The most recent modification to the Harper government's seat redistribution plan will now give Ontario an extra 13 seats (to 119), Alberta 6 (to 34), British Columbia 5 (to 41), and Quebec 3 (to 78).
Now, this plan has gone through different variations, the first giving Ontario 18 extra seats, and that moved down as the Conservatives attempted to accommodate Quebec's desire to keep their MPs at a representative level (23% of the population - 23% of MPs). The second plan had moved to the 13-6-5 plan, with Quebec gaining 2, and now the actual tabled legislation will contain 3 extra seats for Quebec.
Consider these numbers, based off of Stats Can's quarterly population estimates:
Ontario - 119 seats - 112,378/seat
BC - 41 seats - 111,544/seat
Alberta - 34 seats - 111,157/seat
Quebec - 78 seats - 102,303/seat
Canada avg. pop./seat - 102,934
Now, I understand and have initially supported the idea behind pinning Quebec's HoC representation to its actual population, but am I missing something here? Why is it that the three provinces with the largest growth are given less room, just to accommodate Quebec?
Think of it this way. If Ontario had been granted the 124 seats. The average then? 107,847. This would have given Ontario ample room between now and the next redistribution to grow to the 125K it's around now that's apparently inconsiderable.
If Quebec had stayed at it's 75 seats, they'd have 106,395 citizens per riding - below the higher total if it had been given to Ontario. Yes, Quebec would not have had the 23 or so % of the population represented, but that's going down as Alberta, BC, and Ontario grow larger anyways. Eventually, Quebec will be at the 22% it would get under the alternate plan, and it would be surprising if that occurred between now and the next census.
So Ontario, BC, and Alberta, as they continue to grow, are per riding going to be squeezed again, while Quebec gets tonnes of room that it more than likely won't need.
And yet, nearly half the voters of these three provinces (well over half in AB) gave their votes to the guys perpetrating this in May, while under 20% gave their votes to the Conservatives in Quebec. At the very least you'd think the Conservatives would follow where their votes are.
The plan is actually now +6 seats for BC and Alberta, +15 for Ontario, and +3 for Quebec - but Ontario is still under-represented by the full numbers, and it's still ridiculous.