Ontario Passes Law to Ensure Fair Representation in the Legislature
Province Increases Number of Electoral Ridings to 122
Today Ontario passed legislation that will help strengthen the province's electoral system and promote better representation in the legislature.
The Electoral Boundaries Act, 2015 will increase the number of provincial ridings in southern Ontario and make them consistent with the new federal electoral boundaries. As a result, there will be 15 new ridings in southern Ontario, mostly in areas that have seen significant population changes, such as Toronto, Peel, York, Durham and Ottawa. At the same time, the existing 11 northern ridings will be maintained to ensure that northern communities continue to have effective representation in the provincial legislature.
The Chief Electoral Officer recommended that Ontario adjust its electoral boundaries. Ontario is also committed to addressing other recommendations made by the Chief Electoral Officer, including:
- Engaging more young people in the voting process through pre-registration of 16- and 17-year-olds (the minimum voting age would remain 18)
- Strengthening rules on election-related third-party advertising.
The new electoral map will be in place for the next general election scheduled for 2018.
Enhancing the fairness and integrity of the election system is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- In 2004, federal redistribution reduced the number of federal seats in northern Ontario from 11 to 10. With this legislation, Ontario is preserving the 11 northern provincial ridings. Ontario now has 122 provincial ridings and 121 federal ridings.
- According to the Chief Electoral Officer, provisional registration could allow Elections Ontario to work with schools and the driver’s licensing program to encourage 16- and 17-year-olds to pre-register so they are ready to vote once they turn 18.
“Increasing the number of seats in Ontario’s legislature will help ensure there is representation that reflects our growing population. I am pleased to see the province continue to take steps to strengthen our democracy.”