- How often are federal electoral boundaries readjusted?
- How many commissions are established?
- What is the composition of each commission?
- How can the public participate?
- What role does Elections Canada play in the process?
- What criteria guide the commissions when establishing the federal electoral boundaries?
- How is the number of electoral districts determined?
- When will the new electoral boundaries come into force?
1. How often are federal electoral boundaries readjusted?
Representation in the House of Commons is readjusted after each decennial (10-year) census to reflect changes and movements in Canada's population in accordance with the Constitution Act, 1867, and the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act (1985, as amended).
2. How many commissions are established?
Ten federal electoral boundaries commissions are established, one for each province, to consider and report on any changes required to the boundaries of the electoral districts. As the Northwest Territories, the Yukon Territory and Nunavut constitute only one electoral district each, no federal electoral boundaries commissions are required.
3. What is the composition of each commission?
Each commission is chaired either by a judge appointed by the Chief Justice of that province, or by a person resident in that province appointed by the Chief Justice of Canada. As well, two other members who are resident in that province are appointed by the Speaker of the House of Commons.
4. How can the public participate?
The federal electoral boundaries commissions hold public hearings to ensure public participation in the redistribution process. Individuals can also send written submissions to the appropriate commission. Members of the House of Commons have a further chance to have their say through an objections process co-ordinated by a parliamentary committee. In all cases, the final decision rests with the commissions.
5. What role does Elections Canada play in the process?
Under the provisions of the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act, Elections Canada provides a variety of professional, financial, technical and administrative support services to the commissions. This involves liaison with such agencies or government departments as Statistics Canada and Natural Resources Canada and with the Speaker of the House of Commons on their behalf, as well as assistance with the production of their reports.
6. What criteria guide the commissions when establishing the federal electoral boundaries?
In establishing electoral boundaries, each commission shall proceed on the basis that the population of each electoral district shall, as close as reasonably possible, correspond to the electoral quotient for the province. Commissions will consider the community of interest or community of identity in, or the historical pattern of an electoral district. A manageable geographic size for districts in sparsely populated, rural or northern regions of a province is also taken into consideration. Except in circumstances viewed by the commission as being extraordinary, the population of each electoral district in a province will remain within plus or minus 25 percent of the electoral quotient for that province.
7. How is the number of electoral districts determined?
The number of electoral districts is based on the formula described in the amended section 51 of the Constitution Act, 1867. This formula assigns seats to provinces in proportion to their population, assuring them the minimum number of electoral districts they had prior to March 6, 1986. In addition, each of the territories is entitled to one electoral district.
8. When will the new electoral boundaries come into force?
The 2003 Representation Order comes into force upon the first dissolution
of Parliament that occurs at least one year after the issue of the
proclamation. The representation order was proclaimed on August