Proposed changes to federal electoral districts in the Outaouais announced. Public consultations to follow.
Some changes to federal electoral districts in the Outaouais region have been proposed for the latest redistribution of electoral districts across the country. The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Quebec recently published its proposal for revising the province’s electoral map. The proposal includes both changes to the boundaries of Quebec’s federal electoral districts as well as changes to the names of some districts. Four districts in the Outaouais region are among the 60 electoral districts with proposed changes to their boundaries: Pontiac, Hull-Aylmer, Gatineau, and Argenteuil – La Petite-Nation.
The current proposal involves transferring the area between boulevard des Grives and Saint Raymond south of Chemin Pink and north of des Allumettières from Hull-Aylmer to Pontiac, and transferring a small area near the Alonzo Wright bridge and west of the Highway 105 from Pontiac to Hull-Aylmer. Larger parts of Pontiac will also be transferred to Laurentides—Labelle including parts of the municipalities of Val-des-Monts and La Pêche as well as the entire municipalities of Denholm, Low, Lac-Sainte-Marie, Kazabazua, Gracefield, Bouchette, Sainte-Thérèse-de-la-Gatineau, Déléage, Aumond, Grand-Remous. The municipalities of Bowman and Val-des-Bois, which are currently part of Argenteuil – La Petite-Nation, will also be transferred to Laurentides—Labelle.
In addition, the portion of the Gatineau electoral district north of Highway 50 between Montée Paiement and Montée Mineault will be transferred to Argenteuil–La Petite-Nation and a small area south of chemin Alonzo Wright and east of Highway 105 will be transferred from Gatineau to Hull-Aylmer.
According to the Commission's announcement, the main consideration for changing the boundaries of electoral districts is to ensure that each district has proportional political influence by keeping the population count of a district close to the electoral quotient of 108,998. The current electoral map was drawn in 2012 and the proposals reflect population growth in areas of the Outaouais region over the past decade as well as adjustments based on proposed changes to electoral districts in other parts of the province.
In addition to boundary changes, the Commission has also proposed new names for 12 of Quebec's electoral districts. In the Outaouais, the district of Pontiac is proposed to be renamed Pontiac-Kitigan Zibi while the other three districts in the region will retain their same names. The Commission states in its report that the proposed name change from Pontiac to Pontiac-Kitigan Zibi, is to reflect the presence of the Algonquin First Nation in the region. The Anishinaabe community of Kitigan-Zibi is the largest of the nine Algonquin communities in Quebec.
The current proposal is one stage in creating a new electoral map for the province. From now until August 31st residents can submit feedback and comments about the proposed changes by contacting the Commission or by using the Interactive Mapping Tool found on the Commission’s website (information listed below). There will also be a series of in-person and virtual public hearings held across the province during which individuals and organizations can make presentations. Two virtual hearings will be held on September 14 and October 13 at 9:00 am. The in-person public hearing for the Outaouais will be at Hotel Four Points, 35 rue Laurier, Gatineau and will be held on September 29 at 9am. To participate in any of the public hearings residents must send notice of representation to the Commission by email or mail.
In the proposal’s online announcement, the Chair of the Commission, Jacques Chamberland, emphasized the importance of public feedback for making the final decisions about changes to the electoral districts, "Publishing this proposal marks the start of the public consultation period. My fellow Commission members and I invite everyone, especially Indigenous communities interested in these name changes, to share their comments and suggestions with us. Your voice is an essential part of our process."
For more specific details about the proposed electoral district changes and to read the Commission’s full proposal visit: https://redecoupage-redistribution-2022.ca/ then click “The Commissions” and select Quebec from the drop-down menu. To use the Interactive Mapping Tool, click the icon towards the bottom of the page and follow the onscreen instructions to create an account. The commission can also be contacted by phone at 1-855-726-4111(TTY 1-800-361-8935) and suggestions as well as notices of representation for the public hearings can be sent by email at: QC@ redecoupage-federal-redistribution.ca or by mail at: PO Box 829, BP Saint-Dominique Montréal, Quebec H2S 3M4.
Caption: The area between boulevard des Grives and Saint Raymond south of Chemin Pink and north of des Allumettières is proposed to be transferred from Hull-Aylmer to Pontiac. Photo Credit: Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Quebec
Caption: The small area near the Alonzo Wright bridge and west of Highway 105 is proposed to be transferred from Pontiac to Hull-Aylmer and the area south of chemin Alonzo Wright and east of Highway 105 will be transferred from Gatineau to Hull-Aylmer. Photo Credit: Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Quebec
Caption: A larger area encompassing a number municipalities will be transferred from Pontiac to Laurentides-Labelle. Photo Credit: Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Quebec
Caption: The portion of Gatineau north of Highway 50 between Montée Paiement and Montée Mineault will be transferred to Argenteuil–La Petite-Nation. Photo Credit: Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Quebec