Office of the Minister of State (Democratic Reform)

Office of the Minister of State (Democratic Reform)

December 13, 2011 18:01 ET

Getting Things Done for Canadians: Harper Government Delivering on Rep-by-Pop Commitment

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 13, 2011) - The Harper Government today welcomed the passage of the Fair Representation Act through the House of Commons. This legislation, now before the Senate, will move every single Canadian towards representation by population.

"The status-quo results in Canadians from Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta becoming more and more underrepresented in the House of Commons simply because they live in high-growth provinces," said Minister of State for Democratic Reform Tim Uppal. "If nothing is done, this problem will become much worse. Clearly, this is not fair - every Canadians' vote, to the greatest extent possible, should carry equal weight."

The Fair Representation Act updates the formula allocating House of Commons seats to provinces to better account for population growth and trends. Under the legislation:

  • Ontario will receive an additional 15 seats

  • British Columbia will receive an additional 6 seats

  • Alberta will receive an additional 6 seats

The legislation also fulfils a platform commitment to prevent Quebec from becoming underrepresented relative to its population, since the purpose of the bill is to move every single province towards representation by population. To this end, Quebec will receive three new seats which will be proportionate to its share of the population.

"The Fair Representation Act addresses a serious democratic problem by moving every single Canadian closer to representation by population," added Minister Uppal. "We're getting things done for Canadians in a way that is fair for all Canadians. The vote today shows that there is strong support in the House for this initiative."

The Fair Representation Act also includes amendments to the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act that streamline the boundary readjustment process. The boundary readjustment process begins February 8th, 2012 and, if the Fair Representation Act is enacted before this date, is projected to be complete within two years and five months.

Contact Information

  • Kate Davis
    Office of the Minister of State for Democratic Reform
    (613) 943-1835