increase the population of Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley, the only riding in the Winnipeg area more than 10% below the provincial average (at -11.58%). We look forward to receiving the opinions of the residents of these two rural municipalities which, like Headingley, are adjacent to the City of Winnipeg. As more population growth takes place in the semi-urban communities immediately outside the city, it becomes difficult to avoid combining rural and urban components within ridings. The Commission could not conceive of a more satisfactory solution.

In the proposal, other municipalities and rural municipalities within the designated bilingual areas have moved to different ridings. For the most part, these adjustments are aimed to address the overrepresentation and anticipated growth of population in the Provencher electoral district. They also address the population deficit in the ridings of Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa and Brandon—Souris that resulted from the additions made to the Churchill—Keewatinook Aski riding.

The Commission is pleased to note that, for the approximately 137 Manitoba municipalities, we were able to achieve substantial unity, with only one exception. A small area in the lower west portion of the Municipality of North Cypress-Langford was moved from the Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa riding to Brandon—Souris. In the Commission's view, it is advantageous to maintain the full community consisting of the Canadian Forces Base in Shilo within the same electoral district, while adding population to Brandon—Souris.

Proposed Name Change

The Commission proposes only one name change, to the electoral district of Charleswood—St. James—Assiniboia—Headingley. In light of the addition of several municipalities and neighbourhoods to that riding, the current name does not accurately reflect the composition of the redrawn electoral district. The Commission is of the view that to add any further community descriptors that would be inclusive of the additional communities in the proposed redistricting would not be advisable. For practical reasons, riding names must be clear and concise, to allow for ease of use in a variety of settings such as Parliament, the media, maps and print. Thus, the Commission proposes a new name for this riding: Winnipeg West. This name is consistent with the names of other electoral divisions in the Winnipeg area, such as Winnipeg South. It is clear, concise and practical.

There was one proposal to change the name of Portage—Lisgar to Morden—Winkler—Midland. We did not adopt this suggestion. It was the view of the Commission that there is historical significance in the use of the name Lisgar in the electoral district. The original Lisgar riding was created following the admission of Manitoba into the Canadian Confederation in 1870. Similarly, the name Portage has been a descriptor of the area since the creation of the Portage La Prairie electoral district in 1904. While both ridings have been abolished and the territory within them redistributed since, the current name reflects the historical significance of the riding, as well as the redistribution of the electoral divisions in 1997, which created the current riding.

Initial Proposal

After careful review, the Commission proposes maps and boundaries with the following names and population figures.

Table 2 – Populations and Variances for the Proposed Ridings
Federal Electoral District 2021 Population Variance from Average
Brandon—Souris 90,805 -5.28%
Churchill—Keewatinook Aski 89,132 -7.02%
Dauphin—Swan River—Neepawa 90,662 -5.43%
Elmwood—Transcona 98,324 2.56%
Kildonan—St. Paul 93,321 -2.65%
Portage—Lisgar 100,441 4.78%
Provencher 97,650 1.86%
St. Boniface—St. Vital 98,751 3.01%
Selkirk—Interlake—Eastman 97,682 1.90%
Winnipeg Centre 96,951 1.13%
Winnipeg North 95,082 -0.82%
Winnipeg South 95,515 -0.36%
Winnipeg South Centre 100,160 4.48%
Winnipeg West 97,677 1.89%
Total population 1,342,153
Provincial riding average 95,868