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Timeline for the Redistribution of Federal Electoral Districts

Below you will find the main steps in the redistribution of federal electoral districts, as set out in the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act (the Act, EBRA). Interventions of the Speaker of the House of Commons are highlighted in bold. Please note that the timeline does not reflect additional time limits that may be granted to commissions to complete their reports, nor extensions of time limits that may result from the parliamentary calendar.

Preliminary Steps
Steps Summary and references to EBRA EBRA Deadline Expected timeline

1. Allocation of seats

(section 12.1 and subsection 14(1)) The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) is required to calculate the number of seats allocated to each province, using the July 1st, 2021, population estimates and a formula set out in section 51 of the Constitution Act, 1867. The results are published in the Canada Gazette.

After the receipt of the population estimates from Statistics Canada

Mid-October 2021

2. Establishment of commissions

(sections 3 to 8) A three-member commission is established in each province by the Governor in Council, and a notice to that effect is published in the Canada Gazette. The chair of each commission is appointed by the provincial chief justice, while members are appointed by the Speaker of the House of Commons.

The sooner of the following:

  • within six months of the first day of the month the decennial census was taken
  • within 60 days after publication of the census

No later than November 1st, 2021

3. Publication of census data

(subsection 13(1)) The Chief Statistician releases the population data for each province, broken down by electoral district. The data is provided to the CEO and the Minister designated for the purposes of the Act.

Each commission receives the census population numbers for its province from the CEO. (paragraph 13(2)(a))

As soon as possible following the decennial census

Mid-February

2022

 

The process of readjusting the federal electoral boundaries begins
Steps Summary and references to EBRA EBRA Deadline Expected timeline

4. Publication of commission proposals

(section 19) Each commission develops a boundary proposal for its province. It is published in the Canada Gazette and at least one newspaper of general circulation and includes the time and place of public hearings.

As soon as possible following receipt of census population data (step 3)

March-August 2022

5. Public hearings

(section 19) Each commission must hold at least one public hearing.

At least 30 days after the publication of its proposal

April-October 2022

(section 19) Members of the public notify the commission if they want to make a presentation at a public hearing. Members of Parliament (MPs) may also make presentations at these hearings.

Within 23 days after the publication of proposals

6. Completion of the report

(section 20) Each commission finalizes its report on the new electoral districts.

(section 21) The report is sent to the Speaker of the House of Commons through the CEO, where it is tabled and referred to a designated parliamentary committee.

Note: If Parliament is not in session when the Speaker receives the report, the Speaker is required to publish the report in the Canada Gazette and send it by mail to each member of the House of Commons for that province.

No later than 10 months after receipt of the census population data (step 3)

The CEO may grant a two-month extension.

Mid-December 2022

Assuming commission has not requested more time

7. Objections from MPs

(section 22) MPs file written objections to a report with the designated parliamentary committee. Objections must be signed by at least 10 MPs.

Within 30 days after referral to the committee or 30 days after publication in the Canada Gazette

January-February 2023

(section 22) The parliamentary committee considers the objections. The report is then returned to the commission through the Speaker of the House of Commons and then through the CEO, with a copy of the objections and the minutes of the committee.

Within 30 days (when Parliament is sitting) after expiration of the datefor objections

The committee may request more time.

March-May 2023

Assuming the committee has not requested more time and parliament is sitting.

8. Commissions consider objections

(section 23) The commission decides whether to modify the boundaries or district names before submitting its final report to the Speaker of the House of Commons through the CEO.

Within 30 days of receipt of objections

May-June 2023

9. Representation order

(section 24) The CEO drafts the representation order, which describes the electoral districts established by the commissions, and sends it to the government via the Minister.

None

September 2023

(section 25) The new representation order is proclaimed by the Governor in Council…

Within 5 days of receipt

(section 26) …and published in the Canada Gazette.

Within 5 days of proclamation

 

The redistribution of federal electoral districts is now complete
Steps Summary and references to EBRA EBRA Deadline Expected timeline

10. Boundaries established

(section 25) The new boundary limits become official on the first dissolution of Parliament at least seven months after the date of proclamation.

This period gives Elections Canada, political parties, candidates and sitting MPs the time to prepare for the next general election (e.g., hire or reappoint returning officers, adjust the National Register of Electors, or reorganize electoral district associations).

Seven months after the new representation order is proclaimed

Earliest in April 2024