Bill 21 and the Electoral Map Court Challenge

In a democracy all votes should have equal weight but in Quebec, with the current electoral map, some voters have almost twice as much voting power as others. In general, the voters in rural ridings (white, Francophone and Catholic) elect many more MNAs than voters in urban ridings (multi-cultural, Anglophone or Allophone and more religiously diverse).  Our riding of Darcy McGee is one of the largest in Quebec and has almost twice as many voters as many rural ridings. Therefore, our votes are worth half. Since 1990 Montreal has lost four MNAs as the electoral map has become more skewed with each revision.

Is it any wonder, that with so much voting power in the regions, that policies such as Bill 21, which is unpopular in Montreal but popular in areas where seeing a minority is a rarity, get adopted? For more on this topic see my Opinion piece published last year in the Montreal Gazette:

https://montrealgazette.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-all-votes-in-quebec-should-have-equal-weight

Since the latest electoral map was adopted, a blue-ribbon committee was formed, headed by Marlene Jennings and including Irwin Cotler, Lawrence Bergman and several others. They launched a court challenge with top constitution lawyer Julius Grey. Hampstead, Cote Saint-Luc, Town of Mount Royal and parts of Montreal have provided financial and other types of support. However, court challenges are expensive. The case will be heard in early December and more funding is urgently needed. Hampstead has provided $7,000 and our residents donated additional funds in the initial round of financing. Now I am asking you to consider a contribution of any amount to help a cause that directly affects us. Hampstead will match all contributions to a maximum of an additional $7,000.

Cheques should be made out to “Julius Grey in trust.” They can be dropped off at Town Hall or mailed to

Electoral Map Court Challenge
Town of Hampstead
5569 Queen Mary road
Hampstead, QC H3X 1W5

Thank you very much for your help.

Sincerely,
Bill Steinberg
Mayor, Town of Hampstead