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New provincial ridings approved for Far North

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.
A map detailing the new electoral boundaries in Ontario’s North designed to improve electoral representation by reducing the geographical scale of ridings. Image submitted

By Dryden Observer Staff

The Government of Ontario has passed the Representation Statute Law Amendment Act meant to improve representation for those living in the province’s northern communities.

The legislation will add two additional ridings in Northern Ontario one of which includes the new riding of Kiiwetinoong, which will encompass the communities of Sioux Lookout, Pickle Lake, Ear Falls and Red Lake in addition to a large number of Indigenous communities.  The other new riding is to be called Mushkegowuk-James Bay.

The Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) welcomed the changes that follow the recommendations of the independent Far North Electoral Boundaries Commission, which was created by the province to provide advice to improve electoral representation in the far north.

“Given the vast geography and distances between communities in the northern part of the region, we are pleased to see the government amend the Act to ensure that there is greater representation of our northern population,” said Mayor Wendy Landry, President of NOMA. “While we certainly have our unique challenges in the northwest, we also have significant opportunities. By strengthening the representation for people living in the region and giving us a stronger voice, I am confident that this improves our ability to share our collective voices.”

MP Sarah Campbell, while stating her support for better political representation in the region that the new ridings would provide, has voiced her concerns at Queen’s Park over the speed of the process and an apparent lack of consultation.

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