Legislation on riding re-alignment passed

The Senate passed a bill yesterday which set April 1 as the date when the Kenora-Rainy River federal riding officially will be severed.
Kenora will become its own riding while Rainy River will be joined with the former Thunder Bay-Atikokan riding to form Thunder Bay-Rainy River.
Electoral boundaries are re-evaluated by the Electoral Boundaries Commission every 10 years to reflect changing populations across the country.
Kenora-Rainy River MP Bob Nault strongly opposed the changes, first proposed last April, but to no avail. The commission made its final decision back in August.
The changes would have come into effect Aug. 25, 2004 but the Liberal government introduced legislation to move the date up to April 1—presumably to put the riding changes into effect in time for a possible spring election.
Provinces in western Canada will gain extra seats in the House of Commons as a result of the redistribution.
The bill had passed first reading in the Senate when former prime minister Jean Chrétien prorogued Parliament in November. It then was fast-tracked through the House when its resumed sitting last month.
Bill C-5 now only requires royal assent to become law.