House of Commons seats to increase from 338 to 342 as early as 2024
OTTAWA -- Canadians will be electing more MPs across the country as soon as 2024, as the House of Commons seat count is going to be increasing from 338 to 342.
While most provinces’ seat counts remain unchanged, Alberta will be gaining the most new ridings, while Quebec will be losing one.
Chief Electoral Officer of Canada Stéphane Perrault announced the new seat allocation on Friday, as Elections Canada begins the decennial and years-long redistribution of seats process that could see your current riding changing in a few ways.
Here’s how the changes shake out across the country:
- British Columbia: +1, for a total of 43 seats
- Alberta: +3, for a total of 37 seats
- Saskatchewan: 0, staying at 14 seats
- Manitoba: 0, staying at 14 seats
- Ontario: +1, for a total of 122 seats
- Quebec: -1, for a total of 77 seats
- New Brunswick: 0, staying at 10 seats
- Nova Scotia: 0, staying at 11 seats
- Prince Edward Island: 0, staying at 4 seats
- Newfoundland and Labrador: 0, staying at 7 seats
It is built into the process that the seat allocation for the territories remains unchanged.
The recalculation of the number of seats in the House happens every 10 years to account for Canada’s population changes. The calculation done by Perrault used population estimates provided by the Chief Statistician of Canada, as well as a constitutionally-set formula that weighs a series of factors.
No later than Nov. 1, a three-member independent commission has to be established in each province, with the chair of each commission appointed by the provincial chief justice and the members appointed by the Speaker of the House of Commons.
Then, the redrawing of federal electoral districts is expected to begin in earnest in February 2022, to account for the changes shown in coming population data broken down by each electoral district.
District boundaries can be redrawn either to account for a change in the number of ridings, or to account for a shift in population within a province.
According to Elections Canada, in the last two federal redistribution processes, approximately 90 per cent of ridings changed in some way. Your riding could be renamed, its size and shape may change, your neighborhood or town could become part of a new riding, or shifted into a neighbouring riding.
As part of the process—which has become contentious in the past—there will be public hearings to discuss and hear concerns about where the new lines are being drawn across constituencies. MPs will also have the ability make objections to the changes being proposed, which a parliamentary committee will consider before an order is issued describing and naming Canada’s new electoral districts.
“The new electoral map is expected to be officially completed in October 2023 but will not take effect immediately,” said Elections Canada in a statement. The new boundary limits will become official at the first dissolution of Parliament that comes at least seven months after the date of proclamation, giving Elections Canada, political parties, candidates and sitting MPs time to prepare accordingly.