Commission moves forward with redistricting despite criticism

The Electoral Representation Commission (CRE) intends to continue its electoral redistribution work, regardless of the three opposition parties in the National Assembly.

On Monday, the Parti Québécois (PQ) joined its voice to that of the Liberal Party of Quebec (PLQ) and Québec solidaire (QS) to call for a suspension of work in order to review the law.

The opposition parties say they are dissatisfied with the CRE’s proposal to eliminate the constituencies of Gaspé and Anjou to create two new ones in Centre-du-Québec and the Laurentians.

No matter, “the commissioners wish to continue their work, while the criteria provided for by the Electoral Act are legitimate and democratic,” spokesperson Julie St-Arnaud-Drolet reacted on Monday.

“The electoral map delimitation process must be independent and impartial and political intervention at this stage could compromise these principles. Furthermore, keeping the current map until 2030 is not an acceptable avenue in the eyes of the commissioners, since significant inequities in representation are already present and will only become more pronounced over the years. »

“If elected officials wished to review the delimitation criteria, the Electoral Representation Commission therefore suggests doing so outside of the current delimitation process,” she concludes.

“A serious mistake,” says PSPP

Last month, in a parliamentary committee, the project for a new electoral map was denounced by all the opposition parties and by CAQ elected officials. Many deplored that the Gaspésie region was gradually losing its political weight, and that the size of its constituencies was becoming disproportionate.

“Leave Gaspésie alone,” Liberal MP Enrico Ciccone even told the commissioners, before his party demanded that their work be put on “pause”.

The PLQ proposes to keep the current electoral map for the 2026 election and to begin a reflection on the criteria to be taken into account to establish the next map.

“After hearing all the stakeholders, it is obvious that the elimination of these two constituencies would be a serious error,” agreed the leader of the PQ, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, on Monday.

According to him, the current law is “outdated, in particular because it limits the number of deputies to 125 elected representatives to represent a population which now exceeds 9 million”.

“The only solution is therefore to reopen the law to add seats, ensuring that no region of Quebec loses its representativeness,” he argued on the X network.

Mr. St-Pierre Plamondon said he was waiting for the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) to give its support “so that the 2026 election takes place with the same electoral map as 2022 and that a reform project […] be studied.”

“The survival of the ridings in Gaspésie and eastern Montreal depends on it,” he concluded. Last Friday, the CAQ said it was open to discussion, without however clearly endorsing the Liberal proposal.

The current law provides for a revision of the electoral map in Quebec after two general elections, since population movements create inequalities in representation.

This revision is carried out so that Quebec is divided into 125 constituencies of approximately 51,000 voters which have, as much as possible, common characteristics.

Only one exception: the constituency of Îles-de-la-Madeleine, protected in law.

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