Some Tory MPs displeased with electoral map proposals

Some of Saskatchewan's Conservative MPs say they're not happy with proposed changes to the federal electoral map.

Some of Saskatchewan's Conservative MPs say they're not happy with proposed changes to the federal electoral map.

The boundaries commission released a map that proposed widespread changes to the 14 ridings.

It moves away from the system of hybrid urban-rural boundaries that were previously used in Regina and Saskatoon.

The new map still has some hybrid ridings, but now there are also five seats that are almost completely urban: two in Regina and three in Saskatoon.

Among the incumbent members of Parliament who's facing a radically redrawn riding and is opposed to the changes is Regina-Lumsden-Lake Centre's Tom Lukiwski.

If the proposed map goes ahead, there will be fewer urban MPs and a number of huge rural ridings that will make it difficult for people to get in touch with their elected representatives, he said.

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"Right now, most MPs in Saskatchewan represent a good cross-section of Saskatchewan's industries and population," he said. "Under the proposed system, urban and rural interests in the province would be pitted against each other."

Kelly Block, the Conservative MP for Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar, is another MP whose riding would be split into rural and urban portions.

She too said she's disappointed with the proposed new maps.

"The maps that were proposed [Tuesday] proposed wholesale changes to the boundaries and I believe that we've got a model in place that serves both urban and rural residents very well," she said.

However, Regina-Wascana's MP Ralph Goodale, the lone Liberal MP, said on Twitter Thursday that he approves of the proposals.

"New map more balanced [and a] realistic reflection of SK's growing demographic reality," Goodale said in a tweet. "Logical communities of interest put [together]."

The New Democrats didn't win any seats in the 2011 election and some in the party believe they would have better success with all-urban ridings.

Noah Evanchuk, who ran for the NDP in the riding of Palliser, which includes Moose Jaw, a slice of Regina and rural areas, says ridings should be made up of people with common interests.

"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to say that what citizens in Cathedral think might not necessarily be what citizens in Caronport think and it's perhaps not fair that those are always at odds," he said.

Evanchuk got many of his votes in Regina but was trounced in the rural areas by his Conservative opponent, the current MP Ray Boughen.

The electoral boundaries commission will hold public consultations on the proposed changes this fall.