Federal electoral districts redistribution 2022

Part III – Rationales and Reasons

The Commission's mandate is twofold: to determine the boundaries and populations of electoral districts, and then to decide on the name to be assigned to each electoral district.

Boundaries and populations

On October 15, 2021, the Chief Electoral Officer announced the results of his calculation of the number of members' seats to be allocated to each province, based on (a) the estimates of the population of Canada and of each province received from the Chief Statistician of Canada, and (b) the rules relevant to that calculation contained in the Constitution Act, 1867, as amended by the Fair Representation Act, S.C. 2011, c. 26 (results published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on October 16, 2021, p. 5145).

In the case of Quebec, the electoral map was to be revised within 77 electoral districts.

Since that time, Parliament has intervened through legislation to ensure that "the province [will have] the same number of members as were assigned during [the forty-third] Parliament" (Preserving Provincial Representation in the House of Commons Act, S.C. 2022, c. 6, assented to on June 23, 2022), section 2 (the 2022 Act).

Under the transitional provisions of the 2022 Act, the Chief Electoral Officer has recalculated the number of MP seats to be allocated to each province and has had the results of this calculation published in the Canada Gazette. The number of MP seats allocated to Quebec is now 78, and the electoral quota is 108,998 persons per electoral district. Since the population of the electoral district must remain within 25% above or below the electoral quota, no electoral district should have fewer than 81,749 people (-25%) or more than 136,247 people (+25%).

This variance concept deserves to be explained, as it is fundamental to the scheme of the Act and guided the Commission in its approach. The electoral quota is the average population of an electoral district. It is calculated by dividing the total population of the province by the number of seats allocated to it. Naturally, the population of each electoral district will differ from this quotient. This difference, called variance, is commonly expressed as a positive or negative percentage of the quota. If there is a positive variance, residents will be said to be underrepresented, and the power of individual residents will be weakened. Conversely, if the difference is negative, it will be said that there is overrepresentation and that the power of each resident is excessive.

Before going any further, it is interesting to compare the situation as it was when the previous commission completed its work and what it is today, 10 years later. To do this, the Commission will use a table of percentage variances between the population of the electoral districts and the applicable electoral quota in 2011 and 2021, respectively.

The boundaries of the 78 electoral districts established on the basis of the 2011 census have not been changed since then, although the names of several electoral districts have been changed by Parliament. Meanwhile, the population of Quebec has grown from 7,903,001 to 8,501,833, an increase of 7.6% in 10 years.

However, this growth is far from consistent throughout the province. In 22 electoral districts, the population increased by 10% or more. In one of them (Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Sœurs), the rate of increase even reached 30.5%. On the other hand, six electoral districts experienced a decrease in absolute figures, and one of them (Manicouagan) had a 6.6% decrease in population.

A redistribution on this scale would significantly alter the demographic balance that the current boundaries are based on. The electoral boundaries have not changed, but the population has shifted significantly.

This has resulted in a significant increase in the electoral quota variances between 2011 and 2021.

The table below covers the current 78 electoral districts. It shows the frequency distribution of variances based on 2011 and 2021 population figures.

Frequency distribution of existing electoral districts by size of variance between their 2011 and 2021 populations and the electoral quota
Size of variance 2011 2021
Greater than -25% 1 3
-25% to -15% 4 5
-15% to -10% 2 3
-10% to -2% 17 19
-2% to 2% 16 14
2% to 10% 36 22
10% to 15% 2 7
15% to 25% 0 5
Greater than 25% 0 0
Total number of electoral districts 78 78

This comparison between the two columns of the table clearly illustrates the relevance of updating the electoral map.

In 2011, only one electoral district exceeded the maximum 25% variance. Today, there are three. In the same period, the number of districts that varied from the average by 10% or more increased from 9 to 22. The least populated district went from 74,547 to 70,253, and the most populated district went from 112,385 to 134,555 (not the same district).

It is also worth noting that the distortion index that is most commonly used internationally to measure inequality in a territorial division, the Loosemore-Hanby index, has increased in 10 years from 0.0292 to 0.0415 today.1 Simply put, the political weight of the vote of electors in different districts is even more unequal today than it was 10 years ago, and only a revision of the electoral map will correct these inequalities.

