Saskatchewan's federal ridings under review

Saskatchewan is getting new federal election map — although it won't get any more than the 14 seats it already has.

Saskatchewan is getting new federal election map — although it won't get any more than the 14 seats it already has.

This week, the federal electoral boundaries commission for Saskatchewan said it has begun its review of the province's map.

It says Saskatchewan's population has increased from 978,933 in 2001 to 1,033,381 in 2011.

The commission's job is to come up with a new 14-riding map that reflects the population growth and shifts.

One issue that might be looked at is whether Saskatchewan will continue to have split urban-rural ridings, or whether it will move to all-urban and all-rural ridings.

Ronald C. Mills, a judge, John Courtney, a university professor, and David Marit, the president of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities, will conduct the review, with Mills heading the commission.

The number of seats in the House of Commons is going up to 338 seats from 308, but Saskatchewan won't get any more in the next federal election, expected in 2015, because it's currently over-represented on a per-capita basis.

However, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, B.C. will get more ridings.

The commission says it will announce a preliminary proposal for Saskatchewan in a couple of months, followed by public hearings around the province.

It's telling people they can make their initial comments by email or mail (440 2nd Avenue North, Suite 203 Saskatoon, SK, S7K 2C3) by April 15.

Not connected to the federal riding review is the planned revamp of the provincial electoral map. Premier Brad Wall says a new map of 61 constituencies — three more than the current 58 — will be drawn up in time for the 2015 provincial election.