Elections Quebec has decided not to eliminate the Sainte Marie Saint Jacques riding, and in its place it will merge the ridings of Mont Royal and Outremont, and the ridings of Laviolette and Saint Maurice.

Two new ridings are being created in Montreal's distant suburbs and north of the city.

The provincial agency that sets the rules for voting in provincial elections has been debating how to alter ridings for the next provincial election.

In its second report the agency proposed wiping out the riding currently held by Manon Massé of Quebec Solidaire in order to reflect the number of people moving off the island of Montreal.

However in a decision published on Thursday March 2, Elections Quebec decided to maintain the riding with its existing boundaries.

Massé said she was extremely happy with the decision.

"The Centre South is a natural community. We should respect it and its boundaries," said Massé.

"Today, this is their victory!"

She went on to say that Quebec should adopt some form of proportional representation so that riding changes due to population would have less of an impact.

Cabinet Ministers lose a riding

Elections Quebec is still wiping out a riding on the island of Montreal.

The ridings of Mont Royal and Outremont, currently held by Liberal cabinet ministers Pierre Arcand and Helene David, will be merged.

The new riding includes TMR, the borough of Outremont, and part of Cote des Neiges-Notre Dame de Grace.

Elections Quebec also considered making large changes to the Westmount Saint Louis and Notre Dame de Grace ridings.

Instead of carving out a large chunk of Montreal's gay village, the riding will instead include a section of Griffintown, between Guy St. and McGill St. south of the Ville Marie Expressway.

Notre Dame de Grace, which had been considered for a substantial expansion to the east to include the city of Westmount, will instead keep its current east-west boundaries, but expand to include everything south of Cote Saint Luc Rd.

D'Arcy McGee will see a large change, expanding east to include large portions of the existing Mont Royal and Outremont ridings.

The Mayor of Montreal, along with several city councillors, are outraged by the changes, especially since there was no notice of merging the Mont Royal and Outremont ridings.

Councillor Marvin Rotrand said the two west end ridings would have an average of 62,000 voters -- while Sainte Marie Saint Jacques will have 42,000.

He will present an emergency motion at a borough council meeting next week asking Elections Quebec to alter its decision.

The Montreal riding of Cremazie will also be renamed after a legendary hockey player.

Last year the Liberal MNA for the riding, Marie Montpetit, filed a motion asking the riding to be renamed after Maurice "Rocket" Richard, and that has now come to pass.

New ridings in the 450

One rural riding in northern Quebec is also being eliminated.

The ridings of Laviolette and Saint Maurice are being merged into the riding of Laviolette Saint Maurice.

Several other ridings in the area are having their boundaries changed in order to deal with shifting populations.

The elimination of the rural and the urban riding means two new ridings are being created in the 450 region around Montreal.

The riding of Les Plaines is being carved out of the current riding of Masson. Les Plaines will include the Town of Sainte Anne des Plaines, along with sections of Mirabel and Terrebonne.

Prevost is the second new riding, and is comes through changes to the ridings of Bertrand and Rousseau.

The riding of Prevost includes several small towns around Piedmont and Saint Sauveur.