Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavik March 04, 2013 - 3:11 pm

No separate riding for Nunavik: federal boundaries commission

Abitibi-James Bay-Nunavik-Eeyou riding gets a little bigger

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
This map shows the new federal electoral boundaries proposed for Quebec, which includes a slightly larger Abitibi-James Bay-Nunavik-Eeyou riding
This map shows the new federal electoral boundaries proposed for Quebec, which includes a slightly larger Abitibi-James Bay-Nunavik-Eeyou riding

The federal electoral district of Abitibi-James Bay-Nunavik-Eeyou keeps its name and gains two new communities in the south.

That’s according to a new map of the riding released last week by the federal Electoral Boundaries Commission.

The independent commission proposes every 10 years, following a national census, how to redistribute Canada’s federal ridings to reflect population changes in Canada.

After this redistribution, there will be 338 seats in the House of Commons.

The commission’s recommendations for change don’t affect Nunavut, which, like the other two territories, keeps its own riding.

The commission had first suggested that the name of the riding that includes Nunavik should change from Abitibi-Baie James-Nunavik-Eeyou to Abitibi-Nunavik, but its proposal doesn’t call for a separate riding for the Nunavik region, something Nunavik has lobbied for since 1972.

“The redistribution of boundaries of federal electoral districts by which the territory of Nunavik would fall under two electoral districts do not take into consideration community of interest and identity,” stated a resolution passed last September at a meeting of the Kativik Regional Government councillors in Kuujjuaq.

The commission said its main goal is to set boundaries so each riding would contain roughly the same number of people — 101,321 — for all of Quebec’s 78 federal ridings.

And Nunavik, with population of only about 11,000, falls far short of that number.

The population the new riding that includes Nunavik now stands at 85,475, which is still 15.64 per cent under the average for Quebec.

MP Romeo Saganash, who represents Abitibi-James Bay-Nunavik-Eeyou, had told the commission that he is in favour of adding the two new municipalities of Villebois and Valcanton.

But he told the commission that he was not in agreement with a plan to remove part of the southwestern part of Nunavik.

And he did not want to see the name of the riding changed to Abitibi-Nunavik, the new name that the commission had first proposed.

Saganash said in a news release that he is pleased that the commission’s final decision had respected the wishes of his constituents.

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