Federal electoral districts redistribution 2022



The population of Saskatchewan as determined by the 2021 Census was 1,132,505. This represents an increase of 9.6% over the 2011 Census population of 1,033,381. The two major cities (Regina and Saskatoon) grew at a substantially faster rate than the province as a whole. The 2021 population of the City of Regina was 226,404, or 17.2% greater than the city's 2011 population of 193,100. The 2021 population of the City of Saskatoon was 266,141, or 19.8% greater than the City's 2011 population of 222,189. The population of Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek also increased significantly from 72,607 to 83,395, representing a 14.86% increase from the 2011 Census.

The census change in population from 2011 to 2021 is captured by the following table, which was developed in relation to the electoral districts presently in place:

Table 2
Current Federal Electoral Districts Population 2011 2011 Variation from Quota (%) (Provincial quota 73,813) Population 2021 2021 Variation from Quota (%) (Provincial quota 80,893) 2021 Population Variation (2011–2021) 2021 Population Variation (%) (2011–2021)
Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River 69,471 -5.88% 71,488 -11.63% 2,017 2.90%
Battlefords—Lloydminster 70,034 -5.12% 70,918 -12.33% 884 1.26%
Prince Albert 79,344 7.49% 80,845 -0.06% 1,501 1.89%
Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek 72,607 -1.63% 83,395 3.09% 10,788 14.86%
Saskatoon West 76,704 3.92% 87,855 8.61% 11,151 14.54%
Saskatoon—University 76,257 3.31% 88,348 9.22% 12,091 15.86%
Saskatoon—Grasswood 72,010 -2.44% 93,277 15.31% 21,267 29.53%
Moose Jaw—Lake Centre—Lanigan 76,106 3.11% 80,547 -0.43% 4,441 5.84%
Regina—Qu'Appelle 72,891 -1.25% 78,140 -3.40% 5,249 7.20%
Regina—Lewvan 79,587 7.82% 98,492 21.76% 18,905 23.75%
Regina—Wascana 77,208 4.60% 89,087 10.13% 11,879 15.39%
Yorkton—Melville 71,270 -3.45% 71,220 -11.96% -50 -0.07%
Cypress Hills—Grasslands 67,834 -8.10% 68,314 -15.55% 480 0.71%
Souris—Moose Mountain 72,058 -2.38% 70,579 -12.75% -1,479 -2.05%
Total 1,033,381 1,132,505

Guiding Principles

The principles set forth in the Act govern the readjustment of federal electoral boundaries. Paragraph 15(1)(a) of the Act provides that the division of the Province into electoral districts and the description of the boundaries shall proceed on the basis that the population of each electoral district […] shall, as close as reasonably possible, correspond to the electoral quota for the province. This principle is often referred to as population parity, and its rationale rests in the democratic principle of one person, one vote.

With population parity at the forefront, subsection 15(2) of the Act goes on to provide that, within a province, a commission may depart from the rule contained in paragraph 15(1)(a) in any case where the commission considers it necessary or desirable to depart therefrom

  • (a) in order to respect the community of interest or community of identity in or the historical pattern of an electoral district in the province, and
  • (b) in order to maintain a manageable geographic size for districts in sparsely populated, rural or northern regions of the province.

In departing from the application of the rule contained in paragraph 15(1)(a), the commission shall make every effort to ensure that except in circumstances viewed by the commission as extraordinary, the population of each electoral district remains within twenty-five per cent more or twenty-five per cent less of the electoral quota.

Every commission is also guided by the Supreme Court of Canada's decision in Reference Provincial Electoral Boundaries (Sask), [1991] 2 S.C.R. 158, where the Court found that the right to vote enshrined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms is the right to effective representation. The majority of the court noted that, while a citizen's vote should not be unduly diluted, absolute parity is impossible and relative parity may detract from the goal of effective representation. McLachlin J. (as she then was) stated as follows:

[55] It emerges therefore that deviations from absolute voter parity may be justified on the grounds of practical impossibility or the provision of more effective representation. Beyond this, dilution of one citizen's vote as compared with another's should not be countenanced. I adhere to the proposition asserted in Dixon, supra, [Dixon v B.C. (A.G.) (1986), 1986 CanLII 770 (BC SC)], at p. 414, that only those deviations should be admitted which can be justified on the ground that they contribute to better government of the populace as a whole, given due weight to regional issues within the populace and geographic factors within the territory governed.

