PEI federal influence under attack as Ontario and Alberta complain but change has been stalled by Quebec
While Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia complain that a vote on PEI is worth almost 3 votes in their provinces, it appears Bill C12 to address the issue has been stalled by the Parti Quebecois.
This follows recent complaints about the high level of transfer payments and ratio of civil servants to the population of PEI.
“Canada has one of the most unbalanced democracies in the developed world. The average federal riding in Prince Edward Island, for instance, has only one-third as many voters as the average riding in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. That means one vote in PEI is worth nearly three from our fastest-growing provinces.” reports the Edmonton Journal
PEI’s guarantee of 4 senators and 4 MPs is rankling the rest of Canada. The Toronto Sun takes direct aim at PEI voters.
“If you live in British Columbia, Alberta or Ontario, and you are reading this, our condolences! You are – once again – a great, big loser in the Canadian electoral sweepstakes contest! If you are unfamiliar with the rules of this lottery, here’s the basics: When you live in one of Canada’s three fastest-growing provinces, your vote is worth only one-third of what a vote is worth in Prince Edward Island.”
“That’s right, Alberta! The average riding in Wild Rose Country is 300% more populous than the average riding on P.E.I. – but no one seems to give a sweet damn about it. Four Members of Parliament represent P.E.I. (pop., 135,000) in the House of Commons, and Alberta (population four million), meanwhile, has 28 MPs.” Toronto Sun
The report by the University of Toronto’s Mowatt Centre think-tank is adding to the discontent and rising level of complaints about PEI as a the spoiled child in the Canadian Federation.
The Calgary Herald reports Alberta’s second-class status will remain if rep-by-pop bill dies
– “Canada has one of the most unbalanced democracies in the developed world. The average federal riding in Prince Edward Island, for instance, has only one-third as many voters as the average riding in Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario. That means one vote in P.E.I. is worth nearly three from our fastest-growing provinces.”
Canoe.ca says PEI is unfair to rural Ontario voters. “Take, for example, the constituency of Lambton-Kent-Middlesex, which takes in the northernmost reaches of the Chatham area. It has been compared to Prince Edward Island in terms of its geographic size and population, but when it comes to representation, the vote of a P.E.I. resident is worth more than a vote than someone who lives Lambton-Kent-Middlesex. Much more. About four times more, to be precise, since Prince Edward Island has four Members of Parliament while the residents of Lambton-Kent-Middlesex have just one.” Chatham This Week
Having been to Lambton County and Chatham, it seems preposterous that PEI has four times more representation than a rural area known for Heinz Ketchup and producing country/rock musicians like Sylvia Fricker of Ian and Sylvia.
The consensus in Ontario is that PEI is on welfare and that Canada can’t afford it anymore, especially considering the reputation for patronage corruption throughout Atlantic Canada and PEI in particular.
The Parti Quebecois may have stalled Bill C12, which gives the rest of Canada (ROC) more seats in the House of Commons. The stall won’t work forever. The ROC is tired of PEI’s advantage.
By Stephen Pate, NJN Network