Niagara’s federal ridings could be changed dramatically by next election


Published August 24, 2022 at 4:41 pm

If the Niagara federal ridings do change, the Niagara Centre riding will disappear altogether.

Niagara’s federal ridings are looking like a major shake-up is coming before the next federal and subsequent provincial election.

The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission of Ontario is looking to redistribute riding borders to equalize the numbers of residents living in each.

The biggest change is set for northern Grimsby, everything in the town north of the escarpment, which will shift right out of the region, joining Hamilton East and Stoney Creek to form the new electoral district of Hamilton-Stoney Creek-Grimsby Lakeshore.

With the creation of a new riding – Niagara South – the riding of Niagara Centre will disappear altogether.

Fort Erie will shift out of the Niagara Falls riding completely to join the new Niagara South riding. However, the riding will still have Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake.

The commission felt that shift was necessary due to the fact the Niagara Falls riding had 50,000 more residents than the entire Niagara West riding, which has a huge rural segment.

Joining Fort Erie in Niagara South would be Port Colborne, Welland, and the half of Thorold lying south of Highway 20.

At the moment, Niagara West consists of all of Grimsby, Lincoln, Pelham, Wainfleet, West Lincoln, and a small section of west St. Catharines.

However, the new Niagara West riding would keep all of the above (minus the Grimsby shift) and add a little more of St. Catharines, the northern half of Thorold (above Highway 20) and add a chunk of southeast Haldimand County, including the community of Dunnville.

The St. Catharines riding will remain mostly intact, gaining about 5,000 residents with the disappearance of the Niagara Centre riding but as mentioned above, it will lose some population to Niagara West.

The proposed changes are not yet final and residents can still have their say. There will be virtual and in-person public hearings regarding the new boundaries and name changes throughout the months of September and October.

A virtual hearing regarding changes relevant to Niagara will take place Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 6:30pm. A link will be provided upon registration. To register for this, click HERE

An in-person hearing will take place in St. Catharines at Brock University’s Pond Inlet in J-block of the Mackenzie Chown Complex on October 21 at 6:30 pm.

The final new riding will be announced in September 2023 but won’t come into effect until April 1, 2024.

Canada’s next federal election must take place on or before October 20, 2025 while Ontario’s next provincial election is scheduled for June 4, 2026.

These will be the new federal and provincial ridings in the next elections, if passed by the province. (Graphic: Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission of Ontario)


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