In summary, the overarching principle of the Act is to ensure that each electoral district shall, as closely as reasonably possible, correspond to the electoral quota for the province. As will be shown in this Proposal, every effort has been made to respect the electoral quota. The Commission has also considered communities of interest and identity, historical patterns, and geographic size in proposing electoral boundaries.

The 2021 Census, as determined by Statistics Canada, provides the basis for the redistribution of electoral districts under the Act. Between the 2011 and 2021 censuses, Saskatchewan's population count increased from 1,033,381 to 1,132,505. The electoral quota is determined by dividing the 2021 Saskatchewan census population count of 1,132,505 by 14 (the number of electoral districts) for an electoral quota of 80,893.

In contemplating how the Saskatchewan electoral quota can be viewed, it may be helpful to consider the provincial electoral and national quotas from the following chart, taken from data provided by Elections Canada:

2021 Census Results and Provincial Quotas
Province Seats Population Quota
NL 7 510,550 72,936
PE 4 154,331 38,583
NS 11 969,383 88,126
NB 10 775,610 77,561
QC 77 8,501,833 110,413
ON 122 14,223,942 116,590
MB 14 1,342,153 95,868
SK 14 1,132,505 80,893
AB 37 4,262,635 115,206
BC 43 5,000,879 116,300
NT 1 40,232 40,232
NU 1 41,070 41,070
YK 1 36,858 36,858
Canada 342 36,991,981 108,163

In developing this Proposal, the Commission has strived to ensure that municipal boundaries would be respected wherever possible and that towns and small- to medium-sized cities would not be divided between two adjacent districts. It has also tried to place every First Nations reserve in its entirety within a single district. Where a number of First Nations reserves are geographically concentrated, the Commission has respected that fact by including them within the same electoral district. The public hearings will be important to ensure the Commission has met these goals.

Broad Explanation of the Data

Over the past decade, Saskatchewan's fastest-growing electoral districts are the two exclusively urban electoral districts in Regina, the three electoral districts in Saskatoon, and the electoral district of Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek.

The 2021 Census confirms that the expanded population of the above six districts (the five exclusively urban ridings and Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek) averaged a population increase of 8.3%. By contrast, the remaining eight districts grew by 1.3% over the same period. To be clear, there was some population growth in all electoral districts except for Souris—Moose Mountain and Yorkton—Melville, but none of the electoral districts outside of Regina and Saskatoon kept pace with the growth of the six identified electoral districts.

The population increase requires some adjustment to Saskatchewan's electoral districts in accordance with the governing principles.

Proposed Districts

After the census data became available, the Commission sought input from the public on the data and its effect on Saskatchewan's federal electoral boundaries. The Act does not contemplate this step, but other Commissions in and outside of the Province have found it useful to involve the public in the process as early as possible.

The Commission was pleased to receive 37 submissions, which have been very helpful in the development of this Proposal. The Commission is grateful to those who provided submissions at the early stages of this process and wishes to thank them for their participation in this important democratic exercise.

It should be noted that the Commission received a group submission, which supported a reconsideration of an issue that had been addressed by the Saskatchewan Commission in its 2012 Proposal and Report. The identified issue is whether Saskatchewan should have exclusively urban electoral districts in Saskatoon and Regina or whether it should have blended urban-rural districts in those cities. The Commission has included some aspects of this submission when proposing the electoral boundaries for Saskatoon.

Based on its review of submissions, the data and past reports, the Commission proposes that the electoral boundaries be adjusted in a manner that strives to incorporate the principles set out in the legislation and Supreme Court of Canada case law.

Northern Electoral District of Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River

The Commission determined that any examination of the electoral boundaries should begin with a consideration of the northern electoral district of Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River. Using the geographic boundaries as they were set for the electoral districts in 2011, this northern electoral district had a landmass for electoral purposes of 342,684 square kilometres or 54% of the total landmass of the Province.