The division of the province into electoral districts is a complex and delicate exercise. There are few principles underlying this exercise, but their application is fraught with difficulties, as evidenced by the reports of previous commissions and the Supreme Court decisions mentioned above.

At the outset of its work, the Commission chose to invite comments and suggestions from the public even before this proposal was tabled. This additional consultation to that provided for in the Act seemed to be the right thing to do in the context of an exercise (redrawing the electoral map) intended to be the outcome of a dialogue between the Commission and the public.

The Commission would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have already submitted their suggestions and comments. They have enriched the Commission's reflections in developing this proposal. The Commission would also like to thank in advance those who will be providing feedback on its proposal. They will help make the report to the House of Commons better.

The Commission, like the two commissions that preceded it, considers it appropriate that, save for justified exceptions, the population of each of Quebec's electoral districts be within a maximum positive or negative variance of 10% in relation to the electoral quota. This target variance seems appropriate given the importance of the principle of parity ("one person, one vote"), the objective being to give a more or less equivalent weight to the population of each electoral district. This search for demographic balance within all electoral districts is in keeping with what previous commissions have done. That being said, this does not involve perverting the search for this ideal parity into a purely mathematical exercise.

The Act requires commissions to set out the reasons for their recommendations regarding the division of their corresponding province's electoral districts. Here they are.

After reviewing the 78 existing electoral districts, the Commission proposes leaving the following 17 electoral districts (current names) intact:

  • Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou
  • Abitibi—Témiscamingue
  • Beauce
  • Bourassa
  • Brome—Missisquoi
  • Brossard—Saint-Lambert
  • La Pointe-de-l'Île
  • La Prairie
  • Lac-Saint-Louis
  • Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne
  • Manicouagan
  • Papineau
  • Pierrefonds—Dollard
  • Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie
  • Saint-Jean
  • Saint-Maurice—Champlain
  • Trois-Rivières

The Commission is also proposing removing a seat in Gaspésie and creating a new district north of Montréal in the Laurentians.

Finally, the Commission is proposing changes to the boundaries of 60 other electoral districts, to varying degrees, in order to bring their population closer to the new electoral quota and, in some cases, to correct errors in their technical description.

Quebec is divided into administrative regions. For the sole purpose of clarifying the presentation of the proposed amendments, they are grouped into territorial units that correspond approximately to a region, a subdivision of a region or a grouping of several contiguous regions.

Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Nord-du-Québec

This group includes two districts with a total of 192,822 people. The area is immense, covering more than half of Quebec's total area. The average population of the entire area (96,411) is 11.5% lower than the Quebec average.

The Commission is not proposing any changes to these districts. None of them have seen their population decline in the last 10 years. The size of Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou (858,585 km2) more than justifies that its otherwise dispersed population (89,087) deviate from the electoral quota by -18%.

Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Côte-Nord

These two neighbouring regions share worrying demographics. Three of the four districts have seen their populations decline in absolute figures over the past 10 years. With 80,593 residents, Chicoutimi—Le Fjord is now the third least populated electoral district in Quebec and exceeds the -25% threshold imposed by the Act:

2011 Population and 2021 Population
2011 Population 2021 Population
Chicoutimi—Le Fjord 81,501 80,593
Jonquière 87,596 91,073
Lac-Saint-Jean 105,783 103,886
Manicouagan 94,766 88,525
Total 369,646 364,077
Average 92,412 91,019

In the course of its work, the Commission considered the possibility of removing one of the three MP seats from Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, which would have resulted in a significant expansion of the neighbouring district of Manicouagan and a marked reduction in the average variance in the three remaining districts of the territorial unit. However, the two electoral districts of the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region would have had the highest populations in Quebec without any realistic possibility of transferring the surplus population to neighbouring electoral districts. That option was therefore ruled out.

While maintaining the number of seats in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, the Commission deems it necessary to reduce the disparities between the region's three electoral districts, whose population currently varies from 80,593 to 103,886. It is ironic, to say the least, that the most populated district is the one with the most dispersed population, while the two more urbanized districts have fewer residents. The Commission proposes bringing these closer to the provincial average and reconfiguring the Lac-Saint-Jean electoral district, while ensuring that it continues to include all the municipalities bordering the lake. The population of the three proposed districts will range from 91,061 to 92,460.

Manicouagan will remain unchanged with 88,525 residents. The deficit compared to the average is 19%, the highest in all of Quebec, which, in the Commission's opinion, is justified by the vastness of the district, with a total area of 313,029 km2.

Montmagny to Îles-de-la-Madeleine

This group includes the eastern part of the Chaudière-Appalaches region, as well as the entire administrative regions of Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine. There are currently four electoral districts: Montmagny—L'Islet-Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup, Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia and Gaspésie—Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, with a total population of 328,460.

2011 Population and 2021 Population
2011 Population 2021 Population
Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup 97,261 96,724
Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques 84,809 85,556
Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia 74,547 70,253
Gaspésie—Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine 78,833 75,927
Total 335,450 328,460
Average 83,863 82,115

The average population of the entire area is 82,115, the lowest of all the regions in Quebec, and very close to the -25% limit imposed by the Act. Each of the electoral districts has a significant deficit: the variance is -21.5% for Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, and reaches -30.3% and -35.5% for Gaspésie—Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine and Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, respectively. In 2012, the commission at the time agreed that the exception in extraordinary circumstances should be allowed for Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia, which at the time showed a 26% deficit. Today, two districts exceed the -25% limit, and three of the four least populated districts in Quebec are located in this region.

This situation is part of a decline that began several decades ago. In 35 years, Bas-Saint-Laurent has lost 7.5% of its population, and Gaspésie has lost 19.8%.2 Since 2011, three of the four districts have seen their populations decrease in absolute figures, and the population of the fourth has only increased by 747 people. All these districts experienced a relative decrease, while the population of Quebec increased by 7.6% during the same period.

In order to respect the principle of relative vote parity, the Commission proposes reducing the number of MP seats for the region from four to three. Removing Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia is the best option because, on the one hand, it is the least populated of the four electoral districts, and the least populated of all the electoral districts in Quebec, and, on the other hand, its geographic location allows the two neighbouring electoral districts to absorb its components.

The Commission proposes that the municipalities located, in whole or in part, east of a line formed by Route 132 and Route 195, excluding Matane, be transferred to Gaspésie—Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine. The population of the Gaspésie—Les-Îles-de-la-Madeleine electoral district will consequently increase from 75,927 to 104,682 (-4% variance).

The Commission proposes that all the other municipalities currently included in Avignon—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia be transferred to the neighbouring electoral district of Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques. In turn, the Regional County Municipality (RCM) of Témiscouata will be detached from this district and attached to Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup. The Commission believes that the excellent communication routes linking Montmagny to Rivière-du-Loup and Rivière-du-Loup to New Brunswick, through Témiscouata, justify this transfer, even if it results in a population surplus for this electoral district.

The population of Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup will increase to 116,216 (+7% variance), and the population of Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques, to 107,562 (-1%).

City of Québec and surrounding area

This portion of the north shore of the St. Lawrence River runs from Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier to Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix and has the City of Québec as its centre. In 10 years, its population growth rate has been slightly higher than the Quebec average. In addition, the strong demographic growth recorded in the northwestern suburbs of the City of Québec has generated significant variances (about 13% in Louis-Saint-Laurent and Portneuf—Jacques-Cartier) that require adjustments.

The Commission is proposing expanding the electoral district of Québec, which is currently under 100,000 people, by adding two adjacent sectors from the electoral districts of Louis-Hébert to the southwest and Beauport—Limoilou to the east. It also proposes reuniting the entire borough of Beauport, which currently straddles two electoral districts bearing that name, by moving the eastern boundary of Beauport—Limoilou to the Montmorency River. Finally, the Commission proposes that the Huron-Wendat reserve of Wendake be transferred from the electoral district of Louis-Saint-Laurent to Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles in order to balance the population figures of these two neighbouring electoral districts and to bring them closer to the provincial average. The total population of the region's electoral districts will range from 106,117 to 110,320, compared to the current range of 95,736 to 123,243.

