Riding boundary changes a worry

·2 min read

Cavan Monaghan Township councillors voiced concerns at their Tuesday regular meeting about a proposal that would see their municipality divided in three different provincial and federal ridings.

Council directed staff to register the township to speak at a coming hearing and also connect with other municipalities which are in similar circumstances.

The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario, an independent federal commission, revises boundaries every 10 years to adjust for changes in population.

Currently, the municipality is in the riding of Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock (HKLB).

Under the new structure, North Monaghan would be in the Peterborough riding; Cavan would be in HKLB and Millbrook South would be in the Northumberland riding.

"So it is quite a drastic change, " said Jamie Schmale, MP for HKLB who spoke to council Tuesday about the changes.

Deputy Mayor Matt Graham agreed, saying "it really is cumbersome to be divided whatsoever as a municipality between two different ridings, let alone three. I can’t even imagine three, to be honest."

The second problem is that the township would not be in the same ridings as much of the rest of Peterborough County, Graham said.

But since Peterborough city and county now has a population of 147,681, and each riding needs to have a population of around 116,590, the city and county has too many people to fit into just one riding.

Schmale noted the proposals are a first draft and the commission will be holding a virtual public meeting Sept. 26 to discuss them. A next draft is expected sometime between October and December, he said.

He said he will be making a presentation to the commission and he will "promote and advocate for whatever council and others in the community wish to decide on. I’m happy to advocate for whatever the township wants."

He also agreed to a request by Mayor Scott McFadden that he would provide the township with the numbers the commission used to make its decision.

Schmale suggested the township tell the hearing that Cavan Monaghan is a small township. But it should also be ready to tell the commission which riding it would like to be in, if it wants to be in just one riding.

Brendan Burke is a staff

reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.

Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner