Federal electoral boundary may change

If proposals from the federal Electoral Boundaries Commission are approved following a series of public meetings, electoral boundaries throughout Canada will change by 2004.
The proposed boundary change for the Kenora-Rainy River riding would see Atikokan and Ignace, which currently are included in the Thunder Bay-Atikokan riding, voting here instead.
While the proposed changes may not affect all provincial electoral boundaries, they would in Ontario. Under the Ontario Representation Act 1996, the number, names, and boundaries of Ontario’s provincial ridings are identical to the federal ones.
Therefore, this proposed re-adjustment would determine the boundaries for the Kenora-Rainy River riding at both levels.
Federal law requires that representation of the provinces in the House of Commons (the number of elected members per province) be re-adjusted after each 10-year census to reflect changes and movement in Canada’s population.
These proposals take into account demographic changes that occurred between 1999 and 2001.
The commission draws electoral district boundaries so that the population in each remains as close as possible to the calculated quota.
The chief electoral officer of Canada provided each provincial commission with population data from the 2001 census and the electoral quota of its province.
For Ontario, the total population of 11,410,046 divided by the number of the seats in the House of Commons allocated to the province (106) gives an electoral quota of 107,642.
Nevertheless, the provincial commission can deviate from the average population figure to respect the historical pattern of an electoral district, to preserve the unity of individuals with a common interest, or to ensure a manageable geographic size.
The commission also may recommend a new electoral district name.
Public meetings on the proposals will be held across Ontario from October through December. The meeting closest to here will be held Oct. 21 at the Valhalla Inn in Thunder Bay.
To attend, you must give notice by Oct. 12. Confirm by fax, phone, or letter (at the numbers/addresses found in the supplement included with Monday’s issue of the Daily Bulletin), or electronically at www.elections.ca
Written submissions of your opinion on the changes also can be sent to the commission.
After consideration of all the submissions, each provincial commission will submit a report to the House of Commons, where a House committee will examine it.
MPs may file objections with the committee, which then are referred back to the appropriate provincial commission. However, commissions are under no obligation to adopt any of the suggested changes.

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