By Paul Lewkowicz

Every 10 years, the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario – an independent and non-partisan three-member panel – reviews federal electoral boundaries based on updated population figures from the national census. The commission takes into consideration population change, communities of interest or identity, and historic and geographic factors.

There will be 343 ridings in Canada, of which 122 will be in Ontario. Currently, Centennial is in the riding of Scarborough–Rouge Park.

As areas outside of Toronto have had higher population growth than areas within Toronto, the commission is proposing a new electoral map that has Scarborough with one less electoral district. That means it would have five instead of six. The commission has proposed that Centennial become part of the redrawn Scarborough–Guildwood riding.

The deadline for written submissions on the proposed new boundaries was September 25. Public hearings will take place from September 26 to October 29, including a virtual hearing on September 29 focused on the City of Toronto and an in-person hearing on October 18 focused on Scarborough.

The committee will consider what it heard from the public and publish its report by December. The report will then go for input (but not approval) from federal Members of Parliament (MPs) in 2023 and be finalized by the end of the year. Once boundaries have been finalized, MPs can formally change the name of a riding but not its boundaries.

The CCRA has written a letter to the commission opposing the loss of an electoral seat in Scarborough. Our letter also opposes our portion of Scarborough being joined with and named as Guildwood

Federal electoral boundaries are quite important as provincial legislation requires that the boundaries and names of provincial ridings and municipal wards in the City of Toronto be the same as those of federal ridings. So, if the proposed change is approved at the federal level, Centennial would become part of a Scarborough–Guildwood electoral district for the 2026 provincial and municipal elections.

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