Skip to main content Start of content

PROC Committee Meeting

Notices of Meeting include information about the subject matter to be examined by the committee and date, time and place of the meeting, as well as a list of any witnesses scheduled to appear. The Evidence is the edited and revised transcript of what is said before a committee. The Minutes of Proceedings are the official record of the business conducted by the committee at a sitting.

For an advanced search, use Publication Search tool.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the accessibility of this publication, please contact us at accessible@parl.gc.ca.

Previous day publication Next day publication
Skip to Document Navigation Skip to Document Content






House of Commons Emblem

Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs


NUMBER 075 
l
1st SESSION 
l
41st PARLIAMENT 

EVIDENCE

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

[Recorded by Electronic Apparatus]

  (1005)  

[English]

    We are looking at the redistribution process in the province of Ontario, which is the last province this committee has to look at. We're very pleased we're moving right along. I thank you all for coming early this morning to hear witnesses.
    Witnesses, we will be giving you five minutes each to state your case, and then we'll ask you very hard questions and see if we can get everybody to get along.
    Ms. Chow, would you go first, please. You have five minutes.
    I'm sorry that the map is not in front of you, but I actually handed out a map. What I have given you is a map of what I'm proposing, some photos that I will go through, and my submission in writing, in English and French, of course.
    Thank you for your effort. I will be talking mostly about the community of interest in my riding and my proposal.
    Originally, my riding of Trinity—Spadina went from Dupont all the way down to the lake. Because of the condo boom, the numbers got so big that the commission made the decision to divide it. I went to the commission, and they took my submission to keep the Annex together—it's a very nice neighbourhood—but by making that decision, they didn't take my suggestion around the southern boundaries.
    On the southern boundaries, my suggestion was Front Street, but it has now moved to Dundas. As a result, my new riding, called University—Rosedale, now includes Rosedale. Rosedale, you may know, is one of the richest neighbourhoods in Canada—not just in Toronto, but in Canada. My suggestion is to move Rosedale to St. Paul's riding, because St. Paul's riding has Forest Hill. You will note that the median income, the average income, in Forest Hill is $253,000, and in Rosedale-Moore Park, it's $245,000. You can tell that they are economically quite well off, so I thought those two communities had a lot in common.
    In contrast, what I want is to have the west part of St. Paul's, which is the Oakwood-Vaughan area, and St. Clair come to Trinity—Spadina. Right now Trinity—Spadina juts up to the east, and we're asking for it to come to the west. The west area, Oakwood-Vaughan, has a lot of things in common with Trinity—Spadina, which I will list.
    Their median income is very similar. It is 10% Italian, because of St. Clair, and of course, Little Italy is in my riding of Trinity—Spadina. Little Italy has very nice outdoor cafés, so the built form is very similar. If you look at the photos that I've submitted, you will see the Sicilian Sidewalk Café, and the other one is at St. Clair and Rushton. The photo on this side is the existing built form in Trinity—Spadina and Little Italy. The other side, which is very similar, is St. Clair Avenue. The built form is really quite similar.
    Another point is there are extra challenges caused by poverty. In the northern part of the riding that I'm suggesting, there is a neighbourhood called the Five Points. That neighbourhood is very dense with many apartment buildings. It's been known to have some economic challenges, and as a result, some crime rates have gone up. That is not dissimilar to my existing riding, with Alexandra Park and Grange Avenue,when it comes to dealing with drugs, gangs, and some of the challenges facing that neighbourhood. Oakwood-Vaughan would no longer be isolated if it came down to the university area.
    The other really important aspect is the college students. George Brown College has a campus at Casa Loma. The students from George Brown Casa Loma would then be united, and a lot of them would live in the Annex area anyway. They would be connecting back to the south of Dupont, which would include the University of Toronto and OCAD students.
    There are three other areas. There are many first nations buildings. There's a residence up in that area and they should connect to some of the first nations communities south of Dupont. For the arts community, the western portion of St. Paul's is known to Toronto with the second largest number of arts workers. Of course, in my existing riding, there is the Ontario College of Art and Design, ROM, and the AGO.
    In summary, my proposal would bring the community and self-interests together.
    Thank you for your consideration.

  (1010)  

    Mr. Carmichael, for five minutes.
    Thank you, Chair.
    Good morning, committee.
    This morning I'm delighted to have the opportunity to speak to the riding of Don Valley West which is in Toronto.
    When we began the process, I anticipated that my riding would be moving further to the east, bridging on some natural boundaries, and specifically the Don Valley Parkway. In fact, I was very, very wrong, and I was pushed quite a bit west, and to that end, I think we're arriving with the second set of maps at a very reasonable conclusion.
    One of the classic areas of my riding in Don Valley West is the area or town of Don Mills. For many years Don Mills was split into two parts, half into Don Valley East, and half into Don Valley West. With the redistricting and the new boundaries, it has been combined and has been moved fully into Don Valley East.
    I'm going to talk to you about a very small portion. My petition today is to address a very small portion of the riding. I note Ms. Bennett is here today, and part of my riding with the new districting has moved into St. Paul's fairly dramatically. As we are moved further to the west, a half of that portion at the southwest corner has been relegated to Don Valley West, which is fine because that part is called Davisville-Leaside, or Davisville, and is an extension of the community or town of Leaside, which actually just celebrated its 100th anniversary in Toronto.
    There are two areas I'm going to address. One is called Bennington Heights. Bennington Heights is in the very western corner of the riding. Directly below it is the area called Governor's Bridge. I have some maps, which I think have been distributed, and I apologize for the quality. Some of these are historic so they don't reproduce very effectively. I'll direct you to the very last map, which is the riding of Don Valley West. You can see the two arrows in the bottom pointing to Bennington Heights and to Governor's Bridge.
    When we began this process some months ago, it was clear that there were a number of very reasonable and important issues for each of the communities to either remain or to be dissociated from the existing ridings: geography and natural barriers was one; historical and municipal boundaries was another; and communities of interest, or continuous communities, was another. Specifically for these two—they're smaller areas—the revisions that have been made are fairly dramatic. They don't overly impact the riding in terms of population or voters, but they are areas of continuous communities which I feel are important to the residents of those areas, and something which, from a historic perspective I believe should be maintained.
    To the west of both Bennington Heights and Governor's Bridge is a deep ravine known as Moore Park Ravine, which forms a natural barrier between these two neighbourhoods and the areas of Toronto known as Moore Park and Rosedale. The bottom of this ravine contains a creek, and from the late 19th century until the mid-20th century, it also contained a railway line. These were natural barriers. Both Bennington Heights and Governor's Bridge were part of the former township of East York, incorporated in 1924. In 1967 the former township of East York, including these two areas, was amalgamated into the Town of Leaside, which is just to the north and east of where we're talking about. This municipal association continued until the amalgamation of Toronto in 1997. Following the amalgamation until the present, Bennington Heights has been part of Don Valley West, and Governor's Bridge has been part of Toronto Centre.
    Now, from a communities of interest standpoint, both communities are relatively isolated and their only means of access, or egress, or exit is to the north and east.

  (1015)  

