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Electoral Boundaries Commission Wraps

By Adam Riley Nov 9, 2022 | 5:16 PM

The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission has wrapped up its in person hearings in Ontario, with Thunder Bay being the last stop on the tour.

More than a dozen residents brought their concerns to the table on the proposal that could see some drastic changes to riding boundaries. One such change would see an M-P for a new northern riding that stretches from Manitoba to Quebec, with no road access. Thunder Bay city councillor Kristen Oliver believes it would be next to impossible to effectively represent that riding.

“They would have to have a pilot and a plane ready to go at any given time”, says Oliver who at one time served as a constituency assistant.  “that takes them out of  the House, it takes them out of their constituency offices, and that’s a lot of travel time that I think could be best utilized somewhere else.”

Oliver wasn’t alone in her disagreement, of the 17 people who presented Tuesday evening, All gave the proposal, that would also see the cities of Kenora and Dryden be absorbed into an expanded Thunder Bay- Rainy River- Kenora riding,  a thumbs down.  With many stating it would limit representation in a region that is already underrepresented.

Commission Chair Justice Lynne Leitch says the more than 1900 written and oral presentations from across the province on the subject shows people do care about their politics.

“We were happily surprised, perhaps with the volume, but it does show that people are interested in the democratic process and they want to participate. So that is a very good thing.”

Leitch was unable to say how many oral and written submissions from the Northwest were received by the Commission.

With the conclusion of in person hearings, the Commission with now compile their findings into a report and submit them to the Speaker in the House of Commons over the course of the next 30 days. Then Members of Parliament will have their say on the matter through committees before sending those findings back to the Commission.

A final report will be released in February of 2023.


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