Attorney General Yasir Naqvi released the following statement in response to the final report of the Far North Electoral Boundaries Commission:
“I would like to thank the Far North Electoral Boundaries Commission for its work to ensure the voices of people living in Ontario’s north continue to be heard in the provincial legislature.
Our government tasked the commissioners with looking at how representation could be improved in our province’s two largest and northernmost ridings: Kenora-Rainy River and Timmins-James Bay. Throughout the spring the commission met with communities across Northern Ontario, including representatives from Indigenous and Francophone communities, in order to gain the local perspective of people living in the far north.
Our government plans to introduce legislation this fall to implement the commission’s recommendation to create two new ridings, called Kiiwetinong and Mushkegowuk.
If passed, these reforms would result in a total of four ridings in the area:
- Kenora-Rainy River, including Dryden, Fort Frances, Kenora and Rainy River
- Kiiwetinong, including the northern portion of the former riding of Kenora-Rainy River
- Mushkegowuk, including Weenusk (Peawanuck) First Nation
- Timmins, including the City of Timmins.
The commission highlights that Kiiwetinong would be a majority Indigenous riding and that Mushkegowuk would be a majority Francophone riding.
Adding two additional ridings in the north will complement changes made in 2015 to increase the number of ridings in heavily populated areas in southern Ontario. This, along with other recent reforms, will make it easier for people to get to the polls, better engage younger voters in the democratic process and ensure everyone in Ontario feels that their interests are represented in the provincial legislature ― wherever they live.”