    For the schools, for the families and their shopping, etc.—
    Does that signal mean one minute?
    You're done.
    I'm done? My goodness, the time goes by in a hurry.
    An hon. member: It's very interesting.
    Mr. John Carmichael: It is very interesting. I have the honourable Bob Rae saying, “Go”.
    The two of you should meet for lunch and discuss it further.
    Voices: Oh, oh!
    He knows the area well.
    Anyway, these carry important cultural relevance to the areas to the east. For that reason, I'm asking that the commission consider keeping Bennington Heights in Don Valley West and including Governor's Bridge in Don Valley West.
     I brought only English material, unfortunately. I apologize to my colleagues for that. The clerk has the copies, and they'll be translated and distributed. Again, my apologies to my colleagues for the lack of French.
    Thank you.
    Thank you.
    Go ahead, Mr. Rae.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I'm hoping I can do this by asking that the old map of Toronto Centre be put up. Then I can talk about what's happened.
    What I'm concerned about is actually quite simple.
    That is the new riding boundary here on the left. I'm wondering if the old one can be put up on the right-hand screen.
    If you look at the right-hand screen, you'll see it's a big riding, essentially stretching from the university to the Don Valley Parkway, all the way from the water up to Rosedale and Moore Park. It contains the richest and the poorest parts of the city of Toronto, indeed almost of Canada. It's kind of a unique riding in that sense.
    Because of the huge population growth in the south, because of the condo developments in the south, the commission has had to wrestle with the fact that the riding is now very big population-wise, and therefore has had to be cut.
    In the first draft of the suggestion, basically the riding was cut in half. The concern at that point was that the gay community in the area of Church and Yonge, and north of Church and Wellesley Street, and north of Wellesley, was being cut in half. We had very active representation from a number of community associations who objected to that.
    We managed to persuade the commission to change the northern boundary of the new riding so that it would go further north than Wellesley Street to Charles, and essentially would allow us to make sure that we had a cohesive community, but in so doing, unfortunately as often happens, the commission then said, “Well, we have to cut it off somewhere, so we're going to cut it off at the south end on Front Street.”
    The effect of that, for those of you who know Toronto at all, is to say that the area known as the St. Lawrence Market area, which has very active riding associations north and south of Front Street.... You will be familiar with the David Crombie development that's associated with his time as mayor, where a number of co-ops, apartments, and condos were built south of Front Street, which is integrally connected to the area north of Front Street.
    What I have proposed to you, and what I've had some discussions about with one of my neighbours, Olivia Chow, is that the boundary should in fact be the Gardiner Expressway and not Front Street on the south, in exchange for which we would give up all of the area west of Yonge Street.
    If you see the boundary on the left-hand side, the western boundary, it jogs from Bay to Yonge and then over to Bay again. I'm arguing that if you just went to Yonge Street south of College right down to Front Street, you would probably deal more or less with the demographic issue with respect to whether the population is in or out of line.
    That is the proposal I would make. It's not just being made by me; there have been many representations from people who live in the south and who feel that their community of interest has been cut in half. It's not a demographic big deal.
     By the way, for some of you who might be of a suspicious nature, politically it's a mixed bag. There's no telling which way it would go in terms of what would happen in the next election.
    I've made a point of not referring to it as my riding, because I have not decided whether or not I'll run in 2015, and if I do, I haven't decided which riding I would run in, because effectively my old riding has been divided in half. So if I may try to be modest for a moment, this is not about me. It really is about the representations I've heard from the people in the south end of the riding.
    On the suggestion that the apartments that run essentially from Front Street up to College Street to the west of Yonge Street—that is to say, in the Bay corridor—can go anywhere, I think in terms of a community of interest, there are people who are moving in and out of that area all the time. From a downtown urban point of view, it's not really a big deal as to which riding they're in. It is a bigger deal for the more settled communities around the St. Lawrence Market, where there are very identifiable communities of interest that have always been there.
    I want to express my appreciation to the commission for the changes they agreed to make in the northern half of the new Toronto Centre, the middle part of the old riding, because they did in fact recognize the community of interest, particularly within the gay and lesbian community in that part of the city. However, in so doing, they may have made a mistake of which they were not entirely aware, which I can fully understand, but I've been receiving very forceful representations from people in the market saying that they want to be part of the same riding and they'd like that riding to be the riding of Toronto Centre.

  (1020)  

    Quite apart from the rest of what Olivia is suggesting, I think that has implications for other ridings, which I can't get into. However, from the point of view of trying to have a relatively coherent and cohesive riding of Toronto Centre that would not significantly disrupt the demographics of other ridings, that would be an adjustment that I would respectfully request, even though it means that Toronto Centre becomes landlocked once again and is cut off from all access to the lake, which is a historic tragedy and may require more aggressive action later on.
    Okay.
    That's a joke, Mr. Chairman. I don't mean to be serious. We're not going to start a war between Bolivia and Peru over who gets access to the water.
    We'll expect those to happen later. Thank you, Mr. Rae.
    Mr. Menegakis, would you like to lead us off, for five minutes, please.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chair, and thanks to our colleagues for appearing before us today.
    Have any of you made presentations to the commission and at the public meetings that were held in the area?
    Yes, I did.
    We are very grateful to the commission. They accepted my recommendation to keep the Annex intact. Originally the Annex was divided on Bloor so the northern part of the Annex was separated from the southern part.
    By fixing that, they moved up the southern boundaries. I'll show you the map before the commission changed it. My riding, Trinity—Spadina, used to be straight down. I lost the southern part of the riding, all the condos, and now I've picked up Rosedale, which doesn't quite fit into the kind of riding that Trinity—Spadina has been.
    I understand.
    Mr. Carmichael.
    No, I didn't make any representations.
     I made my initial submission; however, we had 15 representations from community groups within the riding, and I was familiar with all of them. The most important was in the area of Thorncliffe Park, which is at the south end of my riding, where one street had been split in half. The community wanted the street to be continuous. The commission accepted that proposal, which we were grateful for.
    Bennington Heights, which I've talked about, in the primary maps, I believe, was still part of Don Valley West, and it's only as they've developed the new riding of University—Rosedale, where some of these additional changes have taken place most dramatically in the last—

  (1025)  

    Thank you.
    Mr. Rae.
    No, I didn't appear in person, but I was certainly aware of the representations that were being made. I was satisfied the commission had the arguments in front of them that would allow them to make a decision that would be based on the merits of the case with respect to the question of the boundary on the northern part of the new riding of Toronto Centre.
     I accepted the premise that the riding would have to be divided, which was a sad premise for me because I've enjoyed representing the whole riding, and that this would be a pretty dramatic change.
    One of the concerns we have as a committee, as we have colleagues making recommendations, is how adjacent ridings are affected because of that domino effect. That's what the commission will have to deal with as they look at the suggestions you are making here today.
    Have you spoken with the MPs who border your ridings, and are they in agreement with the recommendations you're putting forth today?
    Mr. Rae has asked me about bringing the southern portion into his riding. I really agreed on principle, but the problem is the population numbers. I also suggested moving Rosedale out and then taking the western part. I spoke to Ms. Bennett and she's not in agreement with that, so that's the quandary. For me to make that change in the southern part, it then impacts the northern part.
    Thank you.
    Mr. Carmichael.
     Bennington Heights, which is the area I'm most concerned with and was part of Don Valley West, has moved into a new riding, so there is no representation there yet. I took a historical look at it. Both Bennington Heights and Governor's Bridge are outcroppings that are isolated relative to either new ridings or old ridings. My concern was that both have a continuous community relationship with Leaside in the south end of Don Valley West, and that's why I've made the presentation I have.
    Thank you very much.
    Thank you. I'll stop you there because you're close enough.
    Madame Latendresse, you have five minutes please.

[Translation]

    First, I'd like to ask Mr. Rae whether he consulted with the people in the neighbouring ridings to see if they were amenable to the changes he's proposing.
    The only affected riding next to mine is Ms. Chow's, which was totally changed. As you can see, there are two new ridings: the riding of Spadina—Fort York, which extends to the lake and includes a lot of condos and apartments, and the riding now called University—Rosedale.
    I spoke to Ms. Chow about the possibility of changing the boundary that runs towards the Gardiner Expressway, just south. So the western boundary of the riding would change, south of College Street. The western boundary would become Yonge Street, instead of Bay Street. Ms. Chow and I are in agreement, but as she pointed out, the commission will have to determine whether these changes are justified, demographically speaking.
    I believe they are, given the community of interest in the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood. I don't want to see that area divided. I hope the commission can find a way around that division.
    This is the fourth time, I believe, that the boundaries of my riding have changed since I've been in politics. It's not easy work, and I am absolutely convinced that that the commission is exercising tremendous care in order to do a good job. Changing boundaries is a very difficult task. I am certain that, if we make a good case to the commission, it will listen and do its best. I have no problem with the job the commission is doing.

  (1030)  

    Thank you.

[English]

     Madam Chow, simply to wrap up your presentation, the change that Mr. Rae is proposing will obviously impact your riding in terms of demographics. Can you please explain to us again how the community of interest is better served in the way you have described with your proposal?
    Actually, Mr. Chair, I have a more fulsome 10-page submission which I wasn't able to get translated, so I did not hand it out. I only have the English version. That one eventually will be my formal submission to you and probably to the commission.
    The community of interest is really economic. There's a lot more in common between Rosedale and Forest Hill. Linguistically, Italian is spoken in 10% of the western part and the downtown university area. With regard to blue collar versus white collar, it's 80% white collar in Rosedale and Forest Hill, whereas in the area south it's 50% or so, and 60% on the west side—55% on the west side, so just based on economic....
    On the built forms, Rosedale houses and Forest Hill houses are very grand because the income level is high, whereas the built forms in the St. Clair Avenue area, the Boulevard Café and all that is very similar.
    I could go on about poverty also, but mostly the key area is the feel. Also Kensington Market is near the university. It's where people see themselves as being slightly different, trendy maybe. It's hard to describe them. They are eclectic. They are very artistic. They are very creative and diverse, and that's very similar to the Wychwood Barns area. It's very creative, diverse, and very artistic. That's very similar to the Grange and Kensington Market area. In fact, most of the people in the Annex and Seaton Village, in the area that I represent now, shop at Wychwood Barns every Saturday morning.
    Thank you very much.
    Monsieur Dion, you have five minutes, please.