Chaudière-Appalaches (western part), Estrie and Centre-du-Québec

On the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, the two electoral districts that each include part of the City of Lévis contain significant population surpluses (+10.3% for Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis and +8.8% for Lévis—Lotbinière). The Commission proposes limited transfers to bring their respective populations closer to the provincial average. The municipality of Saint-Henri will be transferred from Bellechasse—Les Etchemins—Lévis to Lévis—Lotbinière, while Lévis—Lotbinière will transfer some municipalities to Mégantic—L'Érable.

The electoral districts of Mégantic—L'Érable (-18.4%) and Bécancour—Nicolet—Saurel (-11.5%) stand out because of their significant population deficits. Transferring part of the Lévis—Lotbinière electoral district to Mégantic—L'Érable will increase the population of Mégantic—L'Érable from 88,894 to 105,458. The transferred municipalities are Dosquet, Saint-Agapit, Saint-Gilles, Saint-Narcisse-de-Beaurivage, Saint-Patrice-de-Beaurivage, Saint-Sylvestre and Sainte-Agathe-de-Lotbinière. The population deficit in Bécancour—Nicolet—Saurel will be offset by adding a few municipalities from the Drummond district: Saint-Eugène, Saint-Guillaume, Saint-Pie-de-Guire and Sainte-Brigitte-des-Saults.

Still with the objective of reducing variances, the Commission also proposes transferring a portion of the southern part of the Sherbrooke district to Compton—Stanstead. For the same purpose, four municipalities located in the eastern part of Shefford will be transferred to Saint-Hyacinthe—Bagot (the municipality of Maricourt, the village and township of Valcourt) and to Richmond—Arthabaska (the municipality of Racine).

The boundaries of the Brome—Missisquoi electoral district remain unchanged.

In total, the population of districts in the entire area will range from 100,252 to 116,844, compared to 88,894 to 119,038 currently.

Eastern Montérégie

The proposed changes in the eastern part of Montérégie are essentially the result of the fact that Beloeil—Chambly, with a population of 125,359, now exceeds the provincial average by 15%. The Commission proposes transferring part of the City of Carignan to the Montarville electoral district, which has a 7.8% deficit. The northwest portion of Longueuil—Saint-Hubert, a district with a 5.6% surplus, would be transferred to Pierre-Boucher—Les Patriotes—Verchères, an electoral district with a 5.5% deficit.

No further rectification was deemed necessary in this area. Therefore, the Brossard—Saint-Lambert, La Prairie, Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne and Saint-Jean electoral districts maintain their current boundaries.

The population of the districts in the area will range from 106,438 to 114,617, as opposed to 100,515 to 125,359 currently.

Southwest Montérégie

This sub-region of Montérégie, known locally as "le Suroît," requires more substantial changes, mainly because of the growth of Vaudreuil—Soulanges, which, with 129,612 residents, has become the fourth most populated district in Quebec (+19%).

The Commission proposes relieving Vaudreuil—Soulanges of the municipalities of Les Cèdres and Pointe-des-Cascades, thereby reducing its population to 120,653, in favour of the neighbouring electoral district of Salaberry—Suroît.

Since this population transfer excessively inflates the population of Salaberry—Suroît, another transfer is required, this time to the neighbouring electoral district of Châteauguay—Lacolle. The municipalities of Franklin, Havelock, Saint-Chrysostome, the village and township of Hemmingford, Très-Saint-Sacrement and Howick, all located southeast of Salaberry—Suroît, will be included in this transfer.

The population of the Suroît districts will consequently vary between 114,947 and 120,653, as compared to 105,111 to 129,612 currently. The variance for the population of Vaudreuil—Soulanges (120,653) is over 10% (+10.7%), which is slightly more than the target. This variance still seems acceptable, especially since the neighbouring district of Salaberry—Suroît also has a substantial 8.7% variance. In theory, it would have been possible to bring the variances of the two districts under 10%, but this would have broken up well-established communities of interest.

