Kenora MP Eric Melillo says he’s against any proposed federal electoral riding changes for the Kenora district, saying northwestern Ontario would lose some sway at the federal level.
“I have some concerns with the current proposal from Elections Canada; mainly, that northwestern Ontario would actually lose a seat in the House of Commons under this plan,” explained Melillo, in an interview on the Q Morning Show.
Melillo’s message comes as the federal government looks at the possibility of eliminating some electoral districts in northwestern Ontario and combining others, including the Kenora district becoming the Kenora – Thunder Bay – Rainy River district.
The Constitution of Canada requires that federal ridings be reviewed every ten years. Ottawa is also looking at the possibility of a Kiiwetinoong – Mushkegowuk riding in the far north, moving to somewhat match Ontario’s Kiiwetinoong riding under MPP Sol Mamakwa of the NDP.
The current federal Kenora riding was created in 2004 from parts of the former Kenora – Rainy River riding and is the largest current riding by land mass, but the smallest by population size.
“We are obviously a very large region with concerns that differ greatly from the rest of the province,” adds Melillo. “When looking at looping in Kenora – Rainy River with Thunder Bay, is something that I personally don’t seem to be able to make sense of.”
The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission of Ontario will be holding two in-person hearings to gather comments and feedback on the proposed changes, with a hearing in Kenora on October 4 at the Douglas Family Arts Centre – The Muse at 6:30 p.m., as well as at the Forest Inn in Sioux Lookout on October 3 at 6:30 p.m.
To attend one of these hearings you must sign up by September 25.