I'm certainly disappointed that the federal parties have quietly scrapped Bill C-12, which means that BC, AB, and ON will not see a combined increase of 30 new MPs due to population increases. These type of actions fomented the anti-Ottawa sentiment in the west, which resulted in the growth of the populist Reform party, back in the 1990's.
The Harper government and the opposition parties have agreed to quietly sink legislation that would have given Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta more seats in the House of Commons.
Conservative, Liberal and New Democratic MPs and party strategists, speaking on condition that they not be named, stated this week that the bill has no chance of passage. In April, the Conservatives announced with great fanfare Bill C-12, which would add 30 seats to the House of Commons, taking it to 338 from 308, to address severe underrepresentation among Canada's fastest-growing provinces.
Under the legislation, Ontario would have received 18 new seats, British Columbia seven, and Alberta five, bringing all three provinces up to the level of representation in the House warranted by their populations.
Sources report that the Conservative, Liberal and NDP leadership encountered strong resistance to the bill among Quebec and Maritime MPs, who correctly argued that their regions would have relatively less influence in the House. The Bloc Québécois opposed the legislation from the start.
The Liberals and Conservatives especially feared that passing the bill could harm the electoral prospects of their Quebec MPs. Facing caucus revolts and potential electoral losses, the government shelved the bill.