It looks like Ontario will have only one new electoral district after the coming ten-year redistribution of ridings, according to the latest census of Canada. It will also be an opportunity to repair some of the gerrymandering in the last ten-year redistribution.
And if you think there is no gerrymandering in Canada, you must have some other jokes to tell. The revisions in Barrie on the last redistribution were probably due to then conservative MP for Barrie, and now the news media’s favourite Brampton mayor, Patrick Brown.
At the time of the last redistribution, Patrick was concerned about Barrie, which, because of the rapid population growth in the city, needed to be changed. At the time, Brown was probably contemplating taking the north side of Barrie with a large chunk of adjacent rural voters added. He was going to give the southern half, with another large chunk of conservative rural voters, to his acolyte on Barrie council. His generosity was because he had turned a potentially bad situation for conservatives into two winnable ridings.
What he knew was that the growth in population of Barrie was from mainly Toronto-based voters moving up to take advantage of the lower cost homes and the convenience of GO Trains to take them back to the city to work. Not many were voters for his brand of politics.
Before the plan was fully implemented, Brown saw another more interesting possibility come up with the Ontario conservatives. With the conservative government in Ottawa likely to fall to the Trudeau liberals and the Ontario Tories needing a new leader, he lined up the support he needed from the immigrants from the Indian sub-continent based in Brampton and Toronto and easily won the Ontario conservative leadership. All those trips the federal conservatives had sent him on to India paid off with an easy win. What happened that made him end up as mayor of Brampton is another story.
What the liberals in Barrie need to do now is make sure there that there is a new electoral district created that is entirely within the boundaries of Barrie and hopefully get rid of at least one of the two do-nothing conservatives representing Barrie today in Ottawa.
Copyright 2021 © Peter Lowry
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