Part I Initial Report to the House of Commons (December 19, 2012) – Saskatchewan – Introduction

Introduction

The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for the Province of Saskatchewan (the Commission) was established pursuant to the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act (the Act). The Commission is charged with setting the geographic boundaries of electoral districts for the election of members of Parliament from Saskatchewan to the House of Commons.

The Commission was established in February 2012, commencing with the appointment by the Chief Justice of Saskatchewan of the Commission chair, Mr. Justice Ronald Mills, a judge of Her Majesty's Court of Queen's Bench for Saskatchewan. The Speaker of the House of Commons appointed two other Commission members: Dr. John Courtney, Professor Emeritus of Political Studies and Senior Policy Fellow in the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan, who is the author of Commissioned Ridings: Designing Canada's Electoral Districts (2001); and Mr. David Marit, a grain and oilseed farmer who has served as president of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities since 2006. Professor Courtney served as vice-chair of the Commission.

The Commission secretary was Ms. Illa Knudsen of Saskatoon. The Commission's geographical consultant, retained by Elections Canada, was Ms. Barbara Robertson of Ottawa, Ontario.

The 2011 decennial census established the population of the province of Saskatchewan at 1,033,381. Saskatchewan's representation in the House of Commons is 14 members, corresponding to 14 electoral districts (also called "ridings" or "constituencies"). The population of the province divided by 14 gives an electoral quota for each electoral district of 73,813.

The Act directs that the division of the province into electoral districts shall proceed on the basis that the population of each electoral district shall, as closely as reasonably possible, correspond to the electoral quota of 73,813. The Commission is required to consider the following: (a) the community of interest or community of identity in or the historical pattern of the electoral district, and (b) a manageable geographic size for districts in sparsely populated, rural or northern regions of the province.

The Commission's first priority is, as closely as reasonably possible, to have each electoral district contain 73,813 residents. The 2011 populations of the electoral districts created in the 2002 federal redistribution, together with their variances from the 2011 electoral quota of 73,813, are shown in the following table.

Electoral District Population
2011
Variance from Quota
(73,813)
Battlefords—Lloydminster 76,295 3.36%
Blackstrap 85,541 15.89%
Desnethé—Missinippi—Churchill River 71,376 –3.30%
Cypress Hills—Grasslands 60,983 –17.38%
Palliser 68,544 –7.14%
Prince Albert 74,228 0.56%
Regina—Lumsden—Lake Centre 70,276 –4.79%
Regina—Qu'Appelle 71,219 –3.51%
Saskatoon—Humboldt 82,743 12.10%
Saskatoon—Rosetown—Biggar 72,893 –1.25%
Saskatoon—Wanuskewin 82,553 11.84%
Souris—Moose Mountain 68,013 –7.86%
Wascana 82,241 11.42%
Yorkton—Melville 66,476 –9.94%
Total 1,033,381  




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