Rural-urban divide makes waves in Ontario race

Lib candidate protestAdam Radwanski, The Globe and Mail
One of the candidates for the Ontario Liberal leadership is proposing a new system for setting provincial electoral boundaries that would give much more power to the Greater Toronto Area, at the expense of under-populated rural ridings.

According to his campaign officials, former government services minister Harinder Takhar is calling for the province to stop mirroring federal districts, as it has since the 1990s. He would give an independent “Ontario boundary commission” the task of drawing a new map that would provide something closer to “true representation by population.”

f it were to gain steam, the proposal could play to both the Liberals’ strengths and weaknesses. It would increase the number of seats in the fast-growing “905 belt,” which the governing party nearly swept last election. But it would also further alienate rural and small-town regions, making it harder for them to rebuild in areas where they were virtually wiped out.

Although Mr. Takhar is seen to have little chance of winning Premier Dalton McGuinty’s job at the Liberals’ convention later this month, his policy proposals are drawing attention from other candidates who will be looking for second-choice support from his delegates. And reactions from the two perceived leadership front-runners were indicative of significantly different perspectives on the urban-rural balance.

Sandra Pupatello, a former Windsor MPP who has made much of being the only candidate from outside the GTA, was lukewarm at best. “It is essential that we acknowledge the growth of our population in urban and suburban areas, but not at the expense of the democratic rights of our rural and northern regions,” she said through a spokesperson.

In an interview, Kathleen Wynne – who appears to have considerable provincewide support, but is strongest in her hometown of Toronto – was more open to what she called “an interesting idea.” While acknowledging that both rural sensitivities and the cost of adding new constituencies would have to be taken into account, Ms. Wynne said it “makes a lot of sense” to strive for more equal representation. Read article

11 thoughts on “Rural-urban divide makes waves in Ontario race

  1. Bill Murdoch proposed rural Ontario separate from the GTA. Maybe this should be re-considered.

  2. I would be all for a complete secession of “the rest of Ontario” from the GTA. There’s certainly enough talk of it in Northern Ontario. We could either form our own province or join up with Manitoba.

  3. OBVIOUSLY the fiberal government still does not understand HOW pissed rural Ontario is. Lou Rinaldi is supposed to see what rural people want/need and feed the info back to the party. TAKING even more seats/say away from us country bumpkins is not going to improve our relationship with you, TACKHAR, or whatever your name is.

  4. I think that now is the perfect time for an O.P.P investigation. The government is prorogued anyway. All MPP’s given a LOA, their offices locked , Queen’s Park locked and hand the day to day operations to the fed’s. The government can stay out until the investigation is complete.

  5. Let the GTA go its own way. Rural Ontario
    is being screwed. We are being dictated
    to by urban environmentalists, urban
    politicians and an unaccountable urban

  6. If this disgusting party gets in, we have no choice but to separate, or we will have even less say than we do now. These people are insane to think we will put up with any more of their garbage. “If the rural people won’t vote for us, we’ll silence them by diminishing their powers even further.” Every single disgusting thing the liberal party does, is designed to get them more votes, and more power to make themselves and their cronies rich. And Kathleen Wynn says she would become minister of agriculture for one year if elected premier? What a crock, that is just so she could finish us off!

  7. I sent an inquiry to the Prem. of Manitoba, Prime Minister and all three Ontario party leaders asking a simple question…..

    Good Morning;

    I write to you seeking information on how rural and northern Ontario could form a new province, independent of the GTA, or join Manitoba?
    What is the process to do this?

    ….will post any replies….including visits that I expect from the law

    • It is NOT ILLEGAL to make inquiries about separating or dividing Ontario and/or to do so as long as this is done in a legal manner.
      For many years the problem is that all three political parties have made it possible for the GTA fat-cats to dominate rural Ontario’s natural resources and the money that comes from these resources.
      Separation is probaly the only means of stopping this. More concentration of political power in urban areas will only make this problem worse. More money can be skimmed off from rural Ontario and used for urban needs.

  8. Sandra Pupatello may be the only candidate from outside the GTA, but she’s still an urbanite and being a liberal she knows the votes to power are in the GTA. In a recent interview on Sun News her big focus was on getting more money from the federal government (your tax dollars) for Toronto. Everything between Windsor and Toronto is just an inconvenient fly over country for her on the seat for power.

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