The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission published its new proposed maps today. Take a look at the proposed ”Burlington North – Milton South riding :-
You will notice that it contains a part of urban Burlington in one extreme end and the southern part of urban Milton at the other extreme, with a whole lot of rural farmland in the middle. Story is similar in the other end :-
Same story here. It includes all of Halton Hills, and a randomly selected part of urban Milton to balance out the population.
To give the Commission the benefit of doubt, it is possible that some changes in Cambridge started a domino effect that ended in Halton. It is entirely possible that a number cruncher took pieces of Milton to balance other ridings around Milton. Looking at how the line randomly moves up and then back down again around ward 8 re-enforces that hunch. This, unfortunately, violates the basic principle: a riding should represent a community of interest and identity. In fact, the commission is allowed to ignore population requirements if it decides that is the only way of maintaining a community of interest.
The only solution is to have a proper Milton riding. Milton has enough people already. By the 2015 election we will have above an average population. A Milton riding might cause problem for Halton Hills because it currently does not have enough population to justify its own riding. This is why currently there is a “Wellington – Halton Hills” riding that forms a community of interest. The commission will either need to maintain that riding or come up with a different solution that groups Halton Hills with a community that is similar in identity and interest. However, breaking Milton apart to balance Halton Hills is not an acceptable solution.
I encourage you to attend the public hearing or give commission a written feedback. The public hearing will take place on Wednesday, November 21, 2012, at 9:30 a.m., at the Holiday Inn & Suites, 2525 Wyecroft Road, in Oakville. You can also share your views with the Commission by sending a written submission by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 1-855-747-7224.