10/27/2011 01:45 EDT | Updated 12/27/2011 05:12 EST

N.B. premier says new federal seats are a concern for smaller provinces

FREDERICTON - New Brunswick Premier David Alward is concerned that small provinces like his could lose clout as Ottawa creates more seats in the House of Commons to reflect population growth.

Alward made the comment Thursday after the federal government announced it will introduce legislation to give 15 additional seats to Ontario, six to British Columbia, six to Alberta and three to Quebec.

The bill is intended to give better representation for faster-growing provinces.

Alward said New Brunswick is well-represented on a per capita basis, but added he's concerned about what will happen as other provinces gain representation.

"As the size of Parliament grows, that is of concern for smaller provinces long term in our ability to influence national decisions," he said. "We are well-served strictly from a per capita perspective, but it does raise concerns in a global picture as the size continues to grow and we remain the same."

New Brunswick has 10 members of Parliament. Ontario would have 121 under the proposal.

Seating in the Commons is normally adjusted after each census using a complex formula adopted in 1985, but the Conservatives say that formula penalizes some regions.