New federal riding causing a stir in Cambridge

The new Kitchener South-Hespeler riding is one of 30 new districts created by Elections Canada. One Cambridge city councillor calls the new riding's name is alienating.

A Cambridge city councillor says a new federal riding in Waterloo Region has an alienating name and may affect voter turnout.

The new Kitchener South-Hespeler riding is one of 30 proposed new districts in Canada. The districts were created by independent electoral boundaries commissions that consult with residents before suggesting changes based on shifts in population. The changes then have to be approved by Elections Canada.

Ben Tucci, Ward 4 Cambridge city councillor, said he's not happy with the name.

"If you're going to call it a riding after you've carved out part of my city then at very least call it Kitchener-South Cambridge-North," Tucci said.

The re-distribution won't take effect until the representation order is drafted by the Chief Electoral Officer, which then needs to become official. The new districts would apply for the next federal election, most likely in 2015.

"We've been attempting now for many years to get over this Hespeler-Preston-Galt mentality."

"Moves like this tend to alienate people and the public and I wouldn't be surprised if that section of our city has a low voter turnout," he said.

The changes to the federal electoral boundaries gives Waterloo Region a fifth riding, and are expected to become official later this fall.

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