Proposed Boundaries – Newfoundland and Labrador

Part II – Recommended Changes and Reasons

The 2011 decennial census indicated that the percentage of the population who reside on the Avalon Peninsula continues to grow. As of the census date the three current electoral districts on the Avalon Peninsula, with a population of 262,318, exceed their aggregate quota (3 x 73,505 = 220,515) by 41,803, and the remaining three districts on the island portion of the Province, with a population of 225,490, exceed their aggregate quota by 4,975. In applying the reference quota (81,301), the three electoral districts on the Avalon Peninsula would exceed their aggregate quota by 18,415, and the other three districts would be under their aggregate quota by a similar amount.

In view of the above, the Commission believes it must consider changes to certain electoral districts to promote voter parity while recognizing the other factors, including community of interest and geographic realities. Improving voter parity necessitates that a part of the Avalon Peninsula, logically the western part, be included in the district to the west. Of itself, this could lead to further adjustments in other electoral districts.

The Commission notes that the electoral districts of Humber–St. Barbe–Baie Verte and Random–Burin–St. George's are the least populated on the island portion of the Province. The Commission further observes that the district of Random–Burin–St. George's is somewhat anomalous as there are no highway, air or scheduled ferry links between the eastern and western portions of that district.

The Commission has accordingly decided to propose changes to certain electoral districts that it considers will better satisfy the guidelines of section 15 of the Act. These will now be explained in geographic order, moving from the west coast of the island portion of the Province to the east coast and Avalon Peninsula.

The electoral district of Humber–St. Barbe–Baie Verte had a census population of 71,563. The population of the area has been declining. The Commission believes that the proper adjustment to the boundaries of this district would be (a) to remove the Baie Verte Peninsula; and (b) to add the Stephenville–Port au Port area and the southwest coast, including Channel–Port aux Basques. Additionally, the electoral district should include the southwest coast from Channel–Port aux Basques to Francois. The main transportation links to the latter area are the Burgeo Highway, the highway from Channel–Port aux Basques to Rose Blanche, and local ferry services. The proposed adjustments would result in a district of 87,592 residents with, in our view, strong commercial and transportation links.

To reflect the creation of an electoral district that spans the west coast of the island, the Commission proposes that the name of the district be Long Range Mountains as that range is a prominent feature from the southern part of the district to its northern extremity.

The electoral district of Bonavista–Gander–Grand Falls–Windsor had a census population of 84,735. The Commission believes that the Baie Verte area, including Springdale, should properly be included in the electoral district generally encompassing central Newfoundland when one considers historical ties, access to government services such as health, and commercial links. The other area that in our view should be included is the south coast area of Bay d'Espoir and the Connaigre Peninsula. That area now links to the rest of the island via a highway to the Trans–Canada Highway at Bishop's Falls, and the area's stronger commercial links and access to government services are through central Newfoundland rather than the Burin Peninsula.

To offset the additions to this electoral district, bearing in mind voter parity, the Commission proposes that the areas locally known as Bonavista North, up to and including Carmanville, and Bonavista South should be moved to the adjoining electoral district to the east. The result of the foregoing changes would create a district with a population of 78,911.

A change in the name of this electoral district is obviously required. The Commission proposes that the name be Bay d'Espoir–Central–Notre Dame, recognizing the south-north realignment of this district and the retention of its central Newfoundland core.

The electoral district of Random–Burin–St. George's had a census population of 69,192. The proposed changes outlined above clearly indicate the Commission's view that major changes to this district would better ensure effective representation. A major portion of this district, being the Burin Peninsula and the Clarenville–Random area, would be joined by other predominately rural areas, namely Bonavista North, up to and including Carmanville; Bonavista South, including the entire Bonavista Peninsula; and the western Avalon, comprising the Isthmus of Avalon up to and including Long Harbour, Whitbourne, Trinity South and the part of Conception Bay north of Salmon Cove.

The proposed electoral district would bring together many areas that were included in the historical district of Bonavista–Trinity–Conception. In our view the Burin Peninsula appears more closely aligned to the Clarenville and western Avalon areas than to the south coast of the Province when one considers commercial ties, government services and transportation links.

