News Release: Boundaries Commission Set to Review Provincial Electoral Divisions

(Winnipeg – April 14, 2008) The 2008 Electoral Divisions Boundaries Commission was recently established as mandated by The Electoral Divisions Act.

The commission, which operates every 10 years, is non-partisan and independent of government. The responsibility of the commission is to review all provincial electoral division boundaries including the name of each division.

As Manitoba's population changes, it is necessary to review electoral boundaries 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.

The 2008 commission is comprised of the Honourable Chief Justice of Manitoba Richard J. Scott (Chairperson), Manitoba's Chief Electoral Officer Richard D. Balasko, President and Vice-Chancellor of University College of the North Denise K. Henning, Ph.D., Dean of Arts for the University of Manitoba Richard Sigurdson, Ph.D., and President and Vice-Chancellor of Brandon University Louis Visentin, Ph.D.

The Act requires the commission to base its review on the 2006 census population for Manitoba. This total (1,148,401) is divided by the number of provincial electoral divisions in the province (57) as set out in the Act, establishing a quotient for each division (approximately 20,147 people per division).

Where the commission is of the opinion that a population variation is desirable, the commission may vary electoral division populations by 10% above or below the quotient for divisions south of the 53rd parallel and by 25% above or below the quotient for divisions north or partially north of the 53rd parallel. The permitted variation is the same as was in place for the 1998 Boundaries Commission.

The redistribution of Manitoba's provincial electoral division boundaries is a very important consultative process. For this reason, the commission is distributing maps of Winnipeg and Manitoba marked with existing electoral boundaries for comments or suggestions. Maps will be sent to municipalities, First Nations Communities, town and city councils, MLAs, political parties and others. Current population data for each division, and a calculation of the deviation from the quotient, will be included with the maps. This information is also available on the commission website:

The commission will issue a proposed electoral division map in the late spring. Public hearings to consider the proposed electoral division boundaries will be held later this year, prior to the commission's final report.

The commission encourages the public to participate in the boundary review by attending the public hearings or by submitting written submissions to the commission. Submissions will be accepted on the commission website, and via email, fax and regular post. Written submissions, including submissions made at the public hearings, will be available for review at the Boundaries Commission office. Copies will also be available on request.

According to 2006 amendments to The Electoral Divisions Act, the commission's report comes into effect at the first dissolution of the Legislature after the year the report is submitted.