All across the country, panels of eminent persons are looking at ways to re-draw the electoral map to take into account our growing population.
The group in Newfoundland and Labrador are the first to publish proposed new boundaries. At least three ridings look to get what seems to me a radical makeover.
The NL group is set to begin a month-long series of public hearings beginning July 3 in Gander to consider the best way to divvy up the electoral map. NL is not getting any more seats in the House of Commons in this re-shuffling. There will be still be just 7 seats for the half-million or so of those who live in Canada’s easternmost province.
The current proposal [28-page PDF] is to keep the riding names (and, by and large, the boundaries) for Avalon, Labrador, and St. John’s South-Mount Pearl but the following ridings either lose their names and/or get radically re-drawn:
- Bonavista–Gander–Grand Falls–Windsor
- Humber–St. Barbe–Baie Verte
- Random–Burin–St. George’s
- St. John’s East
Get used to these new riding names from The Rock:
- Bay d’Espoir–Central–Notre Dame
- Long Range Mountains
- St. John’s North
It looks to me like St. John’s East simply becomes St. John’s North. But the other three, involving central and western Newfoundland looks like a substantial shift. Currently, the three central and western ridings are divvied up kind of like a circular pie, with one-third of the pie set aside for each riding. The new configuration has the riding boundaries slicing vertically from north to south.
(There’s a handy “Map Viewer’” applet at the site to let you get a good visual sense of what’s up.)
So Long Range Mountains, for example, would extend all the way from St. Anthony in the north down through Corner Brook to Port-Aux-Basques and Burgeo in the south.
Newfoundland and Labrador currently has MPs from all three major parties. Conservative Peter Penashue holds Labrador; New Democrats Jack Harris and Ryan Cleary hold St. John’s and four Liberals have the rest.