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Cambridge MPs weighs in on potential riding boundary changes

Valerie Bradford and Bryan May are encouraging residents to have their say on potential federal riding changes at a Sept. 27 meeting

Several federal ridings in Cambridge could be getting a facelift if a proposal by the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario is approved by the House of Commons.

The current riding of Kitchener South-Hespeler could be eliminated and redistributed, while North Dumfries could be removed from Cambridge to create Kitchener South-North Dumfries. Preston Heights, Blair and Hespeler where it splits that section of Cambridge west of the Speed River would become part of either the Kitchener-Conestoga riding for the Hespeler area west to the Kitchener boundary and north to Kossuth Road, or Kitchener South-North Dumfries for Blair and Preston.

Kitchener South-Hespeler MP Valerie Bradford says the proposals are still in their preliminary phase and a lot is still to be determined.

“It’s still early in the process, and these proposals are just that at this moment,” Bradford said in a statement. “While I personally wouldn’t change a thing about the boundaries of my riding, I understand that there is a process that must be respected.”

The review process is mandated every 10 years under the Constitution of Canada "to reflect changes and movements in Canada's population.” Population numbers, communities of identity and interest, historical patterns of an electoral district, and geographic size of electoral districts are all factors that are considered by the commission when making a proposal on riding changes.

No matter what that decision is, Bradford is committed to fulfilling her responsibilities.

“I entered politics with a singular goal, and that was to serve the constituents of Kitchener South-Hespeler and represent them in Ottawa,” she said. “We will have to see what final shape the ridings in our region take at the end of this process. The only thing I can say with certainty is that regardless of the outcome, I will always be focused on the interests of my constituents and working hard to represent them.”

Cambridge MP Bryan May understands why changes need to be considered given the rapid growth that is happening in the city, but also feels for the residents of Cambridge.

“Since 2012, the population of the region has grown and changed, which is why these changes are being suggested,” May said in an email to CambridgeToday. “It’s unfortunate that more changes are happening so soon after people are just getting used to the current boundaries.”

May points out that despite any changes that could be coming, the region will maintain the same number of seats.

“Our overall regional representation will remain the same, which I’m glad to see,” he said. “They’re being made to balance the number of people in each riding across the region.”

The commission will be holding a virtual hearing on Sept. 27 for southwestern Ontario ridings and both Bradford and May encourage residents to attend and have their say.

“There’s going to be lots of opportunity for people to make comments to the commission, which is a non-partisan group that makes these recommendations across Canada,” May said. “I hope that people participate in the hearings and provide input to help them decide on these changes.”

To learn more about the hearing and to sign up to attend visit