CSL opposes illogical riding changes

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Côte St. Luc council unanimously passed a resolution Monday night expressing opposition to a proposal by Quebec’s Electoral Commission to change the boundaries of provincial west end ridings.

The commission proposes the merging of Outremont and Mont Royal into one provincial riding, and the result would change the D’Arcy McGee boundary.

D’Arcy McGee currently includes Côte St. Luc, Hampstead, and Snowdon east to Decarie Blvd. The proposed change would involve expanding the eastern limit of the riding past Decarie to Côte des Neiges.

As well, a section of Outremont populated with Hasidic Jewish community members would be transferred to Mercier, represented by Québec Solidaire’s Amir Khadir.

A resolution read by Councillor Mitchell Brownstein said the proposed changes to the ridings would:

• “compromise the electoral influence of the Quebec English-speaking community.”

• Violate the “legislative and legally-confirmed requirement that natural communities be respected,” and “dilute the distinct character of the sociological and demographic natural communities which are presently represented within their respective boundaries.”

The resolution also asks that Côte St. Luc representatives be invited to make their case to the electoral commission.

“When you’re merging two ridings, particularly those that have such a significant English population, you’re taking away rights from the English community,” Brownstein said. “We find this is an offensive move towards our community, and it’s quite serious. We have to all get together and oppose it. The three ridings are very important and distinct, and should be maintained. They might modify the boundaries, but the distinct ridings should continue to exist.”

Pro-mayor Dida Berku urged the public to express their opposition by going to the bilingual site,http://lacarte.electionsquebec.qc.ca/, and writing their opinion.

“D’Arcy McGee is composed of Côte St. Luc and Hampstead, which is a distinct community,” she added. “We like it that way. The change would dilute the natural community of D’Arcy McGee.”

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