New federal electoral boundaries are expected to come into effect later this year, but don’t expect many changes to the Moose Jaw – Lake Centre – Lanigan riding.
Back in May of 2022, the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Saskatchewan proposed new boundaries in that province after looking at the latest census numbers. The commission is generally made up of a three-person panel.
The initial proposed boundaries had Moose Jaw within a riding that would have been known as Moose Jaw-Swift Current-Grasslands. Instead of the riding going north of Moose Jaw, it would have been west of the city taking in Swift Current and Maple Creek right up to the Alberta border.
After a series of public hearings, the commission decided not to change the boundaries.
“I think those and other presentations got through to them and they abandoned the stacking north and south and went back to the east-west divisions that they had before,” said Dr. Howard Leeson, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Regina.
A matter of fact, Saskatchewan as a province saw very little changes when it came to electoral boundaries. Saskatchewan remains with 14 seats with the electoral map being tabled in the House of Commons on Dec. 6.
Nationally, there were five new ridings added, which Leeson said was mandated under the redistribution between the provinces. Three new seats were created in Alberta, one new seat was created in the south B.C. interior and Ontario gained a seat.
All of the seats are in areas that lean towards the Conservative Party, which didn’t come as a surprise to Leeson.
“That's the general drift, if you will, of population westward, and it was inevitable that Alberta in particular was going to get more ridings, and that was clearly going to mean probably more Conservative ridings,” he commented.
The boundaries will move Canada from 338 electoral districts to 343. There were also 271 boundary changes.
Leeson said, overall, Canada has one of the best processes when it comes to redistributing electoral boundaries.
“So many other areas on earth, like the United States just south of us, are so subject to gerrymandering now, and we have these independent commissions which really do take the politics out of it. They did a superb job, again, I think both here in Saskatchewan and nationally from what I've seen,” he said.
You can find out more about the federal district distributions here.