[Translation]

[English]

    Mr. Carmichael, I understand your change will affect another riding, which is a new one with new representation.
    Yes.
    Is it the only riding that will be affected by what you're proposing?
    Well, Bennington Heights, yes. Governor's Bridge is currently part of Toronto—Danforth, so there will be—
    It's my riding.
    Is it not part of Toronto—Danforth? It's Rosedale, my apologies. There we go.
    It will affect my colleague to the east.
    An hon. member: He's losing Rosedale.
    Mr. John Carmichael: He's losing Rosedale, but Governor's Bridge will be part of another riding.
    The reason I included it is that these two outcroppings, if you like, were both connected at one time culturally, and so historically they have been adjoined.
    Who is the other colleague affected by your change?
     I don't know if Governor's Bridge remains part of.... I'm sorry, I should know this, and I—
    In a sense, technically, Mr. Dion, the change on Governor's Bridge is not a change that affects the new Toronto Centre. It's a change that affects whatever new riding is created, whether it's University—Rosedale, or whether it's some other riding, but the northern part of the old Toronto Centre riding is gone.
    I would just say, one thing that the commissioners might want to have to consider is whether there's a community of interest between the neighbourhood of Governor's Bridge and the community of Rosedale. There are people who live in Governor's Bridge who, for a variety of reasons, would say, “We live in Rosedale.” There are some people who like that description; there are other people who don't like that description. People describe themselves—

  (1035)  

    Mr. Rae, your proposition will affect which other ridings?
    The only other riding it will affect right now will be the new riding that's called Fort York. It is the commissioner's decision to build a riding right on the border of the lake. All of the condominiums that you see around the Air Canada Centre will be united, if I may say so, in one big condo riding. I am proposing that the part of that riding that's attached to Toronto Centre and which, in fact, is historically much older, still belongs in Toronto Centre, and I'm prepared to give up part of the western part of the riding in exchange for that demographic shift.
    With regard to the suggestion that you make a change with Madam Chow, you said that the demography doesn't work. Do we have the numbers on that?
    The answer to that is yes. I don't have them right here, but the answer is yes. Frankly, it's not a big number. It's not a big population gain for Toronto Centre. It's a slight population gain for Toronto Centre.
    Why are you and Madam Chow not coming with this proposition instead of the one you are proposing?
    It's the same.
    I'm proposing the same as it relates to Toronto Centre. I think it's fair to say Madam Chow has a much bigger suggestion, which doesn't affect Toronto Centre. Toronto Centre remains where it is. What her suggested changes affect is the riding of St. Paul's and how that connects to the original suggestion of the commissioners.

[Translation]

    Mr. Dion, you can see it on the map.

[English]

    If you look at the new riding of Fort York, I'm suggesting that the boundary of this area here, what I call the Fort York panhandle, should come down to the Gardiner Expressway. There are a lot of brand new condos that are being built right along the lake, and I don't think they need to be part of the riding of Toronto Centre. There's no reason that those people could not all be part of a new riding. That would be fine.
    In exchange for, in a sense, taking back the territory between the Gardiner Expressway and Front Street, I'm suggesting, and Olivia is also suggesting, that the area to the west between Yonge Street and Bay Street go back to this riding here.
    What Ms. Chow is suggesting is something even bigger with respect to the area north of Fort York and in her riding and in the old riding that's been created by the commission. She's suggesting another mix between this riding to go back up here and include St. Paul's in that. This is the new riding that has been created. Ms. Chow is suggesting that these parts of the riding should go together to form one new riding. Her argument is that economically this is all fairly wealthy territory so it should all go together. That would then change the rest of what's together.
    I make no case for that, and certainly Carolyn Bennett, who is the representative for St. Paul's, has some pretty strong views, which I'm sure she'll be willing to express. If the commission could make the smaller changes with respect to Toronto Centre, they would have no impact on anybody else.
    We are finished.
    I'm going to try to do a one-minute question for each party. That will finish up with this. You will have one minute for a question and answer.
    Mr. Lukiwski.

  (1040)  

    So I completely understand and the analysts understand, Mr. Rae, does what you're suggesting have the acceptance of Ms. Chow?
    Ms. Olivia Chow: No it doesn't.
    Mr. Tom Lukiwski: It does not.
     So you two are not in agreement with Mr. Rae's proposal.
    Can I explain why?
    An hon. member: Probably not.
    First, I just want to make sure, you're not in agreement there. Also, your subsequent suggestions, Ms. Chow, do not have the agreement of Ms. Bennett. So we don't have any consensus here among the MPs on what we call the domino effect. That's important.
    Just so you understand what we have been doing with the reports that we've been writing, if there is consensus among the members of Parliament regarding changes, we as a committee then tend to recommend those changes to the individual boundaries commissions. If we cannot find consensus among the MPs in question, all we can do is report what you are suggesting and allow the boundaries commissioners themselves to make the final determination.
    What I am suggesting, in a sense, is that the commissioners could judge on its own merit the community of interest in the St. Lawrence Market. They could then decide if we need to find other territory that Toronto Centre gives up. I'm suggesting there's one territory that could be given up without having any dramatic effect on anybody, but that's as far as it goes.
     Mr. Scott, a quick one minute question if you could, please.
    Just very quickly, I wanted to follow up on what Mr. Rae was just saying. Do we have any sense of the rough population between Front and Gardiner for the market, and for the area that you were suggesting might be a semi-swap of population?
    My problem is that even though I agree in principle with what Mr. Rae is suggesting, I have to pick up a little area on the southern portion of the riding. By picking up that little area, you change the population. Yes, I do have the numbers. By changing the numbers, I need to do something else up here.
    Since I'm picking up here—there's a substantial amount of condos in the area that he wants to pick up—I need something else on the north side, which is why I've gone off to Rosedale and taken out Rosedale, and gone off on the west side.
    I do have the statistical numbers. If we are using this chart, this map, this boundary, the numbers work.
    Could I get you to submit those?
    Yes, I have the numbers. I believe my staff submitted a document. It's just not translated yet. It was submitted in English.
    Monsieur Dion, a quick one minute question and answer, please.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Mr. Chair.

[English]

     Madam Chow, what consultations did you have?
    Madam Bennett had consultations. In her letter written to us, she said that there was resistance to the idea regarding the midtown riding of St. Paul's, with the extension from Eglinton and Dufferin in the northwest to the foot of Bayview to the southeast. People do not accept Vaughan Road as a boundary, and the removal of Wychwood Barns was seen as taking the heart out of that newly vibrant neighbourhood.
    What consultations did you have to be sure that this would not come as a surprise to many people?
    My problem was that when the commission came to town, Ms. Bennett and I actually supported each other's submission. Her riding was changed and my riding was changed. We supported each other and made a submission. Unfortunately, the commission took her advice. Because my riding is so huge, they chopped the southern end and changed the boundaries. I ended up getting Rosedale.
    As a result, I wasn't able to have enough time, other than talking to Ms. Bennett, to talk to the rest of the association. I spoke to some individuals. Some of these individuals gave me this information, which is a long 10-page submission, that I'm putting in front of you.
     We are finished with this group. Thank you very much for coming today. We've got a lot of information and a lot of questions.
    We will suspend for a few minutes while we change the panels.

  (1040)  


  (1045)  

     We're still here on the redistribution for Ontario. We have another great panel of guests with us today. You'll each have five minutes or less to state your points and then we will ask you questions.
    Mr. Devolin, I understand you're going first. When you're done, please point out who's going next.
    Is this where I come to get flood relief for Minden? Am I in the right place?
    First of all, I'd like to thank the commission for the changes they made between the first and second draft. My riding, Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, is an amalgam of four different upper tiers. I have all of the city of Kawartha Lakes, formerly known as Victoria County. I have all of the county of Haliburton, and I have the township of Brock, which is in Durham Region. That's about 85% of my riding. The proposal is they stay in the riding and nothing changes, and they are all extremely happy. This is in contrast to the first draft, which had cut my riding in half.
    The only piece I want to talk to you about today is the fourth piece of my riding. I have three townships in the county of Peterborough: North Kawartha, Trent Lakes, and Cavan Monaghan. Under the proposal that is currently on the table, two of those, the smaller two, are being taken out of my riding and added to Peterborough—
    On a point of order, Mr. Chair.
     We're just wondering, we don't really have comparisons.
    To see what the old riding looks like?
    Yes.
    Can we do it?
    A voice: Yes.
    The Chair: Yes, we'll do it.
    Carry on while we're bringing it up for the guests.

