The following was issued by the Office of the Prime Minister

Brampton, ON (October 27, 2011) – The Harper Government today announced the introduction of the Fair Representation Act. This legislation will move every province towards representation by population in the House of Commons.

“Canadians living in Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta have become significantly underrepresented as their populations have grown,” said Minister Uppal. “The Fair Representation Act delivers on our Government’s long-standing commitment and moves every single province towards the principle of representation by population.”

The Fair Representation Act updates the formula allocating House of Commons seats to provinces. Under the new legislation:

  • Ontario will receive an additional 15 seats
  • British Columbia will receive an additional 6 seats
  • Alberta will receive an additional 6 seats

The legislation also fulfils our platform commitment to prevent Quebec from becoming under-represented relative to its population, since the purpose of the bill is to move every single province towards representation by population. To this end, Quebec will receive three new seats which will be proportionate to its share of the population.

“Canadians gave our Government a strong mandate to move towards representation by population in the House of Commons,” said the Honourable Tim Uppal, Minister of State for Democratic Reform. “With the introduction of the Fair Representation Act, we are delivering on our commitments.”

The formula updates are nationally applicable and reflect the Government’s three distinct promises to provide fairer representation by:

  1. Allocating an increased number of seats now and in the future to better reflect population growth in Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta; while,
  2. Maintaining the number of seats for slower-growing provinces; and,
  3. Maintaining the proportional representation of Quebec according to population.

The Fair Representation Act also includes amendments to the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act that streamlines the boundary readjustment process to ensure that it will be completed and in effect before the end of the Government’s mandate.

Backgrounders:

To read this release online, click here: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-eng.do?nid=633989