Montreal

Ottawa to protect number of Quebec Commons seats, stop province from losing MP

A proposal by the Bloc Québécois to reject any redistribution of seats that would see Quebec lose weight in the Canadian federation has led the federal government to look at ways of preventing that.

Bloc Québécois rejected notion Quebec could see its weight in federation diminished

Bloc Québécois Leader Yves-François Blanchet stands in the House of Commons to argue against Quebec losing a member of Parliament in the next redistribution of seats. (The Canadian Press)

The federal government is preparing to take action to ensure that Quebec does not lose a seat when Canada's electoral map is redrawn.

Jean-Sebastien Comeau, press secretary to Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc, says the government rejects any scenario where Quebec loses a seat and is working on a way to ensure that does not happen.

His remarks follow the passing this week of a Commons motion tabled by the Bloc Québécois rejecting a proposal to redistribute parliamentary seats in a way that means Quebec loses an MP.

Canada's chief electoral officer calculated the proposed redistribution of seats last year based on a mathematical model applied to population.

Quebec's 78 MPs would be reduced to 77 — the first time since 1966 that a province would lose a seat during redistribution — while the overall number of seats in the House of Commons would increase by four.

The Bloc Québécois says the proposal fails to acknowledge Quebec's official status as a nation and would reduce the power of Quebecers in Parliament.

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