  (1050)  

    The change for me is relatively small. In my current riding I have three townships in Peterborough County. The proposal is to take the two smaller ones away, population-wise, and leave me with the larger one. All we are proposing is that we reverse that. If I'm going to give something to the riding of Peterborough, Cavan Monaghan should be the piece added to Peterborough, instead of the other two rural municipalities. The total number of constituents I have in Peterborough County is about 15,000. It's currently proposed that I give 6,000 to Peterborough and keep 9,000. I just want to reverse that. I would keep the 6,000, and give up the 9,000.
    The Township of Cavan Monaghan, which is proposed to be in my riding and which I am proposing should go to Peterborough, has stated that they have a preference of being in the Peterborough riding. The council has passed a motion in favour of what we're talking about today. The other two Peterborough townships that I'm proposing to get back are essentially indifferent. They have been in my riding since the 1960s. Even though they're part of Peterborough County, they've actually been in my riding since before the centennial.
    I hope that you will approve that. If you don't, it's not the end of the world, but I think it makes sense on the ground and I think it makes a lot of sense for Mr. Del Mastro in Peterborough.
    Thank you.
    Thank you very much.
    Mr. Chair, I know that it is there, but we can't see it very well. There's no submission from Mr. Devolin and we can't see it properly on this side.
    What are we looking for, where the ridings are today?
    It doesn't matter, as long as we have something that we can follow. From here it's a lot better. That's what I'm trying to explain.
    Do you like it on that screen instead of this screen?
    Ms. Nycole Turmel: Yes.
    The Chair: We will have to unhook Mr. O'Toole, then. I guess we can do it.
    Can we turn the screen? Will it help you if we turn the screen towards you?
    A voice: We can't.
    The Chair: We can't because of the projector, okay.
    Mr. O'Toole, would you like to go next so we can see your proposal, and then maybe unhook your screens? Let's do it that way. I know it's out of sync, but we'll do it.
    Nice to have you here today, Erin. You have five minutes.
    Thank you very much, Mr. Chair. Thank you very much to the committee for allowing me to present to you and through you, Mr. Chair, to the members of the Ontario electoral boundaries commission. I truly appreciate their work. I know this is a hard task. It's like putting a jigsaw puzzle together and changing pieces all the time.
    I have a modest proposal I'd like this committee to consider. I'll be able to hand out copies of this presentation to the committee shortly. My main request is to keep the municipality of Clarington whole. The largest community within my riding is the municipality of Clarington, with 85,000 residents. The commission has kept 15,000 of those people outside of the riding and in the Northumberland Riding.
    With these changes, we're asking to keep Clarington whole. It's a growing community. It's in the Durham region. It's in the GTA. By taking the 15,000 people out, they're moving into a non-GTA, non-Durham region, more Eastern Ontario riding which they don't have historical ties with. This proposal is supported by the regional level of government in Durham, by the mayor, all council in Clarington and, as you'll see later, by a vast overwhelming majority of the population in Durham.
    The next is to maintain the riding name as Durham. The proposed riding would be named Oshawa—Durham. There's clearly a stand-alone riding of Oshawa. My riding of Durham would only take a small portion of north Oshawa, and by not including the names of other communities in the riding, such as Clarington or Scugog, you're essentially excluding larger historic communities within the riding. By keeping the name Durham, it is a riding name description that is inclusive of all the communities within the riding. I think that should be the same, and historically, it has deep roots in Ontario and in Canada.
    In order to keep our population in Durham to a manageable size, I'm also complementing the suggestion by my colleague, Colin Carrie, to keep more of Oshawa in his riding, particularly an area around the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. It's known as Oshawa's university. It works directly with Durham College in the south of Mr. Carrie's riding. By giving up a portion of Oshawa that the commission proposed come into Durham, I then have more room to keep Clarington whole, which is my overriding objective.
    Here is the current riding compared to the proposal. The proposal makes some smart changes, but as I said, it misses keeping Clarington on the far right of the right photo.... It's not kept whole. There's a lot of consternation in the riding because of that.
    Compared to the commission proposal and my counterproposal, you'll see we take a little smaller slice of urbanized Oshawa and we pick up the communities of Newtonville, Newcastle, and Orono to keep Clarington whole, to keep that largest municipality within the Durham riding whole. It's totally in line with section 15.2 of the act, which permits a community of history, a community of identity, a community of interest to be kept together. It's still within the population range provided by section 15 of the act. It is really just skirting a few streets of difference and giving those to Mr. Carrie, and even though his riding will be larger, it is also permitted by section 15 of the act.
    I also held a riding survey that was advertised in all local newspapers. Of the respondents in the communities in eastern Clarington that would be taken out, overwhelmingly, 90% said that their community of interest and identity is with Clarington. That's an overwhelming number. Only 3% in the survey said that their community of interest was with Port Hope, the Northumberland riding. The highest response for riding name by the population in Durham was to maintain the Durham name. It's inclusive to all communities large and small within the riding and has historic roots.
    With respect, Mr. Chair, and through you to the commission, these proposals are clearly in line with section 15. They're clearly intended to keep the community together, being Clarington, and to keep a riding name that reflects all residents of the riding, and within a population range clearly allowed for those very reasons.
    Thank you.

  (1055)  

    Perfect.
    Mr. Del Mastro or Mr. Carrie, who wants to go next?
    Mr. Carrie, please.
    I'll follow up with my colleague, Mr. O'Toole. I would also like to thank the commission and all of you for allowing me the opportunity to be here today.
    First, I'd like to state I would love to have all of Oshawa in my constituency; however, since it has the largest population in Durham region, it's basically too large for one MP.
    It became clear during the local hearings that residents wanted Oshawa to be as Oshawa-centric as possible. There were strong requests at the public hearings to keep Durham region and the communities within it, such as Ajax, Whitby, Pickering, Clarington, and Oshawa whole. It was apparent that residents of the region expressed the idea that communities of interest were substantially more important to them than compliance with the provincial quota.
    For example, one of the big issues, and Mr. O'Toole did point this out, was that since the last redistribution the University of Ontario Institute of Technology has opened in Oshawa and is viewed as an essential part of the community, both for the present but also for the future.
    There are two campuses, one in the north and one downtown. The proposed boundary changes by the commission unfortunately would split the two campuses into two different ridings. This would be unacceptable. From everything I've heard, it would be ideal to keep the university intact in one riding. Aside from keeping it intact, it also gives the students and the faculty consistency in their representation.
    I've had discussions with the mayor, city councillors and, as I said, I monitored the hearings. It was very clear that people wanted to extend the riding as far north as possible and keep it as Oshawa-centric as possible.
    The changes I'm requesting, as Mr. O'Toole said, do fall within the 25% plus or minus outlined by the commission. By changing this slightly, it does have a domino effect with other ridings, but I've consulted my colleagues and everyone supports the proposal.
    As far as an argument made before the commission is concerned, I did not have an official proposal before the commission as I wanted to continue to listen to my local residents on the matter, through the hearings and phone calls and other methods of correspondence with my office.
    While the proposal before you is a consolidation of the views expressed during the hearings and communications with my office and proposes different northern lines, in principle it's the same argument we heard before the commission, in other words, to keep it as Oshawa-centric as possible and go as far north as we can.
    As I stated, it was clear that a wide range of constituents wanted to extend as far north as possible with the full historical boundaries to the west and to the east, and to be Oshawa-centric. Again, I do have support for this proposal.
    Thank you very much.

  (1100)  

    Thank you very much.
    Mr. Del Mastro.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Good morning, colleagues.
    I'm going to present a couple of different things.
    There are a couple of areas where I differ slightly from my colleagues. I'm going to present some of the views of my constituents, which are not supported, and then I'll come back to a proposal that is supported. That being said, my constituents are always right and my colleagues can sometimes be wrong.
    That's a joke. My jokes don't always go over, but I try.
    To begin with, I do take issue with the new boundaries proposed for the Peterborough electoral district, which have become a serious concern for many of my constituents.
    During the public consultation phase, there was no visit to Peterborough, but there was a visit to Northumberland. While I suggested to my municipal councils, local leaders, and others that they may wish to express comment during that period, they did not, with the exception of the municipality of Cavan Monaghan, which did comment, as they were being looped into a riding with Northumberland, which they didn't want to be a part of.
    The concern is that their lack of participation has been seen as being indifferent to the process, but I can assure you that they are not. The suggestion that the municipalities of Otonabee-South Monaghan and Asphodel-Norwood be moved into the riding of Northumberland has not been well received at all. I have motions that have been passed at both councils for the committee, as well as about 40 pages of petitions that have been completed by area residents. These are small rural townships, so you can imagine that if 40 pages of petitions can be filled by people who are voicing their concerns, this proposal has gone over in those areas like a lead balloon.
    How do we fix it? I think that becomes a challenge.
    The suggestion right now that the boundaries commission has come up with makes very little sense. If we look at the east side of Peterborough, we see Otonabee-South Monaghan township. It is actually historically part of what is called East City, in the city of Peterborough. It's been stripped away and it's where an awful lot of development in the city is now occurring. There's a lot of collaboration between Otonabee-South Monaghan and the city.
     Highway 7, the Trans-Canada Highway which connects Peterborough and Ottawa, is the main arterial road that goes between Peterborough and all of the eastern townships in Peterborough County. You would actually drive out of Peterborough for about half an hour before you would drive back into the riding, in Havelock. It effectively makes Havelock-Belmont-Methuen an island within the riding. I know it appears as one land mass. The reality is that you drive out of the riding for a long time to drive back into it. There really aren't any arterial roads in this area at all. It makes it quite dysfunctional.
    There is quite a bit of trade that goes on between the economies of Havelock and areas to the south, which would be Campbellford. For example, residents in Havelock will often use the Campbellford hospital, and so forth, and that is in the riding of Northumberland. For whatever reason, the boundaries commission elected to leave Havelock in this riding while they took the other two municipalities of Otonabee-South Monaghan and Asphodel-Norwood and moved them into Northumberland.
    In many ways, and this may sound strange, Rice Lake to the south has often acted almost like Lake Ontario in this area, whereby there are almost two distinct economic regions, north and south, on either side of the lake.
    One of the proposals that has been passed, which there are recommendations for and is supported by Peterborough County Council, could actually see the townships of Otonabee-South Monaghan and Asphodel-Norwood move back in and have Cavan Monaghan stripped out and moved south to Northumberland. I specifically objected to this in the process. It would also have the two northern townships, which Mr. Devolin outlined earlier, of Trent Lakes and North Kawartha moved back into the riding of Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock. That is an option. It's not supported by Cavan, and it's not supported by my colleagues. It was supported by the preponderance of members at county council, but not all of them.

