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Gallant wants riding to keep name 0

Cheryl Gallant

Cheryl Gallant

PEMBROKE - 

The name of the riding of Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke should remain as it is, says the MP who has been representing it.

In a submission to the Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario, MP Cheryl Gallant made a strong plea to keep the current name of the riding, rather than shorten it to Renfrew-Pembroke as was suggested.

She said it is important to maintain the Nipissing name for historic as well as practical reasons.

"That portion of Nipissing District, which is comprised of the recently municipally amalgamated community of South Algonquin, and relatively unpopulated sections of Algonquin Provincial Park, have a long, geographic, as well as historic community of interest with Renfrew County. It made complete sense to include that part of Nipissing District with Renfrew County for electoral purposes," Gallant stated.

"The Nipissing portion of the riding should continue to be recognized in our riding name."

The MP said there is also the cost factor involved with changing the riding's name, which would be an unnecessary expense.

"Changing the riding name makes no sense when the boundaries are not changing – from a cost consideration," she said.

"Taxpayers expect the federal government to be frugal with their dollars. With the existing boundaries remaining intact, the financial cost of changing every reference, disposing of letterhead, business cards, paying someone to change websites, is not justified."

The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario is part of the process which is seeing the reshuffling of electoral boundaries and the creation of new districts to better reflect the changes in population as indicated by the recent census.

The number of seats in the House of Commons allocated to each province and territory was recalculated based on new population numbers and a formula set out in the Canadian Constitution. Because Ontario's population has increased significantly since the previous census, the number of electoral districts allocated to the province has increased from 106 to 121.

Ten independent electoral boundaries commissions, one for each province, have been struck to readjust the boundaries of existing electoral districts and establishing the boundaries of new electoral districts under a process called electoral redistribution. This has been ongoing since this spring.

Because Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke's population has not changed significantly, its boundaries will remain intact.

Stephen Uhler is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist

stephen.uhler@sunmedia.ca

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