Redistribution at a Glance

Redistribution of federal electoral districts

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Representation by population is a key principle of Canada's electoral system. 

That's why every 10 years, after the census is conducted, the number of electoral districts and their boundaries are revised to reflect population shifts and growth.

This process is called “electoral redistribution,” and it takes about two years to complete. Your electoral district may change once redistribution is completed.

1. Allocation of seats in the House of Commons

The number of House of Commons seats given to each province and territory is recalculated based on new population numbers and a formula in the Constitution. After this redistribution, there will be 338 seats in the House of Commons, allocated as follows:

Name of province Number of seats
British Columbia 42
Alberta 34
Saskatchewan 14
Manitoba 14
Ontario 121
Quebec 78
New Brunswick 10
Nova Scotia 11
Prince Edward Island 4
Newfoundland and Labrador 7
Yukon 1
Northwest Territories 1
Nunavut 1


2. Commissions at work

Commissions

Ten independent electoral boundaries commissions, one for each province, are responsible for readjusting the boundaries of electoral districts and giving them names. Commissions are not required for Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Yukon since each territory is a single electoral district.

Each commission has three members: a chair, appointed by the chief justice of the province; and two other members, appointed by the Speaker of the House of Commons.

Much to consider

Commissions look at several factors when determining the names and boundaries of the federal electoral districts in their province. Their main goal is to set boundaries so that each electoral district contains roughly the same number of people. The commissions also take into account communities of interest or identity and an electoral district's history. Finally, they must give consideration to ensuring a manageable geographic size for districts in sparsely populated regions of the province.

Publishing their proposals

After creating a proposal for their province's electoral map, the commissions publish this proposal in newspapers and on their website. At the same time, they invite Canadians to present their comments and opinions at public hearings.

3. Input from the public

Public hearings

The public hearings are your opportunity to participate in the process of redrawing the electoral map. You may voice your opinion at these hearings, which are usually held at several different locations across your province. Anyone who wishes to present their ideas must inform the commission in writing within 23 days after the commission has published its proposal.

4. Review of commission reports

Input from members of Parliament

After considering the views of the public, each commission submits a report of its proposed electoral map to the House of Commons. A committee of the House studies the proposed map in light of objections it receives from members of Parliament. The results of their deliberations, along with the objections, are provided to the commission.

A final review

The commissions review the objections and decide whether to make any changes to their reports. Then each submits a final report that describes the federal electoral map for their province to the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada.

5. Electoral map becomes official

The Chief Electoral Officer of Canada prepares a document called a representation order, which allows the new electoral map of Canada to be implemented. 

The new map will be used at the first general election called at least seven months after the representation order becomes official. This allows political parties, candidates and Elections Canada time to get ready for an election based on the new electoral districts.

More information

To learn more about federal redistribution, contact the electoral boundaries commission for your province.

Name of province Toll-free phone number
British Columbia – Contact us 1-855-747-7236
Alberta – Contact us 1-855-747-7232
Saskatchewan – Contact us 1-855-747-7230
Manitoba – Contact us 1-855-747-7226
Ontario – Contact us 1-855-747-7224
Quebec – Contact us 1-855-726-4111
New Brunswick – Contact us 1-855-726-4109
Nova Scotia – Contact us 1-855-726-4107
Prince Edward Island – Contact us 1-855-726-4105
Newfoundland and Labrador – Contact us 1-855-726-4103