10 Northern Ont. ridings stay, electoral commission says
Commission was considering reducing northern ridings to 8
The Member of Parliament for Nickel Belt says he's pleased a commission reviewing federal riding boundaries has listened to people in the north.
The Electoral Boundaries Commission has tabled a report to Parliament that recommends all 10 ridings in the north be maintained for the 2015 federal election.
Claude Gravelle was among several northern politicians who lobbied against losing any ridings.
"It's because of the people of northern Ontario who came out and spoke to the commission," Gravelle said.
"I know the commission received hundreds of letters from concerned citizens in northern Ontario."
The commission was considering reducing the number of ridings to eight, based on population.
However, it decided the change would not ensure fair representation for such a large geographic area.
"If you go strictly by population you only get eight ridings, but then the riding becomes almost unservable by the sitting MP," Gravelle said.
"I think that one of the criteria for an MP is to be able to service all of his riding."
Minor changes are still planned for some ridings, including moving all of the Nipissing First Nation into the riding of Nipissing.
MPs now have a chance to comment on the commission's recommendations.
Final decisions on riding boundaries are expected in the fall.