Flin Flonners will have a chance to weigh in on a change to Manitoba’s electoral boundaries.
Commissioners with the Manitoba Electoral Divisions Boundaries Commission (MEDBC) will be in Flin Flon on Sept. 12 for a public meeting at the Victoria Inn. The MEDBC will discuss proposed changes to Manitoba’s electoral map that may see Flin Flon and The Pas combined in the same riding.
According to the existing MEDBC proposal, every electoral district in Manitoba will be changed – all 57 of them. One more district will be created within Winnipeg, putting 32 spots in the provincial legislature inside Winnipeg. Only 25 MLAs will represent the rest of the province.
In the proposed electoral map, northern Manitoba will have four ridings instead of five.
If adopted, this means only one MLA will represent both Flin Flon and The Pas in provincial legislature.
On the proposed electoral map, some communities in the province’s extreme north, like Brochet, Lac Brochet and Tadoule Lake, will move ridings to the Kewatinook district. That district will curve around the north of the province, going from the Saskatchewan and Nunavut borders around Hudson Bay and down to Whiteshell Provincial Park.
Thompson and Gillam could also be combined into a new Thompson riding.
The reason given by the MEDBC for the redrawing is a slower-than-average population growth in northern Manitoba.
“While there is some population growth in northern Manitoba, that growth is significantly slower than in the south of the province,” reads the interim report issued by the MEDBC in May.
Each provincial riding is supposed to represent 22,427 people. Each of the existing five ridings finish far below that threshold. The existing Flin Flon riding, with only 15,695 people, has the lowest population of any district in the province – 30 per cent below the threshold.
The MEDBC will hold 13 meetings between Sept. 10 and 20 to discuss the proposed map. Other meetings are scheduled throughout the north, including events in Churchill, Thompson and The Pas.
The discussion is open to the general public, but anyone hoping to make a presentation during the hearing is advised by the MEDBC to register in advance at boundariescommission.mb.ca.
After the meetings and further consultations in Winnipeg, a final report will be prepared by the MEDBC and submitted to the Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the Assembly by Dec. 31.
The Flin Flon meeting will be held at 10 am in the Victoria Inn’s Northern Room.