By Kevin Werner, News Staff
Hamilton will be getting a new rural federal riding.
The Federal Boundaries Commission for Ontario submitted its final report to the Chief Electoral Officer Sept. 30 that created five federal ridings for Hamilton.
Hamilton Centre and Hamilton East-Stoney Creek remain virtually the same with some minor tweaks. Hamilton Centre will only include the lower city and doesn’t creep up the escarpment as it does now. Hamilton Mountain has part of its area sliced from the west of Garth and north of Rymal Road West, but it takes over part of Hamilton Centre. But the Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale has been split. The renamed Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas incorporates the urban areas of Ancaster up to Trinity Road, Dundasand Westdale, and taking in up to West 5th on the mountain. The riding had been originally named Ancaster, but opponents objected to the name. The new riding of Flamborough-Glanbrook incorporates all of the city’s rural area from Milburough Line near Milton toSagar Road near Brant, and includes Binbrook, Mount Hope, and past Woodburn Road to the east.
It is expected the new federal boundaries will become official this fall. They will be used in the next general election. But the earliest it can be used is May 2014.
Hamiltonwas one of 11 communities inOntariothat had its boundaries changed. Across the country the House of Commons will see the number of seats increase to 338 from 308 with Ontario’s number jumping from 106 to 121.
The three-member panel chaired by Mr. Justice George Valin of North Bayheld a number of hearings across the province, including Hamilton last summer, but were sparsely attended.
Canada’s electoral boundaries are constitutionally mandated to change every 10 years based upon the census to take into account population changes and demographic shifts.
In addition toOntario’s 15 ridings,AlbertaandBritish Columbiawill receive six seats each, while Quebec gets three.
Ontario’s population since the last census in 2001 has expanded from 11.4 million to 12.8 million. The commission is required to divide the province into districts as close as possible to the average population, while also taking into account the community’s interests, identity and historical patterns.
In 2004 when the last boundary changes occurred, it set off a Liberal power struggle in the Hamilton East and Stoney Creek ridings when Liberal MPs Tony Valeri and Sheila Copps fought against each other to represent the new Hamilton East-Stoney Creek riding.
Valeri won in a contentious and heart-stopping nomination meeting that unleashed political repercussions within the local Liberal party that could be felt for years.