Federal electoral districts redistribution 2022

Comment 16 comments and feedback

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Ruby Sahota

To the Redistribution Committee:

My name is Ruby Sahota, I am writing to the commission today regarding the current riding of Brampton North, which I have represented as Member of Parliament since 2015.

I want to start off by recognizing the commission for their tireless effort and dedication to what can otherwise be a very laborious task. Please note, any of the proposals I will be bringing forward pertaining to the current riding of Brampton North, reflect various and diverse communities and their best interests that I have been advocating for throughout my tenure in Ottawa. I do understand that any revisions to the proposal will serve an accumulative effect, and this has been taken into consideration prior to putting my thoughts forward.

To begin, I would like to emphasize the importance of keeping natural boundary lines consistent with previous redistributions, and ensure we are proposing major arteries as boundaries as well as the local Highway 410, here in Brampton. Pertaining to the matter of Highway 410, in the commission's proposal the 410 is being used as a natural boundary but then is not consistently used all the way down to Williams Parkway on the south side, as it has been in the current riding. I pose the question of why we would not use the 410 as a natural and innate boundary, down to Williams Parkway to include the North Park Community?

This community is an integral part of Brampton North, and this community of interest is very similar to the neighboring communities both culturally and linguistically. They have worked collaboratively together here in Brampton North to form a cohesive voice and isolating them from similar interest groups will lessen their collective voice that they have worked hard to fight for given the similar demographics of the community. It would be unfortunate to have them divided or lumped together with communities that are not alike, as it becomes a matter of sound representation in their riding. Further to this, the Jamiat Ul Ansar of Brampton, also known as the Great Lakes Masjid, serves as an epicentre for the Muslim community in the North Park area. By separating the North Park area and the Great Lakes Masjid area from the riding, it will risk further dividing an underrepresented group from an important religious institution that has served as a crucial communal landmark, and an important part of the everyday lives for the Muslim constituents in North Park.

I propose to continue to use Highway 410 as a boundary down to Williams Parkway to keep the North Park community within current Brampton North riding boundaries, unchanged from the last redistribution.

I want to encourage the commission to further examine the makeup of communities within Brampton and further Brampton North to ensure the proposal is not serving as a divider in similar interest communities and groups. I have seen firsthand how hard these groups have fought to have an impactful voice and representation with their local policy and lawmakers. The current proposal is at risk of dividing culturally similar and possibly underrepresented communities and combining communities that are do not hold parallel attributes.

This particularly pertains to the community of Heartlake, which is at risk of being removed from the current riding of Brampton North if the proposal is not revised. Demographically, communities in the Heartlake region between Bovaird Drive and Sandalwood Parkway are very similar to those in Springdale. It is crucial for these communities to be contained within one riding to maintain cohesion for constituents and stakeholders in Brampton North. Due to these reasons, I propose to keep the Heartlake community within riding boundaries and removing Queen Street to Williams Parkway as a possible solution to balance population numbers. This will also be a consistent pattern to the redistribution process. As the riding was already brought up from the southern boundary to Williams Parkway in the last redistribution therefore it does not make any sense to now be going back in that direction; there should be a pattern and cohesive vision to boundary changes. Voters are unfairly disadvantaged by this type of confusion.

As mentioned previously, it is crucial the commission notes the importance of keeping consistency along with easier comprehension of riding boundaries for constituents. This includes limiting riding boundaries to major arteries and highways. On the east boundary of the current riding of Brampton North, the proposal uses Mountainash Road as a riding boundary. I am concerned that this will cause confusion among constituents, particularly of the Mountainash Road neighborhoods. This is due to this road not being a major artery, but a residential two-lane street. By using this as the eastern boundary of the riding, the commission once again is at risk of dividing not only a community of interest, but a neighborhood which can be consolidated if we utilize major arteries as boundaries. Therefore, as a solution to this, I propose the commission honours the current eastern boundary of the riding at Torbram Road, and not divide the Mountainash Community.

Another apprehension I would like to convey to the commission is the misperception that the proposed riding name changes will cause among constituents. At times, as those working on the inside and from the perspective of familiarity, one can cease to remember the unfamiliarity many constituents face revolving around electoral districts and riding boundaries. In my experience, I have found that some constituents in my riding still refer to the current ridings with the previous redistribution's riding names. We must maintain consistency to avoid great confusion among residents and stakeholders of Brampton North, along with the remaining ridings in Brampton. I find the most digestible riding names are the ones we currently have which all coincide with geographic directions. In the proposed riding names, especially pertaining to Brampton North, I find that changing the name to Brampton-Chinguacousy from Brampton North, previously named Brampton-Springdale lacks consistency, and to ensure clarity I propose to keep the riding boundary names unchanged, and a possible suggestion for the northern most riding being Brampton – Caledon.

The final piece I will be writing to is the issue of government correspondence pertaining to certain postal codes involving Canada Post, which historically has been a reoccurring issue I have encountered firsthand from constituents. When riding boundaries are not cut according to major arteries, this leads to major correspondence issues for constituents in certain pockets, as riding boundaries don't split down postal codes for Canada Post. This leads to residents being further at risk of not receiving communications from their Member of Parliament because they fall into a thick pocket where the last three digits of their postal codes have an overlap. For example, the Snelgrove postal code region falls under both current Brampton North and Brampton West ridings, due to the way it is being split on Wanless – meaning a significant chunk of constituents are not getting communication from their MP. This can pose a severe disadvantage for constituents when not knowing who to go to, as well as being kept out of the loop for correspondence pertaining to their federal representative. This also affects the Mountainash community as we've seen historically, due to the proposal lacking a major artery boundary. The residents here will once again be at risk of not receiving vital information from their local representatives.

To conclude my submission, I want to once again sincerely thank the commission for granting not only myself, but residents of our communities the opportunity to partake in this democratic process. I would strongly encourage the commission to reconsider some of the proposed boundaries based on highly valuable input from different community members and groups as this is the only way to qualify the changes beyond a quantifiable method that is being measured based on census data. I have included a map of my proposed boundary suggestions for your reference below.

Thank you,

Ruby Sahota – MP for Brampton North

Image shows a map (Brampton North) that is described in the written part of the submission.

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