Kanata South Coun. Allan Hubley said proposed changes to federal ridings will split his community into two electoral districts.
The Ontario Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission, one of 10 set up across the country, has proposed 15 new electoral districts for Ontario including a Carleton-Kanata riding, to bring the province’s total to 121.
The proposed changes would see West Carleton split from the current riding of Carleton-Mississippi Mills and replaced with a Carleton-Kanata riding. An area between Terry Fox Drive and the Carp River all the way from Castlefrank Road to Palladium Drive has been included in the riding of Nepean-Carleton.
But the new Carleton-Kanata riding should include all of Kanata, said Hubley, who is asking the Ontario Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission to consider moving the western boundary line from Terry Fox Drive to the Carp River.
“We need to be careful about splitting communities,” said Hubley.
“By using Terry Fox instead of the Carp River as the boundary, what they do is cut out the houses by Sobeys (located near Terry Fox and Hazeldean Road); they cut out the (Kanata Recreation Complex) and the Sensplex...and that area, and they were moving it to Stittsville.”
Hubley delivered his recommendations during a public hearing hosted by the boundaries commission at Ottawa’s Hampton Inn and Conference Centre on Nov. 5 and 6.
Kanata North Coun. Marianne Wilkinson, who also spoke at the meeting, took Hubley’s recommendation one step further, asking the commission to consider moving the western boundary of the Carleton-Kanata riding to Huntmar Road.
“I said follow the old Kanata boundary,” she said, adding the boundary should move along Highway 417 to Palladium Drive then travel along Huntmar Road until it reaches Maple Grove Road, continue along the Carp River until it hits Terry Fox.
Stittsville Coun. Shad Qadri said the boundary should be left at the Carp River.
“You’re going to add another piece of property to that boundary or another piece of land to that boundary which is not necessary.”
Qadri said he is more concerned with the names being proposed for the ridings in his area.
“In the one we will be in, in Stittsville, it’s going to be called Carleton – what is Carleton?” he asked.
“Why not call it Ottawa and maybe take a large urban/suburban component of that riding which is either Stittsville or Riverside-South – call it Ottawa-Stittsville or Ottawa-Riverside.”
Under the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act, the commission’s main aim in redrawing boundaries is to divide the province into electoral districts as close to the average population as reasonably possible.
The population of a district should remain within 25 per cent of the average once consideration is given to communities of interest or identity, and historical and geographic factors.
A commission can depart from the 25 per cent guideline to deal with extraordinary circumstances.
The commission makes final decisions about where the electoral boundaries will be located after consultation, giving the public and MPs an opportunity to express their views and participate in the process.
To consult the proposal online, visit www.federal-redistribution.ca, to obtain a copy, call the commission at 1-855-747-7224 (toll-free).
- With files from John Carter