Boundaries Commission Set To Review Provincial Electoral Divisions

The 2018 Electoral Divisions Boundaries Commission was recently established to review the electoral boundaries for Manitoba provincial elections. Under The Electoral Divisions Act, the boundaries are reviewed every 10 years.

Background

The Electoral Divisions Boundaries Commission is non-partisan and independent of government and its membership is set out in the Act. The responsibility of the Commission is to review all provincial electoral division boundaries, including the name of each division. As Manitoba’s population changes, the review is necessary to ensure effective representation for everyone. If a division has a significant increase or decrease in population, the boundaries for that division might need to change.

Commission Membership

  • Chief Justice of Manitoba, Richard Chartier
  • University of Manitoba President and Vice-Chancellor, David Barnard
  • Brandon University interim President and Vice-Chancellor, Steven Robinson
  • University College of the North Dean of Arts, Business and Science, Harvey Briggs
  • Manitoba Chief Electoral Officer, Shipra Verma

Participation

“The redistribution of Manitoba’s electoral boundaries is a very important consultative process,” says Chief Justice Richard Chartier, chair of the Commission. “The outcome will determine how Manitobans are represented in the Legislative Assembly. We encourage all Manitobans to participate by sharing their opinions, making the redistribution a fair and transparent process.”

Process

The legislation requires the Commission to base its review on the 2016 Statistics Canada census population for Manitoba. This total (1,278,365) is divided by the number of provincial electoral divisions in the province (57), establishing a quotient for each division (approximately 22,427 people per division).

The Act states that, where the Commission is of the opinion that a population variation is desirable, electoral division populations may vary. For divisions south of the 53rd parallel, the population may vary by 10% above or below the quotient and for divisions north or partially north of the 53rd parallel, by 25% above or below the quotient.

The Commission will issue its initial 2018 proposal regarding electoral divisions in June. Public hearings to consider that proposal will be held in September, before the Commission’s final report.

There are two ways for the public to participate:

  • By visiting the Electoral Divisions Boundaries Commission website at http://staging.boundariescommission.mb.ca/ and making a submission online. Submissions will also be accepted by email, fax and regular mail.
  • By registering to make a submission at a public hearing. The public hearing schedule, along with online registration, will be available in June 2018.

Website

The Commission website includes information about the Commission and the review process, as well as detailed, interactive maps of the current electoral divisions. The interactive feature is an easy-to-use tool allowing the user to move an electoral boundary which, in turn, generates an adjusted population count for the division. The website allows users to save their proposed boundary and submit it, along with an explanation, to the Commission.

Website submissions may be made during two time periods:

  • Between January 8 and March 16, 2018, prior to the Commission’s initial 2018 proposal, submissions for changes to the existing boundaries may be made.
  • Between July and September 2018, after the Commission’s initial 2018 proposal, submissions for changes to that proposal may be made.

The final report of the Commission will set out the new electoral boundaries and their names. The new boundaries will come into effect for the next general election in 2020, unless a general election is called sooner. The current boundaries are in effect if a byelection is called before the next general election.

To make a submission or for further information:

Jacynth Lagacé, Secretary
Manitoba Electoral Divisions Boundaries Commission
120-200 Vaughan Street
Winnipeg MB R3C 1T5
Phone: 204 945-5755
Toll Free: 1 866 628-6837
Fax: 204 945-6011
Email: info@boundariescommission.mb.ca
Website: staging.boundariescommission.mb.ca

For media inquiries:
Alison Mitchell, Manager of Communications and Public Information
Phone: 204 945-7379
Email: amitchell@elections.mb.ca

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