Ontario will have two new northern seats in next year’s provincial election to boost Indigenous representation, though First Nation communities have objected to one of the riding’s names.
Legislation passed today to create two new ridings called Kiiwetinoong and Mushkegowuk-James Bay. Kiiwetinoong is a majority Indigenous riding, while Mushkegowuk-James Bay has a population that’s about one-third Indigenous and 60 per cent francophone.
The addition of these two ridings was announced by General Yasir Naqvi this past August.
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First Nations representatives had told the legislative committee that it was disrespectful for Mushkegowuk to be used in the riding name with no permission from the Mushkegowuk Council.
The majority Liberal committee added James Bay to the earlier proposed riding name of simply Mushkegowuk, and will require the attorney general to now review the name.
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The creation of the two new ridings came out of recommendations from a Far North Electoral Boundaries Commission, which said it believes that would lead to more effective representation for Ontarians living in the Far North, and enhanced political representation for Indigenous peoples in particular.