Northern Ontario NDP MPs are disappointed with changes to electoral boundaries

The Ontario Federal Electoral Boundary Commission has submitted their final report on electoral boundaries today to the House of Commons which reduces representation in Northern Ontario, according to Carol Hughes, MP for Algoma-Manitoulin-Kapuskasing, and Charlie Angus, MP for Timmins-James Bay.

“With the final report, the number of ridings representing Northern Ontario are being reduced from ten to nine,” said Hughes. “This proposal means fewer MPs representing larger ridings, fewer constituency offices that act as the access point for Federal services, and less funding for important programs like Canada Summer Jobs across the North.”

The Ontario Federal Electoral Boundary Commission report notes that access to government services is a serious concern for people, and suggests that adding or even maintaining electoral districts in Northern Ontario is beyond their mandate and will require an act of Parliament.

“The current proposal hurts people in Northern Ontario,” said Angus. “This isn’t a partisan issue. We’ve worked with all Northern Ontario MPs to oppose reducing the number of electoral districts, and I am very disappointed with the submission of this final report. While the new proposed ridings differ from those in the earlier submission, it feels a little like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.”

There remain opportunities for Members of Parliament to object to the current proposal. Members of Parliament can file an objection to the report to the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, with signature of ten other MPs. Objections must be filed by March 12th, 2023, and discussions among Northern Ontario MPs are ongoing following the release of today’s proposal.

Ontario NDP