  (1105)  

     The one that has unanimous agreement among my colleagues would see Havelock-Belmont-Methuen join with the other two eastern townships, Asphodel-Norwood and Otonabee-South Monaghan. You would effectively have all three eastern townships in Peterborough County put back together, which makes sense.
    You would move Cavan-Monaghan, which is on the southwest portion of Peterborough; it's where Peterborough airport, Fleming College, and one of my major high schools are. It would make sense for Cavan-Monaghan to be a part of the city of Peterborough.
    This would add Cavan-Monaghan in, take North Kawartha out, take Trent Lakes out, and would add Havelock-Belmont-Methuen to the riding of Northumberland.
    I would also strongly recommend a name change to both ridings. One could be, for example, “Peterborough—Kawartha”, recognizing both the city of Peterborough and the Kawartha Lakes. The other riding could be called “Northumberland—Peterborough South”. The word “Peterborough” should be in both riding names, as both would contain parts of Peterborough County.
    Thank you very much.
    We'll go to questions and comments.
    Mr. Menegakis, let's go with seven minutes.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair, and thank you to our colleagues for appearing before us today.
    I have a number of questions, but I want to start with you, Mr. Del Mastro. I want to be clear on what it is you would like to see.
    Could you quickly describe what you propose?
    Sure.
    Obviously, as I said earlier, the riding tended to be quite happy with the boundaries as they were prior to the commission's redesignating them. The removal of the two southern townships, Otonabee-South Monaghan and Asphodel-Norwood, which are divided by the lake and the river, has been very controversial.
    While they left this particular riding with Havelock-Belmont-Methuen in Peterborough, what I have proposed and what there is agreement for is to put all three—Otonabee-South Monaghan, which is where I live, Asphodel-Norwood, and Havelock-Belmont-Methuen—together with the new riding of Northumberland, and to call that riding Northumberland—Peterborough South; and to add the two northern townships of Trent Lakes and North Kawartha back into Mr. Devolin's riding of Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, and then add Cavan-Monaghan back into the riding of Peterborough.
    So you're taking three townships out of the proposal for Peterborough and adding one back in. It balances the populations, roughly. The new riding of what is now Peterborough would have 112,000; the new riding of Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock would have 109,000; and the riding of Northumberland—Peterborough South would have 112,000 as well.
    Okay, thank you. That clears that up and actually answers my second question as to what that would do to the population.
    One of the questions we ask all colleagues who are appearing before us is whether they have discussed their proposed changes with all their adjoining colleagues. As you can appreciate, it's a lot easier for us as a committee to make recommendations when there is congruence in the objectives of the colleagues.
    Perhaps I could ask all four of you to respond to that question.
    Mr. Carrie.
    Thank you very much, Costas.
    What the commission proposed originally was to basically slice Oshawa north and south and to bring it all across to Durham with Mr. O'Toole. I think Mr. O'Toole would agree with me that we got so much negative feedback on that. Our communities feel that they should be distinct communities. Under the original proposal, Ajax had theirs, Pickering had theirs, Whitby had theirs, and both of ours were split in such a way that we would have multiple MPs serving multiple cities.
     I commend the commission, because I think that what they proposed was something the community wanted. They obviously listened to the hearings and the input from the community. The mayors are happy...the communities of interest.
     The only slight modification that I'm asking is to have a little bit more of the north, which fits within the range proposed by the commission. It also allows a major institution, which is the university, which 10 years ago was just beginning and now is a major part of Oshawa—

  (1110)  

    Is that OUAC?
    It's UOIT.
    The proposal I'm putting forward would allow it to be incorporated into Oshawa as well. The domino effect would also give Mr. O'Toole the ability to have Clarington.
    Thank you.
    Mr. O'Toole.
    If you refer to the map on the right-hand side, you see that it represents all of our ridings and our colleague Mr. Norlock's riding. You will see that the ridings we are proposing to the committee would all serve the communities of interest within the ridings better. We have presented the reasons, and they all fit together.
    The small riding on the far west, at the bottom all along the lake, is Oshawa. That's the largest urbanized part of this area. Therefore, Mr. Carrie runs into the challenge of exceeding the population quota, but we feel that he should have more of Oshawa as a single seat and keep the university. Then I will have a portion of north Oshawa in Durham, and that would let me keep Clarington whole, which my community really wants.
    You'll see Mr. Devolin's riding to the north and Mr. Del Mastro's below it to the south. The changes proposed for both reflect the geography and communities of interest and history. Then Mr. Norlock's riding, on the bottom, which will have the lowest population, still keeps the historic communities within Northumberland—Cobourg and Port Hope—together, and as per Mr. Del Mastro's remarks, Campbellford and a lot of the communities of interest within the area are kept together.
    We are all in accordance with the changes and their impact on neighbouring ridings, and they're all within the guidelines of section 15 of the act.
    Thank you.
    Did you want to weigh in on this at all, Mr. Devolin?
    The change I am proposing only affects my riding and the riding of Peterborough.
    As I said, in my current riding I have three rural municipalities. Rather than giving the two little ones to Peterborough and keeping the big one, we're just saying to reverse those two decisions. It's a difference of 9,000 versus 6,000 people, and so it's a differential of 3,000 people.
    The only municipality that has passed a resolution is asking to join Peterborough; the other two have been silent on this. It's a relatively minor change, but I think it makes sense in the broader context of fixing the Peterborough and the Northumberland ridings.
    Thank you.
    Mr. Del Mastro.
    The challenge I have is that Peterborough and Peterborough County are about 160,000; it's a riding and a half. Everyone in Peterborough County would ideally like to be in the Peterborough riding. That doesn't work, so I believe that the second suggestion I made, which has the support of my colleagues, is the one that makes the most sense.
    Madam Turmel.

[Translation]

    My questions are about the same thing.
    Mr. O'Toole, thank you for your presentation. Your explanation was very clear.
    I want to pick up on one of the changes you're proposing: removing the eastern part of Clarington from the Northumberland—Pine Ridge riding. That means, then, that below, 14,500 residents would be removed and transferred to the riding of Oshawa—Durham. Is that correct?

  (1115)  

    Yes.
    So the population of the riding of Oshawa would become 132,000, which, I believe, is above the average.
    Is that the suggestion, in other words, increasing the population of the riding of Oshawa to 132,000? Could you give us a bit more information on that?
    I see here all the members who are affected by the proposal regarding Oshawa. And I see that you don't agree with that proposal.

