Municipal electoral boundaries changed to reflect population

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Kate Aley

It was announced at June’s council meeting that the electoral boundaries had been changed for the Municipality of Pontiac (MoP). Pontiac 2020 asked MoP communications officer Dominic Labrie some more questions about the changes.

P2020: Why was it necessary to change the boundaries?

MoP: Under the Act respecting Elections and Referendums in Municipalities, the number of electors in an electoral district must not deviate by more than 25 percent from the average for municipalities with less than 20,000 inhabitants. The situation is this at the moment:  

So… two wards are problematic.

P2020: What parameters were used to decide how they should be changed?

MoP: The division of the territory for electoral purposes must respect a basic democratic principle: the effective representation of electors. The Act respecting Elections and Referendums in Municipalities provides for a number of rules making it possible to ensure effective representation. The equality of the votes of electors and respect for natural communities are the two criteria set out in this act.

P2020: How long did it take to decide on how to change the boundaries?

MoP: We had a meeting with a consultant [called] Innovision. Three scenarios were presented. After some back and forth, this scenario was adopted by the council (Dr. Amyotte was the only one to oppose).  After that vote, rate payers had 15 days to oppose. We did not receive any comments.  

P2020: Where are the areas where the greatest amount of change took place?

MoP: Here is the new distribution. As you can see wards are more balanced in term of voter distribution:

P2020: How will people be able to find out if their electoral district has been changed or not? Is there/will there be a detailed map (with street names, etc.) available on-line or will you send you personal letters to everyone informing if their district has changed?

MoP: The bylaws are now in front of the Commission electorale du Quebec for final review. We agreed that  we will publish the new map on the web site and in the newspaper.  If you have Google Earth installed on your computer, you can use the cool app in attachment, as all the wards are geo-localized.

P2020: Which ward is the largest in area now? Has that changed?

MoP: Ward one is smaller now but is still the largest.

P2020: When do the changes come into effect?

MoP: Changes will come into effect just in time for the next general election.

P2020: And when is the next Municipal election due?

MoP: November 2017.