Having regard for the factor of geographic size alone, it appears that a substantial variation from the electoral quota is potentially justified. Past Saskatchewan commissions have identified this issue. The question is one of degree. With the provincial quota fixed at 80,893 and with no adjustment to the boundaries, this electoral district with a population of 71,488 requires the sitting representative to traverse not just a large landmass but to do so through territory with few roads.

Another factor setting Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River apart from the central and southern electoral districts is its cultural make-up. According to the 2011 census data, the cultural heritage of this area has a dominant Indigenous population. The First Nation, Métis and Dene peoples of this subarctic region share an historically distinct and contemporary northern, land-based way of life, with their own history, culture, spiritual and social values, languages, and economies. The Woodland Cree, for example, specifically refer to the north as Kiwetinohk or place of the north wind.

Precedent for significantly reducing the size of the northern electoral district, and, thereby, departing from the electoral quota, may be found in other geographically large electoral districts in Canada. These are some of the largest with the least population and the greatest variance from the electoral quota:

Table 3
Electoral district Population Area (km2) Variance
Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou 85,475 854,754 -15.64%
Kenora 55,977 321,741 -47.30%
Labrador 26,728 294,330 -63.64%

The Electoral Boundaries Commission of Newfoundland and Labrador offered this explanation for the variation from the electoral quota in the Labrador electoral district in its 2012 Report:

Having considered the decennial census and the variances from the electoral quota, as summarized in Table 1 and Table 2 above, the Proposal initially addressed whether there were extraordinary circumstances as contemplated by section 15 of the Act that would warrant an electoral district whose population was outside the ± factor of 25 percent of the electoral quota.

For the past 25 years the Labrador portion of the Province constituted a separate electoral district even though its population was more than 25 percent below the electoral quota. The continuance of that electoral district would clearly have a significant effect upon the populations of other electoral districts. The Proposal addressed the matter as follows:

The 2011 decennial census found the population of the Labrador electoral district to be 26,728. That population is widely dispersed over an extensive land mass, which continues to pose serious transportation challenges for its residents and elected representatives. Residents of that electoral district, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, and whether residing in small coastal communities, in or near the major service centre in Upper Lake Melville or in the major natural resource development towns of Labrador West, are all known to assert the existence of a shared community of interest.

Having regard to its history, geography, community of interest and the strength of its distinct Aboriginal communities, the Commission views the circumstances of the Labrador portion of the Province as being extraordinary and as warranting the continuance of a separate electoral district.

The Commission next considered the remaining six electoral districts, recognizing that continuance of the Labrador electoral district would necessarily result in higher populations in some or all of these six electoral districts. To address that issue the Commission found it useful to calculate an electoral quota for those six districts as follows: 514,536 − 26,728 (Labrador) = 487,808 ÷ 6 = 81,301. Consideration of that quota (the reference quota) assisted the Commission in addressing the application of the statutory guidelines in section 15 of the Act to those electoral districts.

With these comments in mind, the Saskatchewan Commission observes that the large geographic size of Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, coupled with its cultural and linguistic mix, could be viewed as extraordinary circumstances justifying a variation from the quota by -43.72%. Even with the proposed adjustment in the geographic size, Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River occupies 50% of the landmass of the Province and is 5.13 times larger than the second largest electoral district of Kindersley—Rosetown.

Reducing the size of the electoral boundaries of Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River will have implications for the remaining electoral districts. It stands to reason that if some seats are to be below the electoral quota, others have to be above it. To accommodate this change, the population difference between 71,488 persons under an unadjusted boundary for Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River and 45,524 based on a revised boundary, which equals 25,964, must be absorbed in the remaining 13 districts. Following the approach in Newfoundland, it is useful to consider what can be called a reference quota, if no other adjustment is made, for those remaining districts of (1,132,505 – 45,524) ÷ 13 = 83,613 [reference quota] as well as the electoral quota when assessing the Proposal. To be clear, the electoral quota is the guiding principle.

