Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ontario political regions: Algoma and Manitoulin Districts

Next is an analysis of Algoma and Manitoulin Districts. The boundaries of Algoma District very rarely match that of the ridings of the areas, so instead of trying to identify all the ridings these two districts have covered, we'll just take a look at the main ridings of the area. Also of note, I will not be covering the city of Sault Ste. Marie here.

Algoma has been pretty solidly Liberal for much of its federal history. It has voted Liberal continuously from 1935 until the NDP won it for the first time in 2008. In 2011, the Liberals actually finished 3rd here.  Provincially, all three parties have held parts of the region during this time frame.

In the beginning, the riding of Algoma covered all of Northern Ontario it included both today's Algoma and Manitoulin Districts.

1) W.M. Simpson (1867-1871)
2) F.W. Cumberland (1871-1872)
3) J.B. Robinson (1872-1874)
4) E.B. Borron (1874-1878)
5) S.J. Dawson (1878-1891)
6) G.H. MacDonell (1891-1896)
7) A.E. Dyment (1896-1904)

In the 1903 redistribution, Algoma was divided into Algoma East and Algoma West. For this analysis, we will just cover Algoma East, as the population of Algoma West was mostly just in Sault Ