Federal electoral districts redistribution 2022


The Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act creates an independent non-partisan process for the review and, if necessary, revision of the federal electoral map following the most recent decennial census.

The assignment of seats to Ontario

The Chief Electoral Officer calculates the number of seats assigned to each province in accordance with the representation formula in the Constitution Act, 1867 (see redistribution2022.ca).

Pursuant to that formula, Ontario has been allocated 122 seats. There is one additional seat from the last redistribution plan prepared in 2012.

The population of Ontario and calculation of the Provincial Electoral Quota

On February 9, 2022, the Chief Statistician of Canada certified that the population of Ontario, as ascertained by the 2021 Census of Population, is 14,223,942.

The Quota, as previously described, is determined by dividing Ontario's total population by the total number of seats. For 2022, the Quota is therefore 116,590.

The establishment of the Electoral Boundaries Commission

The Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act provides that the Chair of the Commission for the province shall be appointed by the Chief Justice of that province and the other two members of the Commission shall be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Commons.

The Order in Council dated November 1, 2021, established the Ontario Commission. Madam Justice Lynne Leitch of the Superior Court of Justice serves as Chair. Dr. Karen Bird and Dr. Peter Loewen are the other members of the Commission. Dr. Bird and Dr. Loewen are Professors of Political Science at McMaster University and the University of Toronto, respectively.

Each Commission is assigned a geography specialist who assists the Commission in drawing proposed boundaries.

The legislative rules

The Commission is to prepare a report setting out its recommended boundaries for each electoral district, a description for each district, and a name for each district.

The Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act provides that in preparing its report the Commission shall be governed by certain rules.

The population of each electoral district shall, as close as reasonably possible, correspond to the Quota.

In determining reasonable electoral district boundaries, the Commission shall consider the communities of interest or communities of identity in, and the historical pattern of, electoral districts, and a manageable geographic size for districts in sparsely populated, rural or northern regions of the province.

The right to vote is enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Section 3 states that every citizen of Canada has the right to vote in an election of members of the House of Commons or of a legislative assembly and to be qualified for membership therein.

The Supreme Court of Canada in the leading case, Reference Re Provincial Electoral Boundaries (Sask), [1991] 2 S.C.R. 158, concluded that the right to vote enshrined in s. 3 of the Charter is not equality of voting power per se but the right to 'effective representation'. Effective representation entails voter parity as the primary concern, but deviations are permitted for reasons such as geography, community history, community interests and minority representation in order to effectively represent the diversity of our social mosaic. The Court noted that the right of a Commission to depart from voter parity is circumscribed by the reasons set forth in the Act and only to the extent that the special circumstances properly permit.

However, as required by the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act, absent extraordinary circumstances, the Commission must make every effort to ensure that the population of each electoral district in the province remains within 25 per cent more, or 25 per cent less, of the Quota.