Electoral Change Commission Seeks New Northern Seat

A beautiful day in Northwestern Ontario today. Here in Neskantaga First Nation, the sleeping dogs get to lay around and relax
A beautiful day in Northwestern Ontario today. Here in Neskantaga First Nation, the sleeping dogs get to lay around and relax

THUNDER BAY – Ontario is looking to review and make changes to electoral districts in the Timmins-James Bay and Kenora-Rainy River ridings.

“The Commission will consider, among other statutory requirements, many factors for effective representation, including the density of populations, representation of Indigenous people, community interests, accessibility as well as existing municipal boundaries and geographical features,” states The Honourable Justice Joyce Pelletier, Chair of the Commission.

The Far North Electoral Boundaries Commission will review the boundaries of Ontario’s two northernmost ridings (Kenora-Rainy River and Timmins-James Bay) to make recommendations about the creation of at least one and as many as two additional ridings in these areas. Appointed by the lieutenant governor in council, the members of the commission will bring a wide range of electoral expertise, legal experience, and community perspective to the commission’s work.

Members of the commission are:

  • the Honourable Justice Joyce Pelletier, who will chair the commission
  • Greg Essensa, Ontario’s chief electoral officer
  • Michael Pal, assistant professor specializing in electoral and constitutional law, University of Ottawa
  • Theresa Hall, Indigenous community representative
  • Eric Fisher, Indigenous community representative

The commission will conduct public hearings and submit a final report to the Attorney General by Aug. 1, 2017.


  • The Far North Electoral Boundaries Commission was established via the Election Statute Law Amendment Act, 2016, which introduced a range of measures to modernize elections and improve representation.
  • Once it is submitted to the Attorney General, the commission’s report will be made public.
  • The government will introduce legislation to implement the commission’s final recommendations before Oct. 30, 2017.
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