New federal ridings for Montreal break with history
Published Monday, July 16, 2012 11:02PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 17, 2012 11:30AM EDT
MONTREAL—Quebec’s electoral ridings may see one of the biggest transformations in decades, with a federal commission proposing to do away with many of the longest-serving ridings in a vast redrawing of where Quebecers vote.
Four new ridings will be added to the Montreal area: two on the north shore, one in Longueuil and another on the island. One of the new ridings was created by cannibalizing a district from eastern Quebec.
"In our opinion, the proposed changes reflect the new reality of Quebec, with the current trend toward higher-density urban centres,” wrote the head of the commission, Jules Allard, in a statement. “These changes led us to seek new names for a large number of electoral districts.
“We felt it appropriate to take account of the new reality, while drawing on the geography and history of the districts concerned.”
Under the plan made public on Monday, the long-running names of two ridings held by Liberal prime ministers would end. The Mount-Royal and Lasalle-Emard ridings, once held by Pierre Elliott Trudeau and Paul Martin would be no more.
Created in 1925, Mount-Royal would be folded into the new riding of John-Peters-Humphrey—named after the Montreal-born principal drafter of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Incumbent Irwin Cotler would need to compete in a greatly expanded district during the assumed 2015 election, one that would encompass Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport.
The most signicant changes in the Montreal area would be in the ridings that include NDG, Westmount, and the downtown part of Montreal.
Currently Liberal MP Marc Garneau represents the Westmount-Ville Marie riding, and NDP MP Isabelle Morin represents NDG-Lachine.
Under the proposal these areas would be drastically changed, with much of downtown Montreal forming a new riding, Ville-Marie, while Westmount, NDG and Montreal West would become a new riding named Wilder-Penfield.
With NDG removed, the Lachine-LaSalle riding would shrink.
Much of the area represented by the current riding of Ahuntsic would be folded into the new riding of Maurice-Richard. The Canadiens great isn’t the only sports legend to get a nod. The area once represented by the Berthier-Maskinonge riding would be renamed Gilles-Villeneuve under the plan.
A series of public hearings will be held across Quebec where citizen can comment on the new ridings and choice of names. Montreal’s hearing will be on Oct. 19 at the municipal couthouse.
The original version of this article contained errors regarding the Mount Royal and Plateau ridings.