Minister of State (Democratic Reform)

Minister of State (Democratic Reform)

April 01, 2010 12:38 ET

Canada’s Government Restores Fair Representation in the House of Commons

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 1, 2010) - The Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Democratic Reform), along with Mr. Steven Blaney, Member of Parliament for Lévis—Bellechasse, today moved ahead with restoring fair representation in the House of Commons for Canada's faster growing provinces.

"Our government is following through with its Throne Speech commitment to restoring the principle of representation by population in the House of Commons," said Minister of State Fletcher. "If passed, this legislation will give fair representation to the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario, while protecting the seat counts of the other provinces "

Based on current population projections, the faster-growing provinces of Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia would receive more seats than they would under the existing formula in the next readjustment process: Ontario would receive 18 new seats (instead of 4 under the current formula), Alberta would receive 5 new seats (instead of 1), and British Columbia would receive 7 new seats (instead of 2) and the remaining provinces' seat count would not change. The next readjustment will occur after the release of the 2011 Census.

"For the strength of our democracy, Canadians in every part of the country deserve to be fairly represented in the House of Commons," added Mr. Blaney.

The representation of the provinces in the House of Commons is updated following each decennial census according to a formula established in the Constitution. The current formula, established in 1985, was designed to temper the overall growth of the size of the House of Commons. Over time, this formula has penalized faster-growing provinces by becoming unfairly under-represented in the House of Commons. The proposed legislation would update the formula so that future readjustments better reflect the democratic representation of faster-growing provinces. 

A backgrounder entitled "Democratic Representation Act" is available at this address : http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/Backgrounder-Democratic_Representation_Act.pdf

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of State for Democratic Reform
    Jessica Georgakopoulos
    613-943-6975