Office of the Minister of State (Democratic Reform)

Office of the Minister of State (Democratic Reform)

December 13, 2011 18:02 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 Ontarians becoming more and more underrepresented in the House of Commons simply because they live in a high-growth province," said Minister of State for Democratic Reform and Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Sherwood Park 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 under-represented 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.

"We're getting things done for Canadians," said Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. "Not only are Ontarians receiving half of all new seats, but thanks to this legislation Ontario's percentage of seats in the House of Commons will more closely reflect its share of Canada's population."

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