POLITICS
10/26/2011 05:48 EDT | Updated 12/26/2011 05:12 EST

House Of Commons Seat Redistribution: Tories To Introduce Long-Awaited Bill To Adjust Electoral Landscape

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UPDATE: Ontario will gain 15 seats, B.C. six seats, Alberta six seats and Quebec three seats under the new legislation, Democratic Reform Minister Tim Uppal announced Thursday.

OTTAWA — The Conservative Government is adding 30 MPs to the federal payroll to give voters in B.C., Alberta and Ontario a 'fairer' say in federal politics. Among them, Quebec stands to gain three new seats in the House of Commons.

Democratic Reform Minister Tim Uppal will announce Thursday that the Tories are moving forward with legislation that will adjust Canada's electoral boundaries and give mostly urban voters in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto more representation to reflect the weight of their rapidly growing populations.

Sources told HuffPost the new bill will add 30 seats to the Commons and that Quebec will get three more seats. Quebec MPs have been demanding the province retain its proportional representation — a concern the Conservatives heard loud and clear and changed their policy to accommodate. The province currently has 23 per cent of the country's population and 24 per cent of the seats in the Commons. A previous version of the bill, introduced in 2010, gave Ontario 18 seats, Alberta five seats and B.C. seven seats and budgeted none for Quebec.

The issue has been extremely controversial among Tory MPs and that Prime Minister Stephen Harper held a special caucus meeting on Monday evening to address their concerns.

The Conservative government is introducing the legislation now in order to ensure the readjustments, based on information obtained from the 2011 Census, occurs in time for the next election in 2015.

The formula that is currently used to allocate new seats, the Tories say, penalizes faster-growing provinces.

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