City of Laval

The population of the four existing districts ranges from 102,020 to 119,926. The Commission proposes reducing variances through two targeted transfers affecting Marc-Aurèle-Fortin and Laval—Les Îles (Fabreville sector) and Vimy and Alfred-Pellan (Pont-Viau sector), respectively. As a result, the population of the region's electoral districts will range from 107,910 to 113,173.

Island of Montréal

The 18 electoral districts covering the island of Montréal have a total population of 2,004,265, or an average of 111,348. This figure exceeds the provincial average by 2%, and therefore does not currently require any reduction or addition of seats.

Demographic movements were moderate in the vast majority of the island's electoral districts, with the admittedly striking exception of Ville-Marie—Le Sud-Ouest—Île-des-Sœurs. In one decade, this district's population has increased by 30.5%, reaching the highest figure in all of Quebec (134,555). It is therefore necessary to transfer certain sectors to the neighbouring electoral districts of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount and Outremont in order to reduce the average variance to 5%.

Targeted transfers involving small sections of population will also reduce the variances between Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount and Mount Royal; between Dorval—Lachine—LaSalle and LaSalle—Émard—Verdun; between Laurier—Sainte-Marie and Hochelaga; between Saint-Léonard—Saint-Michel and Honoré-Mercier; and between Saint-Laurent and Ahuntsic—Cartierville.

The Commission proposes no changes for the following six electoral districts: Bourassa, Lac-Saint-Louis, La Pointe-de-l'Île, Papineau, Pierrefonds—Dollard, and Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie.

Following these transfers, the population of Montréal electoral districts will vary from 105,593 to 114,661, compared to 102,104 to 134,555 currently.

Pontiac to Saint-Maurice—Champlain

The vast area of the north shore of the St. Lawrence River from Pontiac to Saint-Maurice—Champlain (excluding Abitibi, Nord-du-Québec, Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and Côte-Nord) now has a population of 1,842,894 spread over 16 electoral districts, for an average of 115,180, which is the highest in Quebec. With one exception, none of these districts have seen their population decline since the 2011 census. It is a demographically dynamic area that has seen a 10.7% increase in population in 10 years. Creating a new district would reduce the average population of the whole area to 108,405, which is slightly below the provincial average. If the past is any indication, the overall average will continue to grow faster than the provincial average.

All these data lead the Commission to propose creating a new electoral district in this vast territory.

For added convenience, the proposed changes will be outlined by administrative region, beginning with those where a new district is being proposed.

The Laurentians and Lanaudière

A close examination of the data allows us to identify three neighbouring electoral districts whose population is greater than 120,000 and significantly exceeds the provincial average, namely, Rivière-du-Nord (+12.5%), Laurentides—Labelle (+13.6%) and Mirabel (+22%). The population of the latter district has increased by 28.4% in 10 years, reaching 132,930 people, making it the second most populated electoral district in Quebec. The population increased by 11.2% in Laurentides—Labelle and by 20.1% in Rivière-du-Nord.

2011 Population and 2021 Population
2011 Population 2021 Population
Laurentides—Labelle 111,357 123,796
Mirabel 103,536 132,930
Rivière-du-Nord 102,085 122,654
Total 316,978 379,380
Average 105,659 126,460

This is the area with the largest surpluses not specific to a particular district. This region is experiencing remarkable population growth. The population of the three electoral districts increased by 19.7% between 2011 and 2021, while the population of Quebec grew by 7.6% during the same period.

It also appears that this upward trend is not going to wane anytime soon. In its population projections for the RCM of Les Pays-d'en-Haut for the period from 2020 to 2041 (June 2021),3 the ISQ forecasts a 22% population increase, which is slightly more than double the 10.6% increase forecast for the entire Quebec population.

To correct this situation and restore relative voting parity in this territory of sustained population growth, the Commission proposes the creation of a new district. Its territory would include that of the RCM of Les Pays-d'en-Haut, as well as larger or smaller portions of the electoral districts of Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation (Gore, Mille-Îles, Wentworth), Joliette (Entrelacs, Chertsey), Laurentides—Labelle (Val-David, Val-Morin), Mirabel (Saint-Colomban), Montcalm (Saint-Calixte) and Rivière-du-Nord (Prévost (part) and Saint-Hippolyte). The population of the electoral district thus constituted will be 106,091 (-3%).

