Psych! Toronto and other big cities lose again
Earlier this year, the federal government announced Bill C-12, a proposal to add new seats to the House of Commons in the areas that are currently lacking—basically, big metro areas that are under-represented relative to the whiter, older, more rural parts of the country. According to the Globe and Mail, there’s been a quiet agreement among all parties in Ottawa to kill C-12 so as not to upset Quebec or the Maritimes:
Conservative, Liberal and New Democratic MPs and party strategists, speaking on condition that they not be named, stated this week that the bill has no chance of passage. Although all three national parties remain committed to the principle of equal representation for all Canadians in the House of Commons, in practice, the legislation that would advance that cause has virtually no hope of becoming law….
The need for the bill was manifest in Monday’s by-elections. In the exurban Toronto riding of Vaughan, 120,864 voters were entitled to cast ballots. But Winnipeg North has only 51,198 electors, making a vote in Greater Toronto worth less than half the value of a vote in Winnipeg.
Now, not so fast: the Conservatives this morning sent out a blast e-mail to their caucus saying that the government is committed to seeing C-12 become law—followed by the obligatory mention of the Liberal-NDP-BQ coalition, of course. Boy, that still hasn’t gotten old. Of course, as Kady O’Malley notes, the bill has been given a whopping one day of debate since it was introduced, so it’s hard to see this as any kind of a priority for the government.
So we’re gonna go out on a limb here and say that John Ibbitson at the Globe probably has it right: C-12 is dead and Canada’s big cities, including Toronto, just got hosed. Again.