The population of the proposed electoral district would be 75,336, the lowest for any of the proposed districts on the island portion of the Province. It includes the area around Long Harbour and Trinity South, where the growth prospects are brighter with the construction and operation of a large industrial plant at Long Harbour. Further adjustments to increase the population of this proposed district would likely involve either (a) inclusion of the Placentia Bay and St. Mary's Bay regions; or (b) inclusion of the Carbonear and Victoria areas. If the population of the northeast Avalon Peninsula continues to increase significantly, those or other adjustments may require future scrutiny.

The Commission proposes that this electoral district be designated Bonavista–Burin–Trinity in recognition of its historic peninsulas and bays.

With respect to the adjoining electoral district of Avalon, which had a census population of 78,908, the Commission has proposed the removal of the areas identified above that are to be included in the electoral district of Bonavista–Burin–Trinity. This change would effectively remove about 16,300 from the population of the current Avalon district. That would permit the logical adjustment to the eastern boundary of the district to accommodate the growth in population in the electoral district of St. John's East.

Much of the growth on the Avalon Peninsula, and in St. John's East in particular, has been in the Town of Conception Bay South and the adjoining Town of Paradise. The electoral district of Avalon currently includes part of the Town of Conception Bay South. It is proposed that all of that town now be placed in the Avalon district together with those portions of the Town of Paradise that are south of Topsail Road and west of St. Thomas Line.

The population of the electoral district of Avalon including these proposed adjustments would be 80,056. No change is proposed for the name of this district.

The electoral district of St. John's East saw its population increase to 100,559 in the 2011 Census, and adjustments are therefore required. Our proposal adjusts the boundaries of that district within the towns of Conception Bay South and Paradise as set forth above. No further changes are proposed. The population of the district would then be 83,062. The previous commission had proposed that this electoral district be named St. John's North. We also believe this is a more accurate description than the historical name of St. John's East and recommend accordingly.

The remaining electoral district of St. John's South–Mount Pearl, with a census population of 82,851, does not require any boundary adjustments. Its population total has not changed significantly. The Commission does not propose any changes to its name.

For electoral districts on the island portion of the Province, the boundary adjustments outlined above would result in populations with a ± factor of 8 percent of the reference quota of 81,301, as illustrated in Table 3 below.

Table 3 – Variances from Reference Quota (81,301) Proposed Island Electoral Districts
Electoral District Population 2011 Variance from 81,301
Bonavista–Burin–Trinity 75,336 -7.3%
Bay d'Espoir–Central–Notre Dame 78,911 -2.9%
Avalon 80,056 -1.5%
St. John's South–Mount Pearl 82,851 +1.9%
St. John's North 83,062 +2.2%
Long Range Mountains 87,592 +7.7%

As stated earlier in this proposal the Commission does not propose any change to the electoral district of Labrador.

Attached as Schedule A are the descriptions of the boundaries of the proposed seven electoral districts, which are illustrated on the maps attached thereto.

The population of each proposed electoral district and its variance from the electoral quota of 73,505 for the Province are as follows:

Table 4 – Electoral District population and variance from the electoral quota of 73,505
Proposed Electoral District Population 2011 Variance from 73,505
Avalon 80,056 +8.9%
Bay d'Espoir–Central–Notre Dame 78,911 +7.4%
Bonavista–Burin–Trinity 75,336 +2.5%
Labrador 26,728 -63.6%
Long Range Mountains 87,592 +19.2%
St. John's North 83,062 +13.0%
St. John's South–Mount Pearl 82,851 +12.7%

The variances from the electoral quota of the Province are significantly affected by the continuance of the Labrador electoral district. The populations of all electoral districts except Labrador are greater than that quota but within the variance permitted under section 15 of the Act.1 The Commission proposes the foregoing as a proper means for effective representation of the population of the Province.


1 A comparison of the existing and proposed electoral districts' population variances from the reference quota of 81,301 is given in the attached Schedule C.



Please note that this application does not work correctly in Internet Explorer 8. Please use a newer version of Internet Explorer or another browser such as Firefox or Chrome.