[English]

    Thank you, Madam Turmel.
    This area, the western side—so the ridings of Oshawa and Durham—is considered to be the most eastern side of the greater Toronto area. As you get away from Toronto, moving east along the lake, the population slowly diminishes, and urbanization sort of slowly diminishes, into my riding of Durham, which is a suburban-rural split.
    Oshawa has grown to the point where some of Oshawa will need to be in a riding adjacent to it, because its population is just too large. What Mr. Carrie and I have proposed, and what is overwhelmingly supported by regional and municipal governments, is to let Oshawa grow to the size it can, to the large end of what's permitted under the act. That allows it to keep its university whole and to keep Oshawa whole.
    I will then just take a small portion, on the edge of my riding, to help relieve the population. By giving up a little more of Oshawa to Mr. Carrie, I'm also allowing Durham to have the population room to keep the largest municipality within that riding whole.
    Mr. Norlock, who is on my east, agrees with that proposal as well, even though it means his riding, which is more sparsely populated because it's further from the greater Toronto area, will be slightly under the 106,000 target in Ontario.
    All of these factors are permitted by the act to keep communities of interest, history, and identity together, but Oshawa is the largest challenge, because it's the most urbanized. As you go east or northeast into my colleagues' ridings, they're more rural or rural-urban splits, and have more counties and local governments within them.
    We think this proposal has the support of all levels of government, federal, provincial, municipal, and the overwhelming support of the population. The result will be that Oshawa is a very large riding, but it's within the range permitted.
    Mr. Scott.
    Thanks for presenting what appears to be, at least at one level, possibly an integrated package, but it's not entirely clear.
    Just for clarification, Mr. O'Toole and Mr. Carrie, keeping Clarington whole, which the commission seemed to feel was almost “impossible”—that was their language—depends heavily on Oshawa going to that size.
    Is that correct?
    Okay.
    If I may, Mr. Scott, as you may notice from the population threshold, there would be room for Oshawa—Durham to absorb that population as well within that 25% excess. But the best way to do it, we're proposing, is to allow Oshawa to grow slightly larger, and Durham to grow only to 16% over the 106,000.
    Great.
    Mr. Carrie?
    I agree with that.
    Okay, thank you.
    Mr. Del Mastro, there's a little bit of confusion on our side; I think you might possibly be between two proposals, one which your constituents seem to be behind, and one which you're sort of willing to put forward.
    In terms of how the committee will deal with the proposals, I guess we're going to ask you: which one is your proposal?
    To be clear, I don't have support among my colleagues, or in fact among any of the surrounding area, for the proposals that have been promoted by Otonabee-South Monaghan and Asphodel-Norwood. Those are their proposals. That's how they would like to see it solved, but there is no support outside of the immediate area for what they're proposing. I promised them as my constituents that I would put that forward.
    To be clear, I believe the option where there is agreement around the table, which would see them put into the riding with Northumberland, along with Havelock-Belmont-Methuen, in a new riding called Northumberland—Peterborough South, for example, would actually make the most sense, and provide for a very workable riding.
    There is no perfect solution here. There is no agreement on the ground.
    Thank you.
    Mr. Devolin.
    The municipality of Cavan Monaghan, which is in my riding today, is proposed to be in my riding, but in our proposal we're talking about actually adding it to Peterborough instead.
    Cavan Monaghan's first preference is to be part of the Peterborough riding, to actually be changed. Their second preference, very close, would be to stay where they are, which is in Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock. They absolutely and vehemently do not want to be added to Northumberland.
    That is one of the problems with the proposal from other rural municipalities: it takes Cavan Monaghan out of their first choice, and their second choice, and clearly puts them in their last choice.

  (1120)  

     Thank you both for the clarifications.
    There's about 10 seconds left.
    I think we'll go to Mr. Dion. Do you want to try in 10 seconds, or I could just talk a little bit more? And now your time is up.
    There'll be another round, Mr. Cullen.
    Mr. Dion, for seven minutes, please.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Mr. Chair.

[English]

     I think the commission in Ontario did not do a service in accepting so much discrepancy in the numbers. In other provinces, the commissions have been very strict and it helped each of us to be reasonable in our request. If it's reasonable for the commission to accept 24.5% for an urban area, it's not the same in the rest of the country, very clearly. That's a problem we need to point out. It's not the fault of colleagues here. They are encouraged to come with requests because the commission allows it.
    It says in the rules they allow it.
    We have more requests in this province than we should have, otherwise.
    Assuming that the commission accepts that Oshawa should stick together at 24.5% starting in the census of 2011, do we know if Oshawa has a big growth coming, or is it a stable population?
    We'd like to see it grow. The northeast portion that Mr. O'Toole is going to be having under the proposal we have forwarded, is probably the fastest growing region. Historically, that was more of the rural area with farm land and now there is growth there. I would predict that would be the part of Oshawa that would grow the most.
    A voice: The part that's being taken in.
    As I said in my response to Madam Turmel, the Oshawa and Durham part of this proposal is the most challenging because it's the eastern growth of the greater Toronto area and there are still some rural areas that are slowly being developed. Oshawa proper has pretty much grown out to its developed state, and the portion I'm getting is where it's growing in the northeast. Clarington is also growing; it's at 85,000 now. By the next census it will likely be over 100,000. Why I want to keep that whole and why people in Clarington want to keep that whole is that over time, Clarington will likely justify its own seat, after the next census, with that growing northeast portion of Oshawa. That area will then essentially have been developed in the suburban growth of the GTA. The more rural ridings have slower growth rates than the Durham and the GTA ridings.
    Thank you.
    For the benefit of this committee, can I have the assessment of each of you about what Mr. O'Toole has put here? Do you all agree it should be the map that the commission should accept?
    Yes.
    Yes.
    Yes.
    And Mr. Norlock as well, who is not here but he's in agreement.
    Because your presentations were much more complex. If I understand this well, if the commission does not accept that, for whatever reason, each of you has more modest changes to suggest. Am I right?
    My understanding is that this is basically the last chance we get to discuss our proposals.
    There is no plan B. It's that or what the commission has proposed, and you don't like what the commission has proposed so you are 100% backing this proposal. Is that right?
    Yes, from my perspective. As I said, I do thank the commission because, obviously, they did listen to the community. They made substantial changes, because the overwhelming feedback that I got was to make sure that it was Oshawa-centric and that Oshawa had its own seat.

  (1125)  

    The challenge, Mr. Dion, is that any changes that are made in the riding of Peterborough directly impact on three ridings, which then has a domino effect on ridings on either side of them. As I said, with about 40 pages of petitions, this has been so divisive on the ground in Peterborough, I think the best thing to do with this is to simply seek agreement here at the federal level, because there is none at the municipal level, and try and come up with a workable solution. I thank my colleagues, because I think we've been able to come to a solution in what can be a very difficult process, as you're aware, with something that works.
    Do you know what the percentage is of the commission's proposal? You go from minus 8% to plus 24.5%, and they go from what to what?
    Northumberland—Pine Ridge under the current proposal is about 112,000. Peterborough is about 114,000. Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock is roughly where it is now, at 112,000. The three ridings on the bottom are all slightly larger. Northumberland—Pine Ridge is about 13,000 or 15,000 larger than what is up there right now. They're all smaller than what the commission has recommended, and the two top ridings are larger.
    As per my previous point, the Oshawa and the Durham ridings are the most urbanized of this collection. Mr. Scott had said the commission tried its best to keep Clarington whole. In fact Clarington was featured as an area on Steve Paikin's program on the challenges the commission was facing.
    We found a way to keep Clarington whole, but then there is an impact on mainly the Northumberland riding. It dips down below the 106,000 target for Ontario, but it reflects the dynamic of an urban-rural area in which there are going to be slightly higher populations in the urban seats, and it reflects the challenge of Canada.
    I have one last question. You know what the commission thinks, I guess, when you appear and you discuss with them. Will they have an objection to your proposal if there is no discrepancy in the numbers? Will they raise an issue that you want to address now, to tell them you have an answer to their issue?
    I can't predict what they're going to say when this proposal goes forward, but I don't see any reason that they would not accept this proposal, because all of it is within the ranges that are acceptable for Ontario, that plus or minus 25%. Admittedly Oshawa is at the higher end of that. As I said in my opening, I'd be happy to have all of Oshawa, but the reality is we're going to have to have two MPs instead of having three or four MPs. I think that would be acceptable to most.

[Translation]

    Thank you, Mr. Chair.

[English]

    Mr. Devolin and then Mr. Del Mastro.
    Could you be very quick, please? We've gone well over this one.
    As you can also see from that map, my riding is twice as big as the other four put together. Oshawa is a small riding. It's a built-out urban area. I don't anticipate that what is going to be defined as the Oshawa riding will grow much in the next 10 years. The Northumberland riding is probably the fastest growing of all those. If that's taken into consideration, I think it would reinforce this proposal.
    All right.
    Mr. Del Mastro, go ahead, quickly.
    Thank you.
     Mr. Dion, I just want to comment on what Peterborough County Council said:
Be it resolved that County Council directs that a letter be sent to Peterborough MP Dean Del Mastro and Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock-MP Barry Devolin expressing Council’s displeasure with the electoral boundary process and the lack of ability to comment on the latest proposal and that the Electoral Boundary Commission....
    They need to know that their current proposal is not workable for Peterborough and Peterborough County. This is a more workable solution.
    Mr. O'Toole.
    Thank you again for allowing us this opportunity.
    These changes, while large in Oshawa, are permitted by the act and really are required to address an urban-rural area like ours.
    The commission also looked at growth rates, but that wasn't part of their mandate for decisions on these ridings. They did look at growth rates though and as my colleague said, as the areas of Northumberland and Clarington grow, those will likely be stand-alone ridings and Oshawa will still be able to retain essentially the riding that Mr. Carrie is proposing today, which incorporates all of the major portions of that city in a single sweep.
    I consider these changes to be really small tweaks to what the commission proposed. They're not radical. It's really about making sure there's that community of interest within each riding.

