Harper Conservatives to benefit most from seat redistribution

Andy Radia
Canada Politics

The federal government is, shortly, expected to table legislation to add 26 new seats to the House of Commons in a move to provide fairer political representation across the country.

The Toronto Star is reporting Stephen Harper will award the province of Ontario an additional 13 seats. Alberta would gain six seats, British Columbia an additional five, and Quebec another two.

Conveniently, it seems the Conservatives will benefit the most from the parliamentary shuffle.

According to the Globe and Mail, the electoral map suggests Harper's party would win most of the new seats in redrawn parliament, further bolstering their already comfortable majority.

"If an election were held tomorrow with the new rules in place, and history repeats itself, the Conservatives could win in the range of 20 of the 26 new ridings," notes the articles author.

Coincidence?

Elizabeth May doesn't seem to think so.

On Tuesday, as reported by CBC News, the Green Party  leader was circulating this scan of a newsletter, distributed by the Conservative riding association in her riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands, which claims redistribution would help the Tories defeat May in the next election.

May claims the pamphlet illustrates the Conservative party's plan to manipulate her Vancouver Island riding boundaries for their benefit.

"I am so proud to represent the people of Saanich-Gulf Islands, and I am sure he will be as distressed as I am by that party's transparent plan for gerrymandering in hopes of winning the riding back," May asked Democratic Reform Minister Tim Uppal in parliament, Tuesday.

For their part, the Conservatives insist independent electoral commissions will decide where and how to incorporate the new seats.

In response to May's query, the CBC quoted Government House leader Peter Van Loan saying the the statute sets out a process for redistribution that is non-partisan.

"Under our legislation we will ensure that there is a formula in place that ensures people of Saanich--Gulf Islands, British Columbia, in fact, all of Canada, will have fair representation that has long been denied to them."