Fight against merger of Outremont and Mont-Royal provincial ridings goes to court

A couple of years ago, Quebec's chief electoral officer changed the boundaries of some west end ridings, and merged the Mount Royal and Outremont ridings.

Later this year — on Dec. 3 and 4 — the fight against the changes to Quebec's electoral map will be going to court.

Spearheading the charge is Montreal city councillor Marvin Rotrand, along with Cote St. Luc mayor Mitchell Brownstein and his Hampstead counterpart Bill Steinberg.

Rotrand argues that not only do the changes short-change anglos and members of other cultural communities in the west end, but they also don't change the fact that overall, a Montrealer's vote is still worth less than one in some other ridings in other parts of Quebec.

"Why should a voter in a rural area carry twice the political weight of somebody who lives on the island of Montreal," he said. "Some rural areas don't even have the minimum number of voters permitted by law, and yet they get to elect someone to the National Assembly."

The decision to merge the Mount Royal and Outremont ridings was made in 2017, after Québec Solidaire co-spokesperson Manon Massé complained about an earlier proposed change which would have seen her Ste. Marie-St. Jacques riding wiped out instead.

That proposed change sparked a petition drive from the riding's residents, who would have been split up into several neighboring ridings.

A common front of west end politicians against the merger of the Mount Royal and Outremont ridings, however, fell on deaf ears.

CJAD 800's Matthew Gilmour contributed to this report.