May 8, 2017
Province Names Members of Far North Electoral Boundaries Commission
Ontario is taking steps to improve representation of all people living in Ontario’s northernmost communities.
The Far North Electoral Boundaries Commission will review the boundaries of Ontario’s two northernmost ridings (Kenora-Rainy River and Timmins-James Bay) to make recommendations about the creation of at least one and as many as two additional ridings in these areas. Appointed by the lieutenant governor in council, the members of the commission will bring a wide range of electoral expertise, legal experience, and community perspective to the commission’s work.
Members of the commission are:
- the Honourable Justice Joyce Pelletier, who will chair the commission
- Greg Essensa, Ontario’s chief electoral officer
- Michael Pal, assistant professor specializing in electoral and constitutional law, University of Ottawa
- Theresa Hall, Indigenous community representative
- Eric Fisher, Indigenous community representative
The commission will conduct public hearings and submit a final report to the Attorney General by Aug. 1, 2017.
- The Far North Electoral Boundaries Commission was established via the Election Statute Law Amendment Act, 2016, which introduced a range of measures to modernize elections and improve representation.
- Once it is submitted to the Attorney General, the commission’s report will be made public.
- The government will introduce legislation to implement the commission’s final recommendations before Oct. 30, 2017.
“Every person in Ontario should feel that their interests are represented in the legislature. Ontario’s northern communities have unique needs, and the independent commission will provide us with recommendations to ensure their voices continue to be heard in the provincial legislature.”
— Yasir Naqvi, Attorney General and Government House Leader
“The Commission will consider, among other statutory requirements, many factors for effective representation, including the density of populations, representation of Indigenous people, community interests, accessibility as well as existing municipal boundaries and geographical features.”
— The Honourable Justice Joyce Pelletier, Chair