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Proposed Quebec electoral map would eliminate riding in Montreal

Quebec's electoral representation commission presented its preliminary report that recommends changing 55 of the 125 electoral division in nine regions of Quebec.

The 173-page report proposes two new electoral districts the commission says would be more representative of their electoral weight.

"The proposed electoral divisions have been delimited with particular attention to the sense of belonging of electors to their community and to the boundaries of the administrative regions, regional county municipalities, municipalities and boroughs," the report reads.

The commission proposes a new Bellefeuille riding in the Laurentians-Lanaudiere region, which has seen the biggest increase in the number of voters in Quebec since 2017. The proposal would change 12 of the 17 electoral districts in that region.

A second district called Marie-Lacoste-Gerin-Lajoie is also proposed in the Eastern Townships-Centre-du-Quebec region. Nine districts in that region would be modified based on the commission's report.

The Parti Quebecois (PQ) is not happy about one of the two regions that would have a riding removed.

The commission recommends removing a district on the east of the Island of Montreal and the Bas-Saint-Laurent-Gaspesie-Iles-de-la-Madeline regions, as voter numbers have decreased in each area.

PQ Matane-Matapédia MNA Pascal Bérubé is calling for the proposal to be changed and said that the size of the electoral divisions in Gaspesie would become excessive and impossible for an elected representative to cover.

"They're natural communities and sometimes we feel that we can put apart two areas that go well together because there's historical relation to those parts," said Bérubé.

The report proposes merging the Bonaventure and Gaspe ridings. 

"Which is almost a country," said Bérubé. "It's too big. It's too hard to represent this kind of riding."

The Island of Montreal would have 26 ridings (down from 27) and the Bas-Saint-Laurent-Gaspesie-Iles-de-la-Madeleine region would go from six to five ridings.


Proposed electoral map for the Island of Montreal. It would reduce ridings on the island from 27 to 26. SOURCE: Commission de la representation electorale

The new map is based on populations within electoral districts. The commission says that populations have increased in suburban areas, particularly in the Greater Montreal Area.

"This trend has created inequalities in representation that need to be corrected to ensure fair and equitable representation of all Québec electors," the commission's report says.

The Anjou-Louis Riel riding, currently held by CAQ MNA Karine Boivin Roy, would cease to exist. Quebec Solidaire MNA Vincent Marissal's Rosemont riding, along with Parti Quebecois leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon's Camille-Laurin riding, would absorb the territory.

The current electoral map was adopted in 2017 and has been used for the past two provincial elections. It was based on the November 2014 voter numbers.

The following are the ridings that will be modified based on their regions.

  • Bas-Saint-Laurent– Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine Bonaventure - Gaspé, Matane-Matapédia and Rimouski
  • Capitale-Nationale La Peltrie - Portneuf and Vanier-Les Rivières
  • Estrie–Centre-du-Québec - Arthabaska, Brome-Missisquoi, Johnson, Drummond–Bois-Francs, Granby, Nicolet‑Bécancour, Orford, Richmond and Saint-François
  • Island of Montreal - Camille-Laurin, Gouin, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Laurier‑Dorion, Rosemont, Anjou–Louis-Riel, Sainte‑Marie–Saint-Jacques and Viau
  • Laurentides-Lanaudière - Argenteuil, Berthier, Blainville, Labelle, L’Assomption, Les Plaines, Masson, Mirabel, Prévost, Repentigny, Saint‑Jérôme and Terrebonne
  • Laval - Chomedey, Laval-des-Rapides and Mille-Îles
  • Montérégie - Beauharnois, Borduas, Huntingdon, Saint‑Hyacinthe, Richelieu, Saint-Jean, Sanguinet, Soulanges, Vaudreuil amd Verchères
  • Outaouais - Chapleau, Gatineau, Hull and Papineau
  • Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean - Chicoutimi and Dubuc 

The electoral map exercise occurs once every eight years.

The Liberals said they will participate actively in the consultation process which will run from Oct. 10 to Nov. 15.

"It's a question of effective representation at the national assembly and also effective representation of all of our regions because every Quebecor needs to have a voice at the national assembly," said interim Liberal leader Marc Tanguay. 

With files from The Canadian Press. Top Stories

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