  (1130)  

    Thank you.
    Mr. Lukiwski, you can have a short question or two.
    Thank you, Chair.
    I want to make sure that I'm understanding this correctly. Do I assume correctly that this will be the first time the commission has heard this proposal that you all seem to be in agreement with, and that you did not make this proposal at the public hearings? Is that correct?
     Correct.
    If you look at the current map on the ground today and you compare it to the proposal that we saw last summer which was dramatically different, there was a lot of negative reaction. The second proposal was dramatically different.
    One of the frustrations that the public has is that the second draft, if I can call it that, is so different from either the first draft or the current reality. It wasn't possible for the public to comment on something which, quite frankly, nobody even conceived, before this plan landed in February.
    There wasn't any comment because it wasn't on the table.
    Erin.
    At the public hearings in the fall, all levels of government in my riding commented to keep Clarington whole, so the commission is very aware of that. Mr. Scott has referred to it. They're very aware of this challenge.
    Their first drafts had Clarington broken into three different seats. It was recognized as a bit of a miss from the first round. They tried to address that alongside concerns that Oshawa had.
    What we're proposing here, as I described earlier, is a slight tweak to their proposal, but that slight tweak allows Clarington to remain whole. Those 15,000 people and the communities that were excluded are able to be kept in. It's also complementary to Oshawa. From Oshawa and Durham's perspective, the commission has heard these concerns right from day one.
    If you've got one more question, I'll allow it.
    I'd just like to make a comment, so that our colleagues are aware of the process that we have as a committee.
    In writing the reports, when all MPs affected by proposed changes are in agreement with those changes, our committee reports tend to recommend those changes to the boundaries commission. I think it's very important to understand that. If we have unanimity among the four of you on your proposal, we can actually incorporate that into our report. That's why I wanted to get some clarity that you were all completely in agreement with the proposal we've just seen.
    Thank you very much. Are there any questions from any other members? Seeing none, thank you.
    I will compliment you on being well prepared and having spoken to each other ahead of time, and being able to put together a comprehensive proposal. Thank you very, very much.
    We will suspend, and wait for our next panel.

  (1130)  


  (1140)  

    We'll call the meeting back to order.
    We're still looking at the redistribution process for the province of Ontario. We have another panel here today, with Mr. Seeback, Mr. Gill, and Mr. Tilson.
     We'll give each of you each five minutes and then we'll ask questions.
    Mr. Seeback, you're going first.
    First of all, I want to congratulate the commission on the changes they made from the first set to the report stage. I think they took into consideration the requests that were made by people in Brampton with respect to having the downtown portion of Brampton contained within one riding. On the first set of maps, they had divided downtown Brampton in half.
    For those of you who don't know, downtown Brampton is a special place for Brampton. It's the oldest part of Brampton. It's where the city originally started and then expanded outward. In my mind, it meets the definition of a community of interests.
     People live in downtown Brampton and shop downtown. Whether they want to go to Gage Park, which is an absolutely beautiful park in downtown Brampton, with mature 100-year-old trees and a beautiful bandstand where there's music for the Thursday night concert series, or to the Rose Theatre to enjoy an evening at the theatre and dine in downtown restaurants, it's a great place where people work and raise their families.
    When the commission made that change, I was quite pleased. The one issue I have is that the commission, probably not having knowledge of Brampton and the growth of Brampton, missed one small community that is very directly linked and attached to downtown Brampton. For those who don't know Brampton, it's an area called Northwood Park. It was built by the Rice family of Rice Construction, a great old Brampton family.
    Northwood Park was built around the 1960s. In the 1960s in Brampton, there wasn't a lot more than the downtown, so the people who lived there would also shop downtown. They would seek their entertainment in the downtown part of the city. It's also an area that has low mobility. People who live there have lived there for 20, 30, 40, and 50 years.
    In the history of the downtown, Northwood Park has been represented by what we would call the downtown city councillors, both regional and city. Wards 1 and 5 are both downtown wards, and they include Northwood Park.
     When you look at the history of the riding boundaries in Brampton, you will see that the downtown has always been contiguously contained in a single riding. That can change depending on the definition, but when you go back in history, prior to Brampton Centre, which included the downtown, you can see that before that, it was also included in the riding of Brampton—Georgetown from 1976 to 1987.
    Provincially, Northwood Park and the downtown have always been included in the same riding: Brampton West, both federally and provincially, the riding that exists now; Brampton Centre, from 1999 to 2007; and the riding of Brampton South, from 1987 to 1999. Historically, electoral commissions have recognized that it's important to keep the downtown together.
    When you look at it in terms of population, all we're really looking at is 4,000 electors. It's not going to significantly deviate from the electoral norm. I think that right now the new riding of Brampton South will be 1% above the provincial quota, and adding 4,000 electors will not significantly deviate from that.
    I did put together a set of maps. I think they have been distributed. If you go to page 5, that shows you the report stage map of the riding of Brampton South. I've highlighted the section of Northwood Park so you can get a visual image of what we're talking about with respect to the proposed riding boundary change. It's not a significant change. It's a very small change, but I think it reflects the importance of the downtown.
    I can say unabashedly that I'm a downtown booster. I love downtown Brampton. It's my honour and my privilege to represent it. I think this will enhance the representation of downtown. The downtown historically has faced a number of challenges, whether it be with respect to economic development or maintaining a strong and vibrant downtown. I think it just makes sense that those people all be represented in one riding.
    I thank the committee for allowing me to appear today. I look forward to any questions you might have.

  (1145)  

    You were right on five minutes.
    Mr. Gill.
    Thank you, Mr. Chair.
    I also want to thank the committee for allowing me to make my presentation.
    With regard to the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario, I would like to commend the commission for their hard work in creating these boundaries. Realigning these boundary lines is no easy task, as all measures must be taken to ensure that the interests of all residents living in these affected areas are taken into account.
    I have been approached by many of my constituents who have requested a couple of what I would call minor changes that I would like to bring to the attention of this committee.
    In the northwest part of the riding of Brampton North is a community called Snelgrove, of which a majority of the population currently falls in the riding of Brampton North, with a portion in the new riding of Brampton West.
    This area is west of Highway 10, along Wanless Drive going west, and then north along the Orangeville-Brampton railway line, and east along Collingwood Avenue, and connecting back with Highway 10.
    This area consists of approximately 6,500 residents who would be added to the riding of Brampton North. In order to keep the community of interest as one of the top priorities, it is important to listen to the views of the local residents and keep the entire community of Snelgrove as one in the new riding of Brampton North.
    The second change the community has requested is in the east part of the riding of Brampton North. The local community would like to see the eastern boundary of Bramalea Road continue south until Bovaird Drive, and then east on Bovaird until Torbram Road; in other words, the area between Bramalea Road and east on Bovaird Drive, north on Torbram, and west on Sandalwood Parkway. This area consists of approximately 16,000 residents, who would be added to the riding of Brampton East.
    In terms of the population ratio, these two boundary realignments would offer a small deviation in the overall proposed population of Brampton West, Brampton North, and Brampton East.
    The community of Snelgrove that would be transferred from Brampton West to Brampton North has a population, as I mentioned earlier, of about 6,500.
    The area that would be transferred from Brampton North to Brampton East has roughly 16,000 people.
    This proposed boundary realignment would leave Brampton West with a population of just over 100,000, Brampton North with approximately 97,000, and Brampton East with approximately 115,000.
    I've had the opportunity to consult with MP Seeback and MP Gosal about the proposal I would put forward. Both MPs are aware of and do support my argument and the proposal I'm putting before the committee.
    I would also like to point out that even though the riding of Brampton East would have a slightly larger population compared to the ridings of Brampton North and Brampton West, the two ridings, Brampton North and Brampton West, are the two areas where there is a significant degree of current growth that's ongoing and projected in the future as well, so the overall numbers are well within the provincial targets that have been laid out.
    That's about it. Those are the only two changes I'm requesting.
    I'm happy to answer any questions.

