Ottawa/Queen's Park




- by Hub staff

Public and the politicians alike hold their breaths when their ridings are reconsidered.

It's part of the periodic tweaking electoral boundaries undergo reflecting changes in population, a process overseen by the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission.

The final report of the Commission's 2022 efforts shows how concerns raised during its mandated hearings buffer the effects of population growth and distribution on local culture and organization.

Population changes in Canada found in the 2021 Census meant the addition of a seat in Parliament for Ontario – the creation of a new riding – bringing the province's total to 122 districts, each to elect a representative to sit as a Member of Parliament in Ottawa.

Due to the ebb and flow of people within the province, as well as unevenly-spread net growth from foreign and domestic immigration, the Commission determined (from their website):

  • The ridings in Northern Ontario are to be reduced by one, from 10 to nine;
  • The ridings in the City of Toronto are to be reduced by one, from 25 to 24;
  • The ridings in Halton, Guelph, and Wellington are to be increased by one, from six to seven;
  • The ridings in Brampton, Caledon, and Dufferin are to be increased by one, from six to seven;
  • One additional riding each has been added to Central Ontario, Eastern GTA, and Northern GTA.

The borders and names of many other ridings were affected as well, and the Commission's proposed changes reflected the course corrections needed to meet future challenges presented by expected growth and resource redistribution.

In many cases these changes were dramatic as communities close to boundaries suddenly found themselves split by them, and small urban areas were cleft from their rural hinterlands.

Local cultures were under pressure, and it seemed as if long-held traditions would need to change.

The Commission is empowered to hold public hearings, and as a result many of the proposed changes were scaled back or abandoned.

But the concerns behind the initial proposals – another official indication of the amount growth anticipated over the next decade and beyond – remain, and the changes needed to keep all federal riding populations fairly close to each other to ensure fair and Constitutionally-correct representation will come closer to popular acceptance.


Existing Huron BruceGreyOS
Federal riding boundaries as existing, top, proposed, below, and final, bottom.
Existing Huron BruceGreyOS
Existing Huron BruceGreyOS


Alex Ruff, MP Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, released this statement:

“The Federal Electoral Boundary Commission for the Province of Ontario was tasked with reviewing and drawing 122 electoral districts in Ontario. After initial proposals put forward by the Commission outlined potential changes to the riding of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound, they were rescinded after the consultation period. Therefore, there have been no changes to the name or the boundaries of the riding of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound," noted Mr. Ruff.

“I thank the Municipality of Grey Highlands for providing its input to the Commission and highlighting its ties to the rest of Grey County. In my opinion, this input was instrumental in preventing changes to the boundaries as noted in the Commission’s report. There are still a few final steps yet to be completed by the Commission; however, I do not anticipate any changes that will impact Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound."

Western Ontario regional representatives made their case to the Commission as well, trying to not to lose a rural seat, and maintaining traditional community representation in Tillsonburg, Chatham-Kent and Zorra, among others.

The Western Ontario Wardens Caucus (WOWC) strongly advised a path closer to the status quo:

“While the WOWC understands that the location and density of population growth required the  Commission to move boundaries, the originally proposed federal electoral districts unnecessarily fragmented many of our region’s communities – and jeopardized our rural seat count in Southwestern Ontario,” said chair Glen McNeil.

“We are pleased to see that the Commission considered our suggestions and kept communities whole while maintaining the rural seat count in Western Ontario. Municipal community organizations will now be able to continue to engage with one federal government representative and the risk of contradictory positions by area MPs where they represent competing political parties is greatly diminished."


source: media releases; illustrations by David Galway from Commission maps


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