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Battle for Quebec Seats: Bloc Motion Passes with Western MPs Support

Blake Besjarlais - NDP Edmonton Griesbach, Hon. Randy Bossonnault - LIB Edmonton Centre, Earl Dreeshen - CPC Red Deer - Mountain View, Cathay Wagantall - CPC Yorkton Melville Cathay Wagantall and George Chahal - LIB Calgary Skyview

Quebec will likely to see the same amount of seats, or an increase to seats, in the upcoming federal election after a motion tabled in the House of Commons won the backing of MPs from coast to coast to coast including here in Alberta, and Saskatchewan.

Elections Canada earlier in 2021, called for the formation of 4 new seats in the House of Commons. 3 new ones in Alberta, 1 in British Columbia, and 1 in Ontario, all the while removing one seat from the province of Quebec.

This didn't sit well with member of the Bloc Quebecois, who introduced a motion in the House of Commons in February calling for a reversal of that order, and adding one new seat to the House of Commons.

Currently there are 78 seats in the House of Commons dedicated to the Province of Quebec, under the proposal that would be reduced to 77. This would be the first time since 1966 the province has seen a decrease in seats in the House of Commons.

Bloc Leader Yves Francois Blanchet introduced a motion that states, "any scenario for redrawing the federal electoral map that would result in Quebec losing one or more electoral districts or that would reduce Quebec’s political weight in the House of Commons must be rejected."

The motion passed with 261 voting for the motion, while 66 voted against the motion. 5 MP's from Alberta and Saskatchewan voted for the motion.

Four Alberta MP's, Both Liberals in Alberta Hon. Randy Bossonnault Edmonton Centre, and George Chahal Calgary Skyview voted for the motion, one lone NDP MP voted for the motion Blake Besjarlais Edmonton Griesbach (NDP MP Heater McPherson who represents Edmonton Strathcona was not present at the time of the vote), and one Conservative Earl Dreeshen Red Deer - Mountain View.

In Saskatchewan one lone Conservative MP voted for the motion, the MP for Yorkton Melville Cathay Wagantall.

All other MP's voted against the motion that was put forward.

When it came to party leaders, Liberal Leader the Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau voted for the motion, Conservative Interim Leader the Hon. Candice Bergen voted for the motion, NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh voted for the motion, and Green Party Parliamentary Caucus Leader Elizabeth May voted in favour of the motion.

Conservative Leadership Contender Pierre Poilievre did not vote on the motion.

Of the 66 votes against the Bloc Motion, 65 were Conservatives while Liberal MP John McKay was the lone dissenting vote against the motion.

This sets in place the creation of 5 to 6 new seats in the House of Commons for the 2024 Federal election. Blanchet believes Quebec should gain a seat, bringing it to 79 MPs.

Elections Canada said it calculates the number of House of Commons seats for each province using the population supplied by Statistics Canada and the current formula set out in the Canadian Constitution.


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