Prince Albert

Apart from adding subdivided and recreational lands that were formerly in Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, this electoral district largely keeps the configuration it had following the 2011 Census. The total population of the Prince Albert electoral district according to this Proposal would be 85,344, which represents a 5.50% variation from the electoral quota and a 2.07% variation from the reference quota.


Apart from adding subdivided land and recreational lands that were formerly in Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, this electoral district largely keeps the configuration it had following the 2011 Census. The total population of the Battlefords—Lloydminster electoral district, according to this proposal, would be 83,815, which represents a 3.62% variation from the electoral quota and a 0.25% variation from the reference quota.


Saskatoon and the surrounding area have grown significantly. In 2012, it was possible to create three almost exclusively urban seats. The significant growth in the Saskatoon electoral districts makes that no longer completely possible even when considered in relation to the reference quota. The total population of the three electoral districts designed as they were in 2012 is 269,480. This figure divided by three equals 89,827.

Several broad options confront the Commission. One is to absorb all of the existing population within the three electoral districts. This would make three of the largest electoral districts in the Province. Depending on where the boundary is placed for each electoral district, an electoral district of 89,827 would exceed the quota by 8,934.

Another option would be to create a blended urban-rural electoral district. This would include some of the urban population of Saskatoon and encompass the fast-growing communities on the outskirts of Saskatoon, including Warman and Martensville, as well as going east to include Humboldt, and the land and residences between these points.

The Commission is considering a combination of these approaches.

In relation to Saskatoon specifically, of the 37 emailed submissions received by the Commission to inform this Proposal, 17 concerned the Saskatoon electoral districts. Two of these submissions were co-authored or supported by 8 and 26 people, respectively. All 17 submissions support the creation of a central urban electoral district for Saskatoon, with adjustments of the other two existing urban electoral districts in Saskatoon to be made accordingly.

The Commission is considering readjusting the three existing electoral districts to allow for an electoral district to be called Saskatoon Centre, which would be bordered almost entirely by Circle Drive. The establishment of the Saskatoon Centre electoral district addresses communities of interest that are, to some extent, distinguishable from those of suburban and rural residents. These interests include (a) transportation infrastructure, (b) the development of the downtown core, (c) issues faced by at-risk populations, and (d) distinct issues faced by Indigenous people whose population in Saskatoon is concentrated in the neighbourhoods inside Circle Drive.

The population of the proposed Saskatoon Centre electoral district would be 89,092. This represents a variation of 10.09% from the electoral quota and 6.51% from the reference quota. Those who recommended the establishment of a core urban electoral district, and who also commented on the issue of quota size, understood that the population of this district would exceed 89,000. Apart from Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River, this is the only riding for which the Commission is suggesting a departure of more than 10%. All of the other ridings are closer to the electoral quota.

The establishment of the Saskatoon Centre electoral district would involve including within it some neighbourhoods—those that are inside of Circle Drive—that are presently part of the Saskatoon West electoral district. The Commission is proposing that the remaining neighbourhoods in Saskatoon West situated outside of Circle Drive, become part of the enlarged Saskatoon—Grasswood electoral district as discussed below.

The Commission proposes to adjust the boundaries of the Saskatoon—University electoral district to accommodate the proposed Saskatoon Centre electoral district. The population of Saskatoon—University would be 85,188. This represents a 5.31% variation from the electoral quota and 1.88% from the reference quota.

The Commission proposes an adjustment of the boundaries of the Saskatoon—Grasswood electoral district in such a way as to establish it as a suburban electoral district. The proposed adjusted boundaries would include Saskatoon neighbourhoods to the south and east of Circle Drive. Those neighbourhoods to the east of Circle Drive are presently within the Saskatoon West electoral district. The population of the Grasswood electoral district with the proposed boundaries would be 80,704, which represents a variation from the electoral quota of -0.19% and from the reference quota of -3.44%.

The Commission proposes to realign part of what used to be Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek into a fourth Saskatoon and surrounding-area electoral district. The Commission is recommending that the new electoral district be called Saskatoon—Wanuskewin. It would include Saskatoon neighbourhoods that are outside and to the north of Circle Drive, and the surrounding area that includes other urban communities such as the fast-growing Warman, Martensville and Humboldt. The total population of Saskatoon—Wanuskewin according to this proposal would be 83,562, which represents a 3.29% variation from the electoral quota and a -0.07% variation from the reference quota.

