Federal riding landscape set to change for Clarington, Pickering and Whitby
Published February 15, 2023 at 3:01 pm
While major changes to Durham Region’s electoral map are still coming, including two new ridings, the changes to the borders by the next federal election may not be as substantial as previously proposed.
The Canadian Constitution requires federal ridings to be adjusted every ten years based on census population data. The latest process to amend the 2012 redistribution kicked off in October 2021 and is set to wrap up in September 2023.
An independent redistribution committee has been formed for each province to redraw the maps based on population growth. Last August the committee released a proposal for the new riding boundaries and has since updated the proposed new map on Feb. 14 following public feedback gathered from September to November.
Durham Region has seen rapid growth in recent years climbing from 582,132 in 2011 to 667,211 in 2021 (14.6 per cent). The population is only expected to continue to grow, reaching 1.3 million over the next thirty years.
“In preparing the proposed redistribution plan, the Commission noted that the population growth over the past decade in the Durham Region necessitated a number of significant boundary adjustments in this geographic piece,” the Commission noted in its report.
The last redistribution in 2015 created seven Durham Region ridings;
- Haliburton – Kawartha Lakes – Brock
- Northumberland – Peterborough South (containing eastern Clarington)
- Pickering-Uxbridge, and
These population changes are set to have the following effects on their respective ridings. Each riding will contain roughly 120,000 people.
Pickering-Brooklin gives up Uxbridge to the new York-Durham Riding while gaining the north Whitby community of Brooklin. Pickering – Uxbridge was formed in 2015 and has been held by Liberal Jennifer O’Connell since its inception.
Whitby’s new northern boundary stops at Hwy 407, leaving parts north to the new Pickering-Brooklin Riding.
Ryan Turnbull returned the riding to Liberal hands in 2019.
In the proposed new map, the current Durham Riding is separated into two ridings. The north half (York-Durham) will be comprised of Uxbridge, Scugog, Brock and Whitchurch-Stouffville in York Region. The proposed name of Lake Simcoe-Uxbridge was canned due to potential confusion.
Brock is currently part of Haliburton – Kawartha Lakes – Brock and has been a Conservative stronghold since 2004. It’s currently represented by Lindsay’s Conservative Jamie Schmale, elected in 2015.
Bowmanville – North Oshawa
A new riding is proposed to contain the southern half of the current riding of Durham. The new riding will contain Oshawa north of Taunton Road and Clarington as far east as the Darlington-Clark Townline.
Former Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole has represented Durham since 2012. The riding has been a Conservative stronghold since 2004.
The southern portion of Durham Riding will now be Clarington east of the Darlington-Clarke line (the former Clarke Township, containing the communities of Newcastle and Orono plus other hamlets) as well as Northumberland County.
The Clarington portion of the riding is now part of Northumberland-Peterborough South. Conservative Philip Lawrence from Orono has represented the area since 2019.
Ajax, while growing quickly and featuring the region’s most diverse population, will retain its riding border in the proposed new map. This riding was created in the 2012 redistribution separating it from Ajax-Pickering.
Liberal Mark Holland, currently Leader of the House, is the only representative to have held the riding thus far.
Oshawa’s riding will remain unchanged, stretching from Lake Ontario to Taunton Road.
This riding was established in 1968 and was dominated in early days by the NDP under leader Ed Broadbent. The NDP lost the seat to the Liberals in 1993 who in turn lost it to the Conservatives in 2004. Colin Carrie has represented the city ever since.
The re-distribution plan was tabled in the House of Commons last week and could be implemented as early as April, 2024.
With files from Glenn Hendry
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