House of Commons passes bill to add seats
The House of Commons has passed a bill that would expand the chamber by 30 seats and give fairer representation to the country's fastest growing provinces.
The bill passed by a vote of 154-131, with the Conservatives using their majority to overwhelm the opposition parties, all of which voted against the legislation.
The government is hoping the bill will be passed by the Senate and given royal assent before Christmas so that Elections Canada can use the new seat formula when it begins the boundary redistribution process early in the new year.
The bill would put 30 additional seats up for grabs in the next election, expanding the Commons to 338 seats.
Ontario would get 15 more seats, British Columbia and Alberta six each — all three fast-growing provinces have been badly under-represented for years.
Quebec, which has enjoyed a slight over-representation, would also get three more seats, keeping its share of seats precisely equal to its 23.1 per cent share of the population.
The NDP opposed the bill on the grounds that Quebec's share of seats should be maintained at just over 24 per cent.
The Liberals argued that the number of Commons seats should remain unchanged but with each province's share rejigged to better reflect their share of the population.