Minister LeBlanc introduces legislation to preserve strong representation in the House of Commons
Ottawa, March 24, 2022 – The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring our country’s democratic institutions remain strong and that all Canadians continue to be well represented in the House of Commons.
Today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, introduced legislation to amend section 51 of the Constitution Act, 1867 so that no province will hold fewer seats in the House of Commons than it did during the 43rd Parliament of Canada. If passed, the amendment would update the 1985 grandfather clause of the seat allocation formula, providing a new minimum number of seats to provinces in the House.
Further to the seat allocation calculation, the ten independent electoral boundaries commissions, one for each province, established in November 2021 will continue their work to consider and report on any changes required to the boundaries of the electoral districts. This process, prescribed under the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act, allows for changes and movements in Canada’s population to be reflected in the House of Commons.
Putting forth this legislation ensures that no province will lose a seat during this decennial census and reaffirms the Government’s commitment to ensuring that Canadians remain well represented in the House of Commons.
“The seat allocation and the electoral boundaries readjustment process is an important part of our democracy. It ensures the House of Commons reflects the changing nature of Canada’s demographic profile and that all Canadians’ voices are effectively heard. Our Government’s proposed legislation is a targeted approach that will ensure all Canadians remain well represented within the House of Commons.”
– The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities
Canada’s Constitution requires that the number of members in the House of Commons and federal electoral districts be reviewed after each decennial (10-year) census and adjusted (or redistributed) to reflect changes in Canada’s population.
The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) is responsible for calculating the number of House of Commons seats allocated to each province using the seat allocation formula found in section 51 of the Constitution Act, 1867 based on population estimates supplied by Statistics Canada. Due to population size, the territories are exempt from this calculation and each is allocated one seat. The CEO does not have discretion over the calculation.
On November 1, 2021, ten independent electoral boundaries commissions were established, one for each province, to consider and report on any changes required to the boundaries of the electoral districts following the seat allocation. The commissions will hold public hearings between April and October 2022 before submitting their reports on new electoral districts to Parliament, which is expected to take place in December 2022.
New electoral boundary districts will be announced in September 2023. Changes to electoral districts will be applied in the first general election called at least seven months after the changes are announced; these changes will likely not come into effect until April 2024, at the earliest.
For more information (media only), please contact:
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities
Privy Council Office
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