Québec City, February 27, 2006 – The Chair of the Commission de la représentation électorale du Québec (CRE), Me Marcel Blanchet, would like to remind Québec electors that sixty-nine (69) Québec school boards are required to draw up their electoral maps this year in preparation for the school elections that are scheduled on November 4, 2007. Each school board has primary responsibility for dividing its territory. The role of the CRE in this respect is to provide support to school boards and, if necessary, to carryout the division itself in certain cases envisaged by law.
"The drawing up of the electoral map kicks off the democratic process that will culminate with the election of commissioners," explained Me Blanchet. "In this regard, parents of children attending primary and secondary schools will be required to play a key role just like the five million Québec electors who will be called upon to exercise their voting rights in November 2007."
The division of the territory is aimed at ensuring the relative equality of the votes of all electors as well as fair representation on the council of commissioners.
School boards have to divide their territory into electoral divisions taking into account the division criteria defined under the Act Respecting School Elections. These criteria include the location of educational institutions, physical barriers (e.g. a river), population variations (demographic trends), municipality boundaries, the area of the school board and distance.
The number of electoral divisions in a school board is determined by law and corresponds to the number of commissioners.
A Step-by-Step Process
The council of commissioners carries out the division of the territory into electoral divisions. The division process takes place in several stages and has to be completed by
The council of commissioners adopts a division proposal and informs electors through a public notice. Those opposed to the proposed division can express their objection in writing to the director general of the school board. If enough objections are received, the council has to hold a public meeting to hear those interested. The council of commissioners then adopts a resolution with or without modification of the initial division proposal.
If some electors are still not satisfied, they can express their objection to the Commission de la représentation électorale. If enough objections are received as stipulated by law, the CRE will hold a public consultation meeting and later proceed, if necessary, to divide the territory into electoral divisions and make it effective.
For More Information
Anyone interested in the division of the territory of a school board into electoral divisions can obtain information from their school board.
Information is also available on the Web site of the Chief Electoral Officer and chair of the Commission de la représentation électorale, at the following address: www.electionsquebec.qc.ca. The information centre of the Chief Electoral Officer can also be reached toll free at 1-888-ELECTIONS (1-888-353-2846).