From January to May 2020, over 260 Québec municipalities will be drawing up their electoral maps in preparation for the municipal general election slated for November 7, 2021. This marks the beginning of the municipal election process.
What is involved?
When drawing up electoral maps, municipalities must determine the boundaries of their electoral districts. During the next municipal general election, electors will vote for one of the candidates running for the office of councillor in their electoral district.
- All municipalities with a population of 20,000 or more.
- Municipalities with fewer than 20,000 inhabitants that voluntarily decide to draw up electoral districts.
You can consult the list of municipalities divided into electoral districts to know whether your municipality will be taking part in this process in 2020.
To ensure fair and balanced representation for the citizen at the municipal council table, electoral boundaries must meet two main criteria:
- Electoral districts must be established so that each councillor represents approximately the same number of electors.
- Electoral districts must reflect natural communities within the municipality. They must take into account geographical boundaries, demographic trends, surface area, distance and existing borough and parish boundaries.
Coming soon: publication of proposed bylaws
Each participating municipality divides its electoral map into districts. It then informs local residents about the proposed municipal electoral map by issuing a public notice.
As an elector, you can take part in this process. If you disagree with the proposed electoral boundaries for your municipality, you have 15 days to let your municipality know in writing. If a sufficient number of people are opposed to the proposal (the specific numbers are set out in the Act respecting elections and referendums in municipalities), the municipality is required to hold a public consultation where you can share your views.
Commission de la représentation électorale
Québec’s Commission de la représentation électorale (CRE) ensures that the process of drawing up the electoral maps functions smoothly, although the main actors are the municipalities and the electors. The Commission is made up of the Chief Electoral Officer, who automatically serves as chair, together with two commissioners appointed by the National Assembly. In keeping with its status as an independent institution, the Commission is completely neutral and impartial.
For further information on the process of drawing up municipal electoral districts, please consult the CRE section.