  (1150)  

    Thank you very much.
    Mr. Tilson, would you like to make an opening statement for five minutes?
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I first of all want to thank the commission for leaving Dufferin—Caledon alone. I kind of feel like Marlene Dietrich, who said, “I want to be alone”, and I hope the committee will as well.
    I'm here because I understood that my two colleagues, Messrs. Seeback and Gill, were making presentations to the committee. I don't think they affect my riding. I'm to the north of them.
    I'm simply here to watch. If the committee does choose to affect Dufferin—Caledon, I hope I will be advised so that I can appear at another time.
    Thank you.
    Certainly. Perfect.
    We'll move to questions and comments. Mr. Lukiwski, would you like to start us off? You have five minutes.
    Thank you. I will.
    Thank you all for appearing.
    I want to make sure I'm clear here and that we have clarity for the analysts as well. I'll address my comments first to Mr. Gill.
    The recommended changes you're proposing affect both Mr. Seeback's riding and Mr. Gosal's riding. My understanding is there is agreement among all of the MPs that the proposal you were suggesting is one they agree with and could accept. Are there any minor changes they would like to see beyond what you have proposed?
    No. Once my proposal was prepared, I ran it by MP Seeback and MP Gosal, and both are very supportive. As a matter of fact, I received a letter, which was submitted to the clerk, that clearly outlines the change that is going to take place in the east part of the riding of Brampton North, where there's a portion we're requesting be tagged onto the riding of Brampton East, which is obviously the area Mr. Gosal currently represents.
    There are roughly about 16,000 residents who would be moved over to the riding of Brampton East. It would obviously better align the community interest overall. That change only affects Minister Gosal's riding and mine.
    Thank you for that last part, because currently under the commission's proposal, the population variance in Brampton East is minus 6.12%. Under your proposal it would go up to plus 9.20%. You're saying you are making those recommendations to try to keep a community of interest intact.
    Have you spoken with the community of interest you're referring to? Have you spoken to residents or a community association, and are they in favour of your recommendations?
    Absolutely. These changes were obviously brought to my attention by the community members. I understand Minister Gosal has also been approached about the same change. His letter clearly outlines that he's requesting the same changes I'm requesting, so absolutely.
    We've looked at the overall numbers. As you mentioned, the overall population is slightly higher, so it bumps it up to about 9% in the riding of Brampton East. But the majority of the existing current growth that's ongoing in Brampton, I would say, in general is in the ridings of Brampton West and Brampton North. There is not a whole lot of room to grow in the riding of Brampton East.
    As the last observation, and I don't need a response because you have articulated this in your presentation, I understand this will be the first time this proposal will have been received by the commission, and it was only because when you saw both the first and the second maps, there was such a variance that you didn't have an opportunity at that point in time to make a presentation. Is that correct?
    Absolutely.
    All right. I have no more questions, Chair.
    Thank you.
    Super.
    Madam Latendresse, for five minutes.

[Translation]

    Thank you for your presentation. It's positive to see that, once again, everyone supports the proposals.
    Just to make sure I understand the maps correctly, I need one detail clarified.

[English]

    There's a new riding?

  (1155)  

    Who are you asking? Mr. Gill or me?
    There are two new ridings that are going to be implemented in Brampton.
    Okay. So if I understand correctly...

[Translation]

    A number of your proposals affect ridings that aren't represented by a member right now. Is that right?

[English]

    Every bit of Brampton is currently represented by three MPs. There's actually a little bit of overlay in one of the Mississauga ridings as well.
    I'm not sure where MP Seeback is going, in which riding, whether he has made that decision. I am still not absolutely 100% sure of which area I'm going to, so it really depends. We don't have that answer as of yet, at least I don't.

[Translation]

    Very well.
    Everyone who is somehow affected by the changes supports the proposals of their colleagues. Is that correct?

[English]

    Absolutely.

[Translation]

    Do the resulting numbers come close to the electoral quota? What do the changes represent, demographically?

[English]

    Do you mean the overall numbers?
    After the proposal, obviously if the committee recommends and the commission accepts the proposal.... I understand Mr. Seeback is also making some recommendations. The numbers in the riding of Brampton West may vary a bit, but based on my proposal, Brampton West would be minus 4.67%; Brampton North would be minus 8.99%; and Brampton East would be plus 9.2%, so roughly between 101,000 and then 97,000, and roughly 116,000 in Brampton East.
     What is the impact of your proposal on Brampton East, if there is any?
    Based on the report, the population of the riding of Brampton East is roughly 99,712, which is minus 6.12%. My proposal would bump up that number to 115,000, roughly nine points over, which is still well within the targets.
    I'm not talking numbers specifically; I mean the effects on the communities it impacts. I am trying to see if that particularly change was in your original proposal to us as a committee. Was it?
    Yes.
    In terms of community impacts, what's the change, and to what community? You talked about the numbers, but who are they? You talked about communities of interest but you haven't defined them in that particular change. Who are we talking about and why are they linked? Why should they be brought into your riding?
    A small portion from the previous riding of Brampton—Springdale has been taken out and lumped with the new riding of Brampton East, which is the northeast corner of the current riding of Brampton—Springdale. The community below the street called Sandalwood Parkway East, and between Torbram, Bramalea, and Bovaird was established at the same time. It's the same type of neighbourhood as the area Minister Gosal currently represents, which is east of Torbram Road. The school system is the same. That whole community is seen as one.
    Typically when MPs talk about communities of interest, there's some sort of historical evidence or commercial activity, a cultural connection that says the community is distinct in a certain way and that distinction is more drawn to a neighbouring community than it is to an adjacent one.
    The argument around population is certainly valid, but when we refer to communities of interest, we as a committee try to understand because this is the argument we will have to make to Elections Canada to change what is often a complicated jigsaw puzzle, as you've said. I'm trying to understand that community of interest, and why it makes sense going one way and not another.

  (1200)  

    The community interest is the neighbourhood, established around the same time; the residents have been living in the neighbourhood for the same number of years, I would say. The school is another factor. A lot of the kids go to the school, which is keeping the community in the north part of Sandalwood and the east side of Torbram. It's difficult to say. I can't say that the neighbours or the residents living in this pocket aren't necessarily of the same mindset or the same demographic as those living over here.
    Obviously we have to take two things into consideration. By bringing in the Snelgrove community in the northwest part of the riding, the numbers would have to shift in the riding of Brampton North. That would solve two problems. By adding a little box or roughly 16,000 residents into the new riding of Brampton East, the numbers are more in line. It protects the community interest. Both in Brampton North, as I mentioned earlier, and in the riding of Brampton West, significant growth is currently going on. Lots of houses are being built in the new riding of Brampton North and in Brampton West, but not so much in Brampton East. Even if you're looking a few years down the road, the significant growth that's going to take place will be in the two ridings of Brampton West and Brampton North.
    Monsieur Dion, for five minutes.
     I'm not sure that I need five minutes.
    I just want to recap. You say your changes, Mr. Gill and Mr. Seeback, are not creating a domino effect that another colleague would not like, that regarding the numbers it's very reasonable, that it remains close to the provincial quota. Regarding communities, you don't think that your proposal will create resistance, that it will be well received, and you may substantiate that.
    For my riding, the inclusion of Northwood Park.... It's a distinct community. People who live in Northwood Park call it Northwood Park. It was one of the first subdivisions that was built in Brampton in the late 1950s, early 1960s. They are very much attached to the downtown part of Brampton. I've talked to many of the residents there. They've always been included in the downtown riding, and so they want to be included in that. On that level, yes, it's going to be very much supported in the community.
    Mr. Gill, do you have something to add to your answer to Mr. Cullen? If the commission were here, is there something you would like to tell them about the community aspect of your suggestion?
    Absolutely. In the northwest part of the new riding of Brampton North, it is very important to have the Snelgrove community as one. As I mentioned, the majority of the community currently falls in the riding of Brampton North and there's a portion that's in the new riding of Brampton West. The local residents from there have approached me. Obviously it would move the western boundary up to the Orangeville-Brampton railway line. We would have a clear defining mark there as well in terms of where the two ridings split, and it would better represent community interests at the end of the day.
    Do both of you have a lot of support for your suggestions?
    Absolutely. In fact when the commission was in Brampton and they were hearing submissions on Brampton, residents were loud and clear that they wanted the downtown of Brampton to be represented by one federal riding. Many people made that submission.
    I think the issue with the commission was that they didn't really know what the full boundaries were of what's considered to be part of downtown Brampton. That's why in the report stage map they excluded Northwood Park, whereas in the first map they actually had it there, but it divided part of the downtown. It's widely supported within the Brampton community.

  (1205)  

    The same for Mr. Gill.
    Yes, absolutely, there's a lot of community support. I know the residents were there at the commission hearing. I personally did not participate because I didn't think it was appropriate for me to appear before the commission. I think overall the commission has done a tremendous job. It's not an easy task, but given all the factors, I'm happy.
    Both of you may say to Mr. Tilson that his riding is okay, that it's not affected.
    Yes, why don't you say that?
    None of my proposals affect Mr. Tilson's riding.
    Same here.
    So you're safe, Mr. Tilson.
    All right. Thank you very much.
    That concludes this panel.
    Thank you for coming today, and thank you again for working together and sharing information with us that makes it easier for us to write our report.
    We'll suspend for a couple of minutes while we go in camera.
    [Proceedings continue in camera]
Publication Explorer
Publication Explorer
ParlVU