Chomedey's Greek community upset over redrawn electoral map
Published Friday, March 10, 2017 6:04PM EST
Last Updated Friday, March 10, 2017 10:43PM EST
Laval's Greek community is worried and upset about changes coming to the province’s electoral map.
The Chomedey riding, traditionally home to a large Greek community, will be redistributed for the next Quebec election.
Last week, Quebec's Chief Electoral Officer, a non-partisan body, announced last week the Chomedey riding is being divided: some residents who used to vote in Chomedey will now vote in the Fabre riding.
“They've split the Greek community in the Chomedey riding right down the middle,” said Pelagia Adamidis of the Hellenic Community of Greater Montreal.
Adamidis worries the Greek vote is being diluted.
“But it goes beyond that,” she said. “The commission completely disregarded their obligation to respect what's called the ‘natural community.’”
Adamidis argues the commission disregarded Chomedey's heritage.
“Chomedey had the largest Greek community in the province,” said local MNA Guy Ouellette, who fought the redistribution on that basis.
Ouellette, however, couldn't convince the Chief Electoral Officer to back down.
“As much as we can, we look at the question natural communities, but we have to also look at population density,” said Alexandra Reny, spokesperson for the Chief Electoral Officer.
Chomedey’s population has been growing quickly, the reason behind the Director General of Elections redrawn map.
The DGE did, however, back down on plans to eliminate the Montreal riding of Sainte-Marie-Saint-Jacques, currently held by Québec solidaire, after residents voiced concerns about losing their voice at the National Assembly.
Ouellette said what bothers his most is that those voices were heard, but he says the voices in Chomedey weren't.
“In the Greek community, the comments I hear right now are, ‘the government doesn't take care of us and doesn't think of us,’” he said.
The Hellenic community is seeking to have the move overturned, but it’s unlikely: the DGE said the decision is final.