Editorial — Fairness in Ottawa

One of the most annoying inequities in federal politics, other than the Senate, may soon be corrected.

The Conservative government, freshly-elected with a majority of seats, plans to bring in legislation to give B.C., Alberta and Ontario the actual number of Commons seats those fast-growing provinces deserve. It’s long overdue.

While many people think that the House of Commons is a “rep by pop” institution, that is not the case. There are certain constitutional guarantees that keep some parts of Canada vastly over-represented.

While each province or territory should have at least one seat, Prince Edward Island, for example, has four MPs for its 136,000 residents. Residents there have almost four times as many MPs as Langley, which has a population of about 125,000.

In other words, votes of PEI residents are four times more powerful than those of Langley residents.

Unfortunately, because of these guarantees, including one that says Quebec must have 75 seats, the only way to properly represent Canada’s growing population in the House of Commons is by adding seats.

At present, there are 308 MPs. It could be argued that is perhaps 50 too many. However, it is better to have too many MPs than to have some fast-growing areas of the country, like B.C.’s Lower Mainland, severely under-represented in Ottawa.

Under-representation of B.C. and Alberta is perhaps the most glaring problem (the proposal would see B.C. get seven more seats and Alberta five), because both provinces rarely get the attention in Ottawa that Ontario does. Ontario, because of its large and fast-growing population, and its geographic location close to Ottawa, never has any trouble getting attention. The same cannot be said for Western Canada, even though a large proportion of economic and population growth in Canada now comes from the four western provinces.

Fairness is fundamental to a healthy democracy. If this proposal comes to pass, Canada’s population will be more fairly represented in Parliament.

Just Posted

Langley girl raises $1,685 for BC Children’s Hospital

Aubrielle Bibeau was able to purchase and donate 337 toys to BC Children’s Hospital.

An 800-pound pig needs a forever home, Langley animal shelter says

‘Theodore is not destined to be somebody’s bacon’

Girl, 6, lured from elementary school, sexually assaulted: Vancouver police

Police are seeking dashcam footage from nearby Sexsmith Elementary School in South Vancouver

Condominium market still ‘a lot better’ than normal in Vancouver suburbs

The Fraser Valley, east of Metro Vancouver, has long been considered a more affordable haven for first-time homebuyers.

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

B.C. teen MMA fighter show heart

Young Unity MMA competitors bring home Ws

Torched-SUV victim ‘had the purest heart,’ says sister

Family of teen found in burned SUV in Surrey appeals for justice

2,000 Canadians died of an overdose in first 6 months of the year

New data from the Public Health Agency of Canada shows the crisis is not subsiding

Another B.C. city votes to ban single-use plastic bags

First six months of proposed ban would focus on education, not enforcement

UK Prime Minister Theresa May wins party no-confidence vote, but troubles remain

May won the vote of 317 Conservative legislators with a 200-117 tally

B.C. trustee’s anti-LGBTQ comments got him barred from schools

Barry Neufeld calls vote to leave him off liaison list ‘workplace discrimination’

Firm says trees obstructing vision at Humboldt Broncos crash intersection

Sixteen people died and 13 others were injured in the collision at an intersection north of Tisdale

Most Read