Contentious federal boundaries map for Sask. completed

After a contentious debate, the final map of new federal election boundaries in Saskatchewan is complete.
Some big changes are coming to how people in Saskatchewan vote. A federal commission has approved a contentious plan to redraw electoral boundaries in the province. The CBC's Drew Fossum reports. 2:03

After a contentious debate, the final map of new federal election boundaries in Saskatchewan is complete.

A commission tasked with redrawing the map says only a few tweaks were made after it considered objections from Conservative Members of Parliament.

The overall number of seats in Saskatchewan remains at 14.

New Democrat Nettie Wiebe is a fan of the changes. She lost to a Conservative candidate in the last election by a couple of hundred votes — taking more votes in the city, but fewer in rural polls.

"I think that what it takes into account is that things have changed in this province," said Wiebe about the new boundaries. "That there are people who have migrated to this province who no longer come from the pioneer era of Saskatchewan," she said.

Saskatchewan's 13 Conservative MPs argued against the changes, while Saskatchewan's single Liberal MP Ralph Goodale supported them.

"It is not arbitrary at all- it is a very comprehensive, well-reasoned judgement," said Goodale. "And in the final analysis I think they have produced a very good map."

Conservative MP Kelly Block said she will seek the new, rural-only riding of Humboldt-Warman-Martensville-Rosetown in 2015.

"You know, I believe that there is an urban-rural dependency here in Saskatchewan that needs to be recognized," said Block.

For the past five years Block has represented the rural-urban riding of Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar.

The new map will see Saskatchewan get urban-only ridings instead of urban-rural hybrids, which spread out like slices of a pie, pulling in a corner of Regina and Saskatoon along with a bigger rural area.

However, the commission has altered the boundaries of the Prince Albert riding to include the communities of Batoche, Domremy and St. Louis, and moved an area, including the village of Avonlea, to the riding of Moose Jaw-Lake Centre-Lanigan.

New riding maps were also tabled today for British Columbia and Quebec.

With files from The Canadian Press