Every ten years or so, Elections Canada redraws the boundaries of electoral districts (ridings) in Canada. This process might add seats to the House of Commons, and is used to adjust the representation for population growth and decline. The new plan is called a representation order.
The representation order currently in use was established in 2013. It consists of 338 ridings with the following provincial breakdown:
|Province/ Territory||Total seats|
|Prince Edward Island||4|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||7|
In order to create room for top-up seats, we need to either add to the total number of seats in Parliament, or cut down on the number of locally elected seats in each province.
Simple MMP proposes that we cut the number of elected seats in half, and use the other half of the seats as top-up seats. This results in the following distribution of seats:
|Province/ Territory||Locally elected||Top-Up||Total|
|Prince Edward Island||2||2||4|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||4||3||7|
As a result, a new representation order would need to be created to reflect the change from 338 seats to 172 local seats. However, in most provinces, this can be accomplished simply by joining together adjacent ridings. This task is much easier to implement than having to redraw all of the electoral district boundaries.
Some provinces have an odd (rather than even!) number of ridings, and there would need to be some adjustment in these provinces (Ontario, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador). This might require redrawing some electoral district boundaries. In all the other provinces, folding ridings together will provide the necessary base for the local elections.