Revision of the Québec Electoral Map - The Commission de la représentation électorale publishes its Program for 2008

    QUEBEC CITY, Jan. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - The Chief Electoral Officer of Québec
and chair of the Commission de la représentation électorale (CRE), Me Marcel
Blanchet, has published the Commission's program for 2008, a process that will
culminate in the revision of the Québec electoral map in order to ensure the
fair and equitable representation of electors, taking into account population
growth or decline in certain regions. Pursuant to the Election Act, the
electoral map must be revised after every two elections. The last revision was
done in 2001.
    To ensure the effective representation of electors, the CRE has to take
into account the equality of votes among electoral divisions as well as
demographic, geographic and sociological factors. As a result, when drawing
the map, the CRE has to consider demographic changes, population
characteristics, the specifics of the territory as well as delimitation
criteria imposed by the Act. Considering the changes arisen since the adoption
of the last electoral map, the CRE will have to make major modifications to
this one because the disparity between certain electoral divisions has become
far too important.
    "Although, according to Me Blanchet, the CRE has full powers to decide on
the new map, it is making this decision after a thorough consultation
process." In fact, over 20 public hearings will be held this spring throughout
the province, while Members of the National Assembly will have two formal
opportunities to comment on the CRE's proposal. Here are the main stages that
should culminate with the new electoral map coming into force :

    - March 2008: tabling in the National Assembly of a preliminary report,
      i.e., the proposed map drawn by the Commission de la représentation

    - April to June 2008: holding of about 20 public hearings throughout
      Québec during which the entire population will be invited to make
      comments on the draft electoral map;

    - June 2008: review of the CRE's preliminary report by the National
      Assembly Committee, during which all elected officials who so desire
      will have the opportunity to make comments about the proposed map;

    - July to October 2008: review by the CRE of all the representations made
      on the draft electoral map;

    - October 2008: tabling in the National Assembly of the report presenting
      the CRE proposal;

    - October 2008: five-hour debate at the National Assembly on the draft
      electoral map;

    - End of November 2008: publication of the CRE's final decision in the
      Gazette officielle.

    The new Québec electoral map will come into force when the National
Assembly is dissolved, as long as the dissolution does not take place before
the end of the three-month period following its publication in the Gazette
    If general elections are called before the end of this process, the work
of the CRE will be interrupted and elections will be held using the electoral
map that was in effect during the last elections in March 2007.

    For more information on the Commission de la représentation électorale and
on the revision of the Québec electoral map, visit the website of the Chief
Electoral officer at Electors who have questions
can call the Chief Electoral Officer's Info Centre by dialing one of the
following numbers.

    By phone:       418-528-0422 - Québec City region
                    1 888 ELECTION (1 888 353-2846) - outside Québec City
                    1 800 537-0644 (for the hearing impaired)

    E-Mail :
    -%SU: CPN,SOC
    -%RE: 1

For further information:

For further information: Denis Dion, Information Officer, (418)
644-3320, 1-888-870-3320,

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