The electoral districts of Eastern Quebec could be modified in view of the next federal elections, which will take place in October 2025 (archives).
The potential withdrawal of the electoral map of Avignon–La Mitis–Matane–Matapédia is far from unanimous in Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine, the two administrative regions that the riding straddles. federal. Elected officials who sharply criticize this possibility plan to make representations to turn the tide.
The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Quebec presented a proposal on Friday that would eliminate a riding in eastern Quebec.
The riding currently held by Bloc Québécois Kristina Michaud would thus be split in two, giving birth to Gaspésie–Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine–Listuguj and Rimouski–Matane.
This is what the electoral map of Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie–Îles-de-la- Madeleine if the recent proposal were approved.
The mayor of Gaspé and prefect of the MRC de La Côte-de-Gaspé, Daniel Côté, is very critical of this recommendation. The chosen one was interviewed on the show From east to east on Monday afternoon.
He pointed out that the proposed redistribution would have the effect of making our already huge federal ridings even larger and therefore , to complicate the work of federal deputies. This makes the deputy less accessible for the territory, which is expanding. It has a collateral impact for us.
The prefect of the MRC de La Mitis, Bruno Paradis (archives)
This is also what the mayor of Price and prefect of the MRC de La Mitis, Bruno Paradis, believes. On the airwaves of Info-Réveil on Monday morning, he mentioned that it will become inhuman for federal elected officials to survey and represent their riding in Ottawa.
“I think we have to avoid that, otherwise we will just continue to go in the same direction [as the one we are going] currently, that is to say that the regions will have fewer and fewer representatives, therefore the needs of the regions will be less and less represented in the House of Commons. »
— Bruno Paradis, Mayor of Price and Prefect of the MRC de La Mitis
The new riding currently represented by Federal MP Diane Lebouthillier, Gaspésie–Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine, would become the size of Belgium, or 62 times the area of the island of Montreal, she said.
The elected official believes that the abolition of one of the four ridings of Eastern Quebec would represent an attack on democracy in the region . “It is an aberration. This is a loss of a regional political voice at the federal level,” she vehemently denounces.
National Revenue Minister Diane Lebouthillier could see her riding become Gaspésie–Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine– Listuguj (archives).
According to Daniel Côté, each time the Commission examines the redistricting of federal ridings, that is to say every ten years, it is an eternal fight, […] an eternal restart.
“You're always fighting civil servants in an office tower who take a calculator, who only estimate demographics, who draw a pen on a map and who say that this will be [our] new constituency. It does not work! »
— Daniel Côté, Mayor of Gaspé and Prefect of the MRC of La Côte-de-Gaspé
According to Mr. Côté, the reality on the ground and the sense of belonging must be taken into account when it comes to the electoral map.
Underlining that the Commission has by the past tended to endorse new constituencies smaller than those initially proposed, the Gaspésien remains optimistic for the future.
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The prefect of La Côte-de-Gaspé, who considers himself a convinced regionalist, intends to make representations during the public hearings, scheduled for next month. Daniel Côté believes that he will not be the only one to mount the barricades.
“I tell myself that if nobody talks and if we let this pass, we will end up with constituency territories that do not take into account of the reality on the ground. »
— Daniel Côté, Mayor of Gaspé and Prefect of the MRC de La Côte-de-Gaspé
His colleague from La Mitis also intends to fight and hopes that the other chosen ones will do the same. I wouldn't expect, all the same, that people will go and demonstrate, that's for sure and certain, because it's not something that affects them directly, he nuances.
In addition to being mayor of Gaspé and prefect of the MRC de La Côte-de-Gaspé, Daniel Côté is president of the Union of Quebec Municipalities (archives).
Diane Lebouthillier also intends to join the protest against this reform. She does not say she is closed to the idea of collaborating with other elected officials from Eastern Quebec, regardless of their political allegiance. “When we talk about political voice and regional reality, it is important to have a voice at the tables of Parliament to discuss it”, she expresses.
The Minister of National Revenue since 2015 adds that she finds it particular that the Commission presents this redesign in the middle of summer, during the construction holidays.
“The Commission is giving us only one month to mobilize when it knows that elected officials and the population are in holidays, in addition to the provincial elections in September. It's like she's going all out to ensure there's as little representation as possible. »
— Diane Lebouthillier, MP for Gaspésie–Les Îles-de-la-Madeleine
The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Quebec will be in Gaspé , Matane, Rimouski and Rivière-du-Loup on September 6, 7, 8 and 9.
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