Federal electoral districts redistribution 2022

The Commission's Rationale for Its Proposed Redistribution Plan

This Commission was committed to achieving voter parity throughout the province as much as reasonably possible, as mandated by the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act. Historical patterns, communities of interest and identity, and manageable geographic size were also considered. However, the Commission has concluded that the effect of uneven population shifts across the province over the past decade requires adjustments to many existing district boundaries in order to address patterns of voter under-representation and over-representation. This has resulted in many important changes reflected in the proposed electoral map.

The Commission had the responsibility of creating one new electoral district, given that Ontario had been allocated 122 seats.

The Commission noted that there had been significant population growth in Ontario and the Quota had increased as a result. The Commission further noted that the population growth was uneven across the province, with significant growth in some areas and only modest growth in others.

As a result of this uneven population growth over the past decade, combined with relatively wide population disparities in the 2012 map, there are substantial population inequalities across electoral districts today. The Commission has sought to remedy this.

The Commission considered—and respected where possible—the historical pattern of electoral districts. However, a redrawing of the boundaries was often required in order to rectify the grave disparities from population equality across the province. In other words, the deviations from the 2022 Quota were not reasonable.

In determining population counts, data from the 2021 Census was used. The 2021 demographic data will not be released by Statistics Canada until after the preparation of this proposal. Therefore, the Commission has utilized the available demographic data, namely, from the 2016 Census.

In creating the proposed redistribution plan, the Commission endeavoured to limit the deviation from the Quota to no more than plus or minus 10 per cent.

The Commission achieved that result in all parts of the province other than Northern Ontario, where the proposed redistribution plan envisions eight electoral districts with populations within or close to within plus or minus 15 per cent of the Quota, and one riding where the Commission found extraordinary circumstances. The Commission concluded that the sparse population throughout this remote and expansive area, and the Indigenous communities of interest that are predominant in this part of Northern Ontario, justified this one proposed extraordinary circumstances district. The eight other proposed districts in this geographic piece are all of manageable geographic size and accessible via major roadways.

In drawing the boundaries of each electoral district, the Commission referenced major geographical features such as highways, main roads, rail lines, rivers, lakes and other bodies of water, escarpments, and municipal boundaries.

The Commission concluded that the municipal boundaries could not always serve as an electoral boundary, considering the legislative rules the Commission is obliged to apply. For example, municipal boundaries could not be used as electoral boundaries for a number of mid-sized and larger cities whose populations have grown to exceed the Quota and where continued population growth is expected.

The Commission considered the location of all First Nations reserves and communities and has sought to ensure that no such community would be arbitrarily divided by an electoral district boundary.

If an electoral district included a First Nations reserve that had not participated in the census, the Commission considered the population data available from the Indian Registration System as reported by Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) in proposing the boundary for that electoral district.

Where a community of Francophones represented a substantial percentage of an electoral district, proposed boundaries ensure that such representation is not diminished.

The Commission also strived to respect urban and rural communities of interest.

Where possible, the Commission implemented many very helpful suggestions arising from the submissions made following the invitation for early public input.

The proposed redistribution plan was compared against projected growth in population based on applying the Ontario Ministry of Finance's Ontario Population Projections (https://www.ontario.ca/page/ontario-population-projections#section-6) (published June 23, 2021) to ensure as much as possible that the populations of the new electoral districts would not vary substantially in size over the period of time to the next census.

A number of minor technical adjustments, not affecting population, have also been made to the electoral boundaries, for example, to follow the correct alignment with roads, rail lines, rivers, ravines, etc. Boundaries have been updated where road or municipal boundaries have changed.

Finally, in proposing district names, the Commission sought to maintain the historical connection of communities to the electoral districts, while ensuring that names are inclusive, meaningful, and connote a clear sense of location or geographic reference. In some instances, the Commission has proposed Indigenous names.