Electoral Boundary Hearings: Status Updates

Canada's federal electoral districts will be undergoing a redistribution following the results of the Canada 2011 Census. Due to changes in the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act, the size of the House of Commons of Canada will be expanding from 308 to 338 seats. This will means that more seats will be added in Ontario and the GTA. An Electoral Commission has been set up to propose changes to current riding boundaries to accommodate these new seats.

The commission has scheduled hearings where people can make their views known vis a vis the proposed changes. Through the hearing process, the Electoral Commission will gain an understanding of citizens’ views on the recently proposed changes to the riding’s boundaries. The commission has proposed changes to the Eglinton-Lawrence riding. Specifically, they have proposed that,

  1. an area within the current riding, bounded by Yonge Street, Lawrence Avenue, Avenue Road and the 401, become part of the riding to the east of Yonge Street.
  2. an area  bounded by Eglinton Avenue, Caledonia Road, Keele Street and the 401, be added to the riding.

One of the mandates of the commission is to ensure that ridings take "into account such factors as communities of interest or identity." People, who have registered to speak at the hearings, are encouraged to speak openly about their day to day life in Eglinton-Lawrence, and how the proposed changes relate to their own community of interest. For example, someone living north of Lawrence Avenue and east of Avenue Road may have children who attend schools, or play on sports teams south of the proposed riding boundary running along Lawrence Avenue. Or conversely, a person living south of Lawrence may attend a place of worship on Jedburgh or Wilson, north of Lawrence and east of Avenue Road. The commission needs to understand that, in both these cases, the proposed boundary changes run contrary to each person’s community of interest.

Over the last several months, a small group of volunteers has been encouraging residents of Eglinton-Lawrence to register, attend and speak at the Electoral Boundary Hearings. Approximately 60 people have registered to speak at the hearings on November 14 and 15.

If you have registered to speak at the hearing, you will be given ten to fifteen minutes to make your presentation. Below are the dates and times for hearings in the GTA.

Thursday, October 18, 2012, 11:00 a.m.
Richmond Hill, Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel & Suites, 600 Highway 7 East

Friday, October 19, 2012, 10:00 a.m.

Richmond Hill, Sheraton Parkway Toronto North Hotel & Suites, 600 Highway 7 East

Tuesday, November 13, 2012, 11:00 a.m.

Oshawa, Quality Hotel & Conference Centre, 1011 Bloor Street East

Wednesday, November 14, 2012, 10:00 a.m.

Toronto, North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge Street

Thursday, November 15, 2012, 11:30 a.m.
Toronto, Metro Hall, 55 John Street

For more information on the Electoral Commission, you can visit: http://www.elections.ca/content.aspx?section=res&dir=cir/red/bck&document=index&lang=e.

- Hugh Samson

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