Kudos to Mount Royal MP Irwin Cotler and his trusted aide Howard Liebman who fought a determined battle against redrawing the electoral map of our riding.  Howard worked the phones to draw interest on this issue and encourage participation in the hearings by groups and institutions within the riding.

Mayor Anthony Housefather was up for the challenge and presented a brief on behalf of the City of Cote Saint-Luc.  The City would have lost a small residential sector near the western end of Cote Saint-Luc Road to the Dorval riding.  As well, the eastern end of the riding, including the Jewish General Hospital would have been ceded to neighbouring Outremont riding.

The success of this campaign ensures that the majority of Jewish community institutions remain in one riding under one sitting MP.

Thanks to the perseverance of these leaders, and the submissions from several institutions, the historical boundaries remain intact.

Read The Gazette article below (Feb. 25, 2013):

After calling for the Mount Royal riding to be dismantled before the next federal election, Canada’s electoral boundaries commission is recommending the historic district remain in place.

In a report tabled before the House of Commons Monday, the commission scrapped previous plans that would have seen the Montreal riding lose its name, expand westward into Dorval and surrender large chunks of the Côte-des-Neiges neighbourhood.

“I am delighted that today’s report preserves this historic riding, benefiting both the communities and residents therein,” said Irwin Cotler, the Liberal MP who has represented Mount Royal since 1999.

In a July interview with The Gazette, Cotler said recommended changes to the Montreal riding showed a clear lack of understanding of the district’s communal identity and history. Cotler, who grew up in the largely Jewish district, successfully fought the commission’s previous attempt to change the riding’s boundaries in 2002.

The Mount Royal riding, which includes portions of Côte-St-Luc, Hampstead, Côte-des-Neiges and the Snowdon neighbourhood, has been a Liberal stronghold for more than 70 years. Former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau held the riding from 1965 to 1984, when he retired from politics.

However, the Conservatives made inroads in the district during the 2011 federal election, when Cotler came within a few thousand votes of losing his seat.

A surge in Quebec’s population was behind the decision to redraw the province’s federal electoral boundaries. As of 2011, there were 7.9 million people living in Quebec compared to 7.2 million in 2001, with most of that growth coming from urban centres.

As a result of Quebec’s population growth, the province will get an additional three ridings during the next federal election, putting its total number of seats in the House of Commons at 78.

© Copyright (c) The Gazette

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