The V and P sectors of Brossard
The 7,188 Brossard voters in Sectors V and P could be transferred from the La Pinière riding to the neighbouring constituency of Laporte.
The Commission de la représentation électorale (CRE) of the Director General of Elections of Quebec is planning just such a change. The chairperson of the CRE, Lucie Fiset, presented the new Brossard configuration on April 29th.
The purpose of transferring some 7,000 voters from La Pinière to Laporte, which covers St. Lambert and a portion of Longueuil, is to achieve effective voter representation. According to the Elections Act, electoral districts must comprise an average of 48,387 voters, with an acceptable range of more or less 25%.
“For the time being, there are too many voters in La Pinière.” explains Mrs. Fiset. “We are over the limit, not to mention a growth rate of the population that is higher than the provincial average.”
Moving the voters towards Laporte would serve to balance both ridings.
On November 30, 2014, La Pinière had 60,885 voters, meaning 401 more than allowable limit under the Elections Act. The Laporte district comprises 46,153 voters.
Homogeneity of the Voting Community
In addition to the numbers criterion, the CRE also tries to ensure that “natural communities”, i.e. sociological, demographic and geographical factors, are respected in each district.
“The Commission considered several options; however, this one seems to be the most appropriate. We take into account all the criteria, such as territorial borders (rivers, etc.), but also the homogeneity of the community and population density,” maintains Mrs. Fiset.
The chairperson of the CRE nonetheless admits that most of the twelve or so citizens present at the public hearing were in favour of maintaining the status quo. She explains that La Pinière is one of the rare districts where limits correspond to those of a city.
“With our proposition, we are removing a part of Brossard. Most prefer that the city keep its own electoral district.”
The decision of the CRE is not final and modifications may be made at the conclusion of the provincial tour of public hearings. A report will then be filed and submitted for study at the National Assembly, which will then call in the CRE. The proposed electoral map will be debated, after which a final report will be made.
“We have no control over the time required to complete the process. All going well, the new map will be adopted early in 2016,” concludes Lucie Fiset.
The ridings of La Pinière and Laporte are currently held by two Liberal MNAs, namely Gaétan Barrette and Nicole Ménard.