Federal electoral districts redistribution 2022

Comment 46 comments and feedback

Back to all comments and feedback from the public

Afeez Ajibowu

Federal Electoral Ridings Redistribution – Public Hearing, London Ontario.

Your Honor, and members of the panel. Thank you so much for the wonderful work and all the painstaking analysis that has gone into this process, and thank you for giving us the opportunity to contribute to this process

My name is Afeez Ajibowu, I am heavily invested in the outcome of this process both as a resident who has witnessed changes in the area, firsthand, over the last 7 years particularly. I also contested the Last Federal Election for one of the parties In Elgin-Middlesex-London, one of the current ridings, sitting on 3,500km2, bigger than Luxembourg, or Hong Kong. For comparison, London West is 78 km2, London Fanshawe is 118 km and London north centre is only 60 Km, but that that should be given, knowing that 95% of the land mass of EML is rural, bounded by Lake Erie in the south and then strangely jutting through Dorchester and upward into Northern Thames River area.

What is not fair in that arrangement is that a large swath of the city of London from south of Southdale/Talbot, White Oaks, the Wonderland and Southdale Area within London City (some of the most densely populated parts of London and most significantly, areas of recent growth in households are in that mix. You will not see this reality in the 2012 document because those growths are mostly in the last 5 years predominantly by Southdale

The current arrangement disadvantages London South, i.e., south of Southdale …… White oaks to Lambeth compared to the rest of city and probably contributes to voter apathy and low participation that we see in the area in the last 3 sets of elections. The city of London is politically separate from Middlesex County, though it remains the county seat, Voters in London south are disadvantaged in the current arrangement

Let's look at the numbers for the other 3 ridings and why the proposed changes should go through. In 2012, that is 10 years ago, The Commission proposed that the electoral district of London North Centre remain unchanged. It had a population of 117,899 and was 11.00% above the provincial quota.

The Commission proposed that Elgin—Middlesex—London remain unchanged. It had a population of 114,294 and was 7.61% above the provincial quota.

The Commission proposed taking a portion of London West to add to the existing London Fanshawe, balancing out the population. Even at that, both London—Fanshawe and London West were 8.92 and 11.79% above the provisional quote…. In 2012

10 Years ago, we were out of sync with the rest of Ontario, so, it is probably worse with the London area population at 543,000 today. The metropolitan area grew by about 50,000 in 5 years (543000, from 494,000), Those growths outstrip our country's our natural growth rates because a lot more people are moving here from other parts of Canada and from Overseas

Each Honorable member of parliament is probably representing over 130, 000 residents, in another 5 years, that can easily be about 140,000 residents per MP, if the current trend continues and if the proposed changes are not implemented.

For comparison representation for Don valley East riding is about 95,000, Brampton Center is 102,000, Vaughan-Woodbridge is 105,000, Kitchener Conestoga is just 100,000. Compared to Brampton since 2016, the voters of the City of London have been under-represented in the House of Commons especially as the numbers show that we have a much younger demographics and voters' base

Even for the sake an academic argument that discounts the huge geographical issue with the current arrangement…. London (as in London city) grew by 40,000 in 5 years (383,000 in 2016 to 422,000) . If the current housing and pricing mismatch in the GTA continues, and unless the GTA housing market cools down significantly, if the intake of students from outside London and Overseas by Western and Fanshawe continues, If we continue to attract talents and companies like Amazon to the area …we will continue to witness the kind of growth we've seen in the last 9 years, and be further out of sync with the rest of the country in terms of representation

St Thomas population grew by 4,000 in 5 years, while all EML grew by 11,000, London west and London North Centre by 13,000 each and Fanshawe by 8,000. rather than 3 urban ridings that the opponents of the changes are making this as the desirable case for London, the proposed changes will be a first step in eventually having 4 urban ridings that the London city deserves as the fastest growing city in Ontario.

The most credible solution for 2022 and not 2032 when the next changes will be happening, is to build Elgin Middlesex London around St Thomas (about 41,000), and have 4 ridings in London not extending beyond Lambeth

Our Ask, Your Honor, and that is respecting the wonderful works of your team in moving the needle and respecting the fact that the proposed changes do not go far enough in correcting the underrepresentation of the fastest growing city in Ontario, or the second fastest growing city in Canada. Indications are that London will continue to see the same if not higher rate of growth in nullifying the argument to keep things as-is, even today

We want to be on record for London city to have 4 urban ridings excluding ST Thomas (about 40,000, a growth London city gets in 4 years) …… but if the changes shared by the commission are adopted today as proposed, we will be back here in 10 years, as we would have passed that threshold by about 40,000 persons per riding

Submission by

Afeez Ajibowu MSc PMP

London Ontario

Top of page