The balance of Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek must be absorbed primarily within Kindersley—Rosetown, as reflected in the map provided with this Proposal.


Like Saskatoon, Regina has grown significantly, but not to the same degree. The total 2021 population of the three Regina electoral districts, including the blended urban-rural electoral district of Regina—Qu'Appelle, is 265,719, but the growth among the electoral districts is uneven. The total population as it stood according to the 2021 Census divided by three shows an electoral district size of 88,573, which would exceed the reference quota of 83,613 by 4,960 or 5.9%.

Unlike Saskatoon, the Commission received relatively few submissions regarding how the 2021 population should be divided among Regina's three electoral districts. In the absence of extensive submissions, the Commission considered two options.

The first option is to absorb the increased population within the existing electoral districts and make adjustments to account for the fact that Regina—Lewvan is the largest of the three electoral districts based on the 2021 Census data. This would mean moving the boundaries to account in some manner for the differences in those increases.

The second option is to decrease the geographical size of Regina—Qu'Appelle and establish three ridings of relatively equal size. The proposed map reflects the second option. It results in three ridings with the following deviations from the electoral quota as follows: (a) Regina—Lewvan at 84,347, which varies by 4.26%, (b) Regina—Qu'Appelle at 85,914, which varies by 6.2%, and (c) Regina—Wascana at 85,642, which varies by 5.9%.

This option has implications for both the Yorkton—Melville and Souris—Moose Mountain electoral districts.


Two main factors have influenced the proposed electoral boundaries of this district. The first is the reduction of the geographical size of Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River. The second factor is the reduction in geographical size of Regina—Qu'Appelle. These two changes have increased the corresponding size of the electoral district of Yorkton—Melville, giving it a population of 78,865. The variation from the electoral quota for Yorkton—Melville based on the 2011 Census was -3.45%. The proposed increase in electoral size would reduce the variation from the electoral quota to -2.50%, with a variation from the reference quota of -5.68%.

Souris—Moose Mountain

The reduction in geographical size of Regina—Qu'Appelle results in some increase in size of Souris—Moose Mountain. The large size of this electoral district justifies the Commission's decision to continue to depart somewhat from the electoral quota for the district. The proposed population of Souris—Moose Mountain is 80,519. This represents a -0.46% variation from the electoral quota and a -3.70% variation from the reference quota.

Swift Current—Moose Jaw—Grasslands and Kindersley—Rosetown

The Commission received a number of detailed submissions criticizing the configuration of Cypress Hills—Grasslands and Moose Jaw—Lake Centre—Lanigan as not respecting the communities of interest in this part of the Province. In addition, most of the submissions expressed concern about the large size of Cypress Hills—Grasslands, which would in all likelihood have to increase to come closer to the electoral quota if no other adjustments were made. In that regard, it is noted that the landmass of Cypress Hills—Grasslands according to the 2012 Report was 77,831 km2. At least for the purposes of this Proposal, the Commission proposes that the two electoral districts should be substantially re-configured.

The Commission proposes one district following the transportation corridor running through Swift Current and Moose Jaw almost to the outskirts of Regina and to be named Moose Jaw—Swift Current—Cypress Hills. The population of this district would be 85,464, which represents a 5.66% variation from the electoral quota and a 2.22% variation from the reference quota.

The Commission proposes a second almost exclusively rural electoral district to recognize the community of interest that lies to the north of the South Saskatchewan River. It would absorb almost all that part of Carlton Trail—Eagle Creek that does not form part of Saskatoon—Wanuskewin. This district would be named after the two largest centres in the district and be called Kindersley—Rosetown. Conscious of the large geographic size of this district, the Commission did not extend its boundaries to the point of exact equivalence with the electoral quota. The population of Kindersley—Rosetown would be 78,525. This represents a -2.93% variation from the provincial quota and a -6.09% variation from the reference quota.