Proposed changes to Kingston and the Islands riding to include rural residents – Kingston

The riding of Kingston and the Islands is one step closer to being reunited.

In a report tabled in the House of Commons on Friday, the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario has proposed a restructuring of the riding to include residents north of Highway 401.

For over a decade, Highway 401 has been the dividing line between Kingston and the Islands to the south, and Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston to the north.

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In 2012, the riding of Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston was created, which included residents of Kingston who live north of the 401, shutting them out from the rest of the city.

“The residents that live north of the 401 really felt underrepresented,” says Kingston and the Islands MP Mark Gerretsen.

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“They felt as though they should be part of the Kingston and the Islands riding, instead of a riding that went all the way to Carleton Place.”

The original decision in 2012 to put these residents in Lanark-Frontenac-Kingston appears to not have been a popular one.

“There was an overwhelming number of independent submissions to maintain the municipal boundary as the district boundary,” says the Commission in their report.

This was in part due to a campaign put on by Gerretsen.

“I undertook encouraging people to write to the Commission,” he says. “I think over 200 people from north of the 401 in Kingston wrote to the Commission, saying that they wanted to be part of Kingston and the Islands.”

While this isn’t a done deal yet, Gerretsen all but guarantees this proposal will become final.

“This is 99.5 per cent done,” says Gerretsen. “The last step for Parliament is to essentially approve the report.”

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If this change does go through, it will make Kingston and the Islands the largest riding by population in Ontario.

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A decision on the report is expected to happen by June.


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