Hyer Congratulates Northern Ontarians For Working To Maintain Voice in Parliament
Reminds residents North could still lose a seat before riding distribution finalized
August 28, 2012
THUNDER BAY – The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario released its recommended riding map for the province yesterday, one where Northern Ontario does not lose any more of its ten seats in the upcoming distribution. Adjustments to some of the ridings were suggested, but the unique cultural, geographic and regional needs of Northern Ontario preserved the overall weight of the region in Parliament.
“Many constituents and residents from across the North have written to me, to other Northern Ontario representatives, and to the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission on this issue over these past months,” said Hyer. “I’d like to congratulate them for their involvement. It is as a direct result of the tireless efforts of each and every one of them that we have overcome this first important hurdle to defending the right of Northern Ontarians to have their voices heard in Ottawa.”
Federal electoral districts are adjusted after every ten-year Census to reflect changes in population patterns, amongst other factors. During the last redistribution, Northern Ontario dropped from 11 to 10 federal seats. With the Southern parts of the province growing at a much faster rate than the North it was feared that the region would have lost another representative in Parliament. Nickel Belt MP Claude Gravelle introduced legislation to forestall any loss for the North, but the legislation has not yet been voted upon.
Hyer commended Northern Municipalities like Thunder Bay, Marathon, Terrace Bay and Nipigon, including the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association, for passing resolutions supporting of full representation for the region at the federal level.
“From Parry Sound to Whitefish, M’Chigeeng First Nation to Thunder Bay, nearly 100 municipalities and thousands of Northern Ontarians came together to join the campaign to stand up for the region and defend our unique cultural and regional needs. You called for the redistribution to reflect the diversity and democratic needs of all Canadians, and so far the Commission has listened.”
While Hyer said a successful recommendation from the Commission is a critical first step, he reminded Northern Ontarians that the recommendations are only preliminary and the fight is not yet over. The Commission will conduct public hearings in October and November, after which their final recommendations will be binding.
A Commission hearing in Thunder Bay will take place on Wednesday, October 10 at 2 pm in the Point du Meuron Room of the Best Western Plus Nor’Wester Hotel at 2080 Highway 61.
“We’ve got to impress upon the Commission that Northern Ontario must not lose any ridings in the final map. I encourage local residents to attend the hearings and make their feelings known. It’s up to all of us to defend the democratic rights of Northern Ontarians.”
More information is available at www.standupfornorthernontario.ca.