The Peace Tower is pictured on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick

New electoral boundaries strip Quebec of a seat, give Alberta three more

New electoral boundaries strip Quebec of a seat, give Alberta three more

New electoral boundaries strip Quebec of a seat, give Alberta three more

OTTAWA — Quebec is slated to lose one seat in the next redrawing of federal ridings in Canada.

Quebec’s 78 MPs will be reduced to 77 — the first time since 1966 that a province has lost a seat when the electoral map is reconfigured.

Overall, the number of seats in the House of Commons will increase by four to 342 seats to reflect Canada’s growing population.

Alberta will gain three seats, Ontario one and British Columbia one, while the number of MPs in other provinces and territories, except Quebec, will remain unchanged.

The Bloc Quebecois condemned the decision to strip Quebec of a seat, and said it would fight to maintain the province’s influence in Parliament.

Bloc MP Alain Therrien, party spokesman on democratic institutions, said: “It is out of the question to lose a seat in Quebec and so to see the power of francophones diminish.”

The Constitution requires ridings to be redefined every 10 years, after the census, so they reflect population changes. Extra seats are typically allocated to areas where the population has grown.

“The Chief Electoral Officer completes this calculation using the population estimates provided by the Chief Statistician of Canada and a formula found in the Constitution,” Elections Canada said in a statement on Friday.

Quebec’s population growth rate is lower than the average rate for the other provinces. Ontario has the most seats in the House of Commons because it has the largest number of people of all Canada’s provinces.

Alberta, which now has 34 seats, will get 37. British Columbia will go to 43 seats from 42, and Ontario will get an extra seat, to 122 from 121.

The size and shape of ridings will also be reviewed, starting in February next year. Ten independent electoral boundary commissions will be established across Canada to redraw ridings, and to consult on their proposals.

politics