The Commission is also proposing minor changes to reduce population variances in the Lanaudière region. The electoral district of Repentigny will lose the municipality of Saint-Sulpice in favour of Berthier—Maskinongé, and the neighbourhood of the City of L'Assomption called Le Domaine-Ouellet, located in its eastern part, will be transferred to the electoral district of Joliette. Two municipalities of the electoral district of Montcalm (Saint-Liguori and Sainte-Marie-Salomé) would also be transferred to Joliette. In the same vein, part of the territory of the electoral district of Terrebonne would be transferred to that of Thérèse-de-Blainville.

With this addition and these transfers, the population of the electoral districts in the region will range from 103,968 to 113,797, as compared to the current 102,311 to 132,930.


Only one change seems necessary in this region, where variances from the average are small. In order to balance their respective populations and as mentioned above, the Commission proposes transferring the municipality of Saint-Sulpice from the electoral district of Repentigny to that of Berthier—Maskinongé. This change will reduce the population difference between the two districts by half.

The Commission is not proposing any changes for the electoral districts of Saint-Maurice—Champlain and Trois-Rivières.


Following an increase of 22% in 10 years, the population of Pontiac now stands at 129,781 and ranks third among Quebec districts. The +19% variance from the average must be reduced.

The creation of a new electoral district having produced a domino effect in Laurentides—Labelle, the Commission proposes to extend its boundaries to absorb, in whole or in part, municipalities mainly in Pontiac (Val-des-Monts (part), La Pêche (part), Denholm, Low, Lac-Sainte-Marie, Kazabazua, Gracefield, Bouchette, Sainte-Thérèse-de-la-Gatineau, Déléage, Aumond, Grand-Remous), but also from Joliette (Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci, Saint-Donat) and from Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation (Bowman, Val-des-Bois).

The Commission also proposes to transfer a small portion of Pontiac to Hull—Aylmer and to transfer the portion of Gatineau north of Highway 50 to Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation.

As a result of these changes, the population of the three Outaouais districts will range from 103,029 to 105,576, as compared to the current 107,286 to 129,781.

More generally, the population of the electoral districts located in the area from Pontiac to Saint-Maurice—Champlain will range from 103,029 to 114,064 people, as compared to the current 102,311 to 132,930.

In concluding this chapter on electoral boundaries, it is interesting to compare the variances resulting from the Commission's proposal with the variances that existed at the beginning of its work, using the table below.

Frequency distribution of existing and proposed electoral districts by size of variance between population and electoral quota
Size of variance The 78 current districts The 78 proposed districts
Greater than -25% 3 0
-25% to -15% 5 5
-15% to -10% 3 0
-10% to -2% 19 16
-2% to 2% 14 24
2% to 10% 22 32
10% to 15% 7 1
15% to 25% 5 0
Greater than 25% 0 0
Total number of electoral districts 78 78

Under the proposed division, no district deviates from the average by more than 25%, while three of the current districts do so. The number of districts deviating from the average by 10% or more is reduced from 23 to 6. The least populated district has 88,525 people instead of 70,253, and the most populated district has 120,653 instead of 134,555. Finally, the Loosemore-Hanby index (the measure of inequality in an electoral division) falls from 0.0415 to 0.0198, less than half what it was when the Commission began its work.

All the indicators converge to show a reduction in the variances and a greater parity in the electoral power of the population among the districts.

Names of the districts

The Commission's mission also includes naming each of the districts for which it has established the respective boundaries and populations.

In its Guidelines for the Selection of Federal Electoral District Names (November 2021), the Geographical Names Board of Canada writes

The name of a federal electoral district should only be kept from one readjustment to another if it is suitable and if the new district falls essentially within the boundaries of the former electoral district. When the boundaries of an electoral district are changed considerably, one must, without question, consider assigning it another name.

The Geographical Names Board of Canada also recommends that the names selected be those that immediately lead one to recall the region or the part of the province in which the districts are situated, ideally geographical names.

The proposed name changes are consistent with these guidelines.

Most of the changes result from the Commission's desire that the electoral map better reflect the presence of Indigenous peoples in Quebec.

The idea is not new, as the electoral district of Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou4 has, for several years now, recognized the presence of Inuit (Nunavik) and the Cree (Eeyou) on the territory.

What is new is that we hope that the electoral map will, for the first time, reflect the presence of all the recognized Indigenous nations in Quebec; that is, 10 First Nations and the Inuit Nation. It is a matter of recognizing their rightful place not only in the reality of Quebec today, but also in its history. The Commission sees this as a further step toward ensuring that reconciliation becomes a reality in the words of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in its final report (Volume 6, Closing words, p. 218). The electoral map would henceforth include at least one reference, generally geographical, to each of the 11 Indigenous nations that make up 55 communities in Quebec, including 14 northern villages.

As this is to be viewed as a reconciliatory initiative, there is no question of the Commission proposing a change that a community would not want. It goes without saying, however, that wide, or even unanimous, agreement of the nations would make the impact of an electoral map designed to give greater prominence to Indigenous nations all the more eloquent and powerful.

In this context, the Chair of the Commission contacted by telephone and/or email the Indigenous communities located in the electoral districts whose names would be changed by adding a reference to them. He took advantage of this first contact to explain the Commission's project and to invite the leaders of these communities to give him their reaction. To date, not all communities have responded, but two have; one positively (Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) Wahsipekuk First Nation) and the other negatively (Huron-Wendat First Nation). The Commission took note of this refusal and, with regret, did not include in its proposal the recommendation that the name Wendake be henceforth part of the name of the electoral district of Charlesbourg—Haute-Saint-Charles.

The release of the proposal marks the beginning of a public consultation period, and the Commission is taking this opportunity to once again invite feedback on the proposed name changes from the Indigenous communities involved.

In closing, it is important to note that the addition of an Indigenous reference to the name of a particular electoral district should not be perceived, or interpreted, as the Commission taking a position on any claim to the territory of that electoral district or any territory by the Indigenous nation to which the reference relates or by any Indigenous nation.

The Commission is proposing varying degrees of boundary changes for some 60 electoral districts. All these changes, as well as the desire to better reflect the Indigenous presence in Quebec, lead the Commission to propose the modification of the names of 12 of the 78 electoral districts.

Current Name and Proposed Name
Current Name Proposed Name
Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix
Bécancour—Nicolet—Saurel Bécancour—Nicolet—Saurel—Odanak
Châteauguay—Lacolle Châteauguay—Les Jardins-de-Napierville
Gaspésie—Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine Gaspésie—Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine—Listuguj
Joliette Joliette—Manawan
La Prairie La Prairie—Atateken
Manicouagan Manicouagan—Kawawachikamach—Uapishka
Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup Montmagny—Témiscouata—Kataskomiq
Pontiac Pontiac—Kitigan Zibi
Rimouski-Neigette—Témiscouata—Les Basques Rimouski—Matane
Salaberry—Suroît Salaberry—Suroît—Soulanges
Vaudreuil—Soulanges Vaudreuil

The reasons for the name changes are set out later in the Appendix.

The newly created electoral district in the Laurentians is called Les Pays-d'en-Haut.

The other districts retain their names.

The 78 districts are presented and described in the Appendix, in alphabetical order.

Those wishing to make representations at a Commission hearing, either in person or virtually, are directed to the rules of procedure (Part IV) and the schedule of hearings (Part VI).


1 This index consists of dividing by two the sum of the differences, in absolute value, between the percentage of the total population residing in each of the districts and the percentage of seats allocated to it. The result is an index ranging from 0 to 1. The higher the index, the more unequal the division.

2 Based on ISQ data on the population of Quebec's administrative regions as of July 1 of each year, 1986 to 2021. https://statistique.quebec.ca/en/document/population-and-age-and-sex-structure-administrative-regions/tableau/estimations-population-regions-administratives

3 Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ), Perspectives démographiques des MRC du Québec, 2020-2041 - Mise à jour 2021. https://statistique.quebec.ca/cartovista/demographie_prj_pop/index.html

4 Formerly Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik, then Nunavik—Eeyou, and finally its current name under An Act to change the names of certain electoral districts, S.C. 2004, c. 19, s. 13.