There are lots of good arguments you can make that just adding more and more seats to the House of Commons to address shifting populations is a bad idea. For example, at some point unless you knock out a wall, you’ll run out of room in the Commons chamber. Cost, however, is the worst possible argument you could make.
“It doesn’t make any sense in these days of financial restraint,” Liberal MP Marc Garneau said Tuesday at a Commons committee studying the legislation that would give 15 extra seats to Ontario, six seats each to B.C. and Alberta, and three seats to Quebec.
It’s easy though, because a real solution is difficult. It would involve taking seats away from low and declining-population regions and giving them to higher-growth ones. Besides opening up a political can of worms, there are also assorted constitutional provisions guaranteeing parliamentary representation levels compared to Senate representation, and other factors to be juggled.