Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ontario's 121 seats for 2015

Where will Ontario’s 15 new seats in Parliament be? This will be determined by the new Boundaries Commission. But since there is so much interest, I have spent some time on the answer. (Note: this post has been updated with the census figures.)

First, how many seats will be available for southern Ontario, after the North is dealt with?

Last time, in the 2004 Boundaries Commission Report after the 2001 census, the North (north of the French River) had enough people for 7.74 “quotients.” The Commission decided they could not give them more than nine ridings. This time, with fewer people and a higher quotient, that area has only 7.01 quotients.

But with Ontario getting more MPs, how can a Commission explain the North losing an MP? Conservative MP Michael Chong said in the House debate “the bill would ensure that rural Ontario continues to have the number of seats it has presently, while, at the same time, adding new seats to the rapidly growing urban regions of our province. One of the challenges with the bill that the Liberals have proposed is that, while it would add some new seats to the rapidly growing regions of urban Ontario, it would take seats away from rural Ontario and add them to urban Ontario. Our bill would not do that.” House debates are not binding on the Commission, but this comment does reflect the likely approach of most Commissioners.

There is a simple solution, since the Ontario government now defines the North as including Parry Sound. Adding Parry Sound, it is possible for the North to keep nine MPs without breaking any rules, as detailed below.

So I think the new 15 seats will be:
Peel-Halton gets 5 more seats (3.9 in Peel, 1.1 in Halton)
York Region gets 2 more (2.9 mathematically, considering they now share one MP with Simcoe, and will have to share one with Durham)
Toronto 2 more (1.6 mathematically, but they won't have an MP shared with Pickering)
Durham 1 more (0.9 mathematically; they won't have to share an MP with Scarborough East but will with York.)
Ottawa—Prescott & Russell 1 more (1.2 mathematically, since they won't have to share an MP with Lanark)
Hamilton 1 more shared with Brant; Niagara will no longer have to share one with Hamilton.
Kingston to Peterborough 1 more (due to growth in Kingston and Frontenac, Napanee won't have to share an MP with Lanark anymore, and the growing urban area of Belleville-Quinte West will now have their own MP)
Waterloo—Wellington—Dufferin 1 more (0.7 mathematically, but they won't have to share an MP with Perth anymore)
Windsor--Essex 1 more (0.7 mathematically), a new MP in suburban Windsor, by giving Essex-Kent-Lambton an extra half riding and London-Middlesex the other half, so they no longer have a riding straddling the regions' boundary.
Simcoe—Muskoka has growth worth 0.5 MP, accommodated by Muskoka not having to share an MP with Parry Sound anymore.

Total 15.5 mathematically, but there are only 15 new seats. The North loses 0.4 seats. Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry loses 0.1.

How do I calculate this?

We have
the 2011 census figures. 
These don’t include 13 Indian reserves and Indian settlements in Kenora where forest fires made the census impossible, and some other Reserves, so I have added them.

The results are shown below, with the exact quotients in brackets. Note that all my southern ridings are within 10% of quotient, although the Commission is allowed to deviate by up to 25%.
I have tried to follow districts and counties as much as possible, and District School Boards such as the Near North Board (Parry Sound—Nipissing). I have eliminated 12 boundary-straddling ridings, but created five new ones, sorry. Despite the major changes required by growth and the 15 new electoral districts, 17 of the 121 ridings are unchanged from the 2003 Order.
Toronto has 24.59 “quotients.” But no major region can get its quotients rounded up, after the North gets an extra 1.7 seats. So Toronto will get 24 seats.
Toronto 24 (24.59). (Note these 24 ridings will be only 2.4% over quotient.)
York—Durham 15 (15.43), including a Durham North—Georgina alignment.
Peel—Halton 17 (16.91), including a Halton Hills--Brampton Mount Pleasant.
Hamilton—Brant 6 (6.18), including an Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough—Brant North.
Niagara Region 4 (4.06)
Haldimand-Norfolk 1 (1.02)
Waterloo—Wellington—Dufferin 7 (7.26) (3.7% over quotient, details below)
Oxford 1 (0.99)
London-Middlesex—Elgin 5 (4.95)
Windsor-Essex—Chatham-Kent—Lambton 6 (5.84) (details below)
Simcoe—Muskoka—Grey-Bruce-Huron-Perth 7 (7.49) (details below)
Peterborough—Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton—Northumberland 3 (2.89) (details below)
Hastings-Prince-Edward—Lennox & Addington 2 (1.90)
Kingston-Frontenac—Lanark 2 (2.03)
Leeds & Grenville 1 (0.93)
Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry 1 (1.08)
Renfrew 1 (0.96)
Ottawa—Prescott & Russell 9 (9.11)

Here are details of the more difficult areas where ridings will have to straddle the boundaries of counties, regional municipalities or districts, showing what amount of a “quotient” each riding has.

North 9:
Sudbury 0.86
Nickel Belt—Timiskaming (includes West Nipissing and Temagami) 0.85
Nipissing—Parry Sound (North Bay and east) 1.03
Timmins—Cochrane 0.80
Sudbury—Algoma—Manitoulin (includes Bruce Mines) 0.82
Sault Ste. Marie (includes Michipicoten (Wawa) and Dubreuilville) 0.84
Thunder Bay – Superior (includes White River and Hornepayne) 0.77
Thunder Bay – Fort Frances 0.77
Kenora—West Rainy River 0.66 (recognized as exceptional already by the last Commission)

Simcoe—Muskoka—Grey-Bruce-Huron-Perth 7:
Simcoe South 1.10
Barrie 1.06
Barrie-Midland 1.06
Muskoka—Simcoe North 1.05
Grey North—Owen Sound—Simcoe West 1.09
Bruce—Grey—Huron 1.04
Perth—Huron 1.10

Waterloo—Wellington—Dufferin 7:
Kitchener—Waterloo 1.09
Kitchener Centre 1.09
Kitchener-Wilmot-Wellesley 1.09
Cambridge 1.05 (still includes North Dumfries)
Guelph 1.10
Waterloo-Wellington (Fergus, Elmira, Hespeler, Puslinch, Rockwood) 0.93
Dufferin—Wellington (includes Erin & Mount Forest) 0.92

Windsor-Essex—Chatham-Kent--Lambton 6:
Windsor East 0.99
Windsor West 0.99
Essex Northwest 1.02
Essex—Kent 0.97
Chatham-Kent--Lambton 0.96
Sarnia—Lambton 0.91

Peterborough—Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton—Northumberland 3:
Peterborough 1.04
Northumberland—Peterborough 0.93
Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton 0.92