New boundaries for Aylmer, Pontiac ridings
With a federal election looming, Aylmer residents may wonder what riding they belong to. Three years ago, the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission used new census results to redraw the electoral map to provide better representation in Parliament.
The commission attempts to pool about 101,000 citizens in each riding. Due to an increasing population, the commission increased ridings in Québec from 75 to 78 for the coming federal election. Aylmer-Hull has no new riding, but its boundaries have been changed.
“With increasing development in Aylmer we needed to change the boundaries,” explained Nycole Turmel, Hull-Aylmer MP, soon after the changes were adopted, lamenting the loss of some constituents.
The first proposal was to create a new distinct “Aylmer” riding to include Aylmer, the Plateau, the municipality of Pontiac up to Wyman, La Pêche, Chelsea and Cantley.
The former city of Hull would have joined the new “Outaouais” riding. “That first plan was unfavourable to the unity that Gatineau is struggling to create,” said Turmel, because it would have cut off Aylmer from the rest of Gatineau.
Under the adopted plan, Hull-Aylmer will remain one riding but with a different shape. “It was important for us to keep the name of the riding,” Turmel told the Bulletin; “the names proposed by the commission misrepresented the region.”
After the public hearings, the commission separated the land north of Boulevard des Allumettières, west of Boulevard des Grives, north of Pink Road, and west of Promenade de la Gatineau, taking it out of the Hull-Aylmer riding and including it in the reshaped Pontiac riding.
“The Pontiac also needed to change to better reflect its residents,” said Mathieu Ravignat, NDP MP for the Pontiac. To serve the scattered population, in one of the biggest riding in the country, Ravignat has three riding offices. “The commission was open to suggestions and did great work to adjust all the boundaries,” he added.