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Delimitation of electoral divisions

See field: provincial, municipal
Commission de la représentation électorale

The responsibility for establishing the electoral map falls to the school boards and, more precisely, the council of commissioners. The entire procedure is laid out in Chapter III of the Act respecting elections and referendums in municipalities (Chapter E-2.3), including the application of certain provisions relating to the Commission de la représentation électorale (CRE).

The English and French school boards, excluding the Cree, Kativik and Littoral school boards, must divide their territory into electoral divisions. The number of electoral divisions will vary from 7 to 12 according to the total number of electors of the school board. The Minister of Education, Recreation and Sport may, upon request, authorize a school board to establish an additional one to five divisions if this is considered warranted.

Divisions must be delimited in such a way as to ensure a fair and balanced representation of electors. To this end, the Act states that the number of electors per division must not be more than 25 % above or below the quotient obtained by dividing the total number of electors of the school board by the number of divisions.

The division of school board territory into electoral divisions must be made periodically in order to adjust the divisions' boundaries according to changing demographic and territorial realities. This procedure takes place before the school board general elections which are held every four years.

Transmission of data

We must transmit to the director general of the school board, on or before February 15 of the year preceding the year in which the general election for which the division is required is to be held, the official data on the number of electors at each domiciliary address.

Adopting a division proposal

The council of commissioners will, after February 15 but not later than June 1 of the year preceding the year in which the general election is to be held, adopt a division proposal for the school board territory. Within 15 days of the adoption of the division proposal, the director general of the school board must publish a notice in a newspaper having general circulation in the territory of the school board.

Objection to the division proposal

Within 15 days of publication of the notice, any elector may inform the director general of the school board in writing of any objection to the division proposal.

    Where there is insufficient opposition to the division proposal

    If an insufficient number of electors oppose the proposal, the council of commissioners will adopt a resolution dividing the territory into electoral divisions. The director general of the school board will, without delay, transmit a certified copy of the resolution to the Commission de la représentation.

    Where there is sufficient opposition to the division proposal

    If the number of electors opposed to the division proposal is equal to or greater than those required by the Act, the council of commissioners will hold a public meeting to hear those opposed to the division proposal. Subsequently, the council will adopt a resolution dividing the territory into electoral divisions during a meeting following the public meeting. The division can be identical or different of the division proposal.

Adoption of the division resolution

The council of commissioners will adopt a resolution dividing the territory into electoral divisions before December 31 of the year preceding the year in which the general election is required to be held. The director general of the school board will, without delay, transmit a certified copy of the resolution to the Commission de la représentation. Where the council of commissioners was obliged to hold a public meeting on the division proposal, the director general of the school board must, within 15 days of the adoption of the resolution, publish a notice in a newspaper having general circulation in the territory of the school board.

Objection to the division resolution

Within 15 days of publication of the notice, any elector may inform the Commission de la représentation in writing of any objection to the resolution.

    Where there is insufficient opposition to the division resolution

    If an insufficient number of electors oppose the division resolution before the Commission de la représentation électorale, it will examine the division resolution and, if applicable, shall approve or reject it.

    Where there is sufficient opposition to the division resolution proposal

    If the number of electors opposed to the division resolution is equal to or greater than those required by the Act, the Commission de la représentation électorale will hold a public meeting during which it will hear the representations of the electors, interested organizations, and the school board. Following this, the Commission de la représentation électorale renders a final decision.

The division of a school boards' territory carried out by the Commission de la représentation électorale

The Commission de la représentation électorale, itself, carries out the division of the territory of a school board into electoral divisions when:

  • the council of commissioners has not adopted a division resolution before December 31 of the calendar year preceding the year in which the general election is required to be held;
  • following a public meeting held by the CRE in accordance with the Act, where it considers the division proposed by the resolution adopted by the council of commissioners is not to be applied;
  • the CRE does not give its approval to a delimitation that derogates from the numerical criterion laid out in the Act and it judges that it must carry out a division in place of the council.

Entering into force of a division resolution

The resolution dividing the territory of the school board into electoral divisions adopted by the council of commissioners automatically comes into force on March 31 of the year in which the general election is required to be held. Concerning the division into electoral divisions carried out by the Commission de la représentation électorale, it enters into force the day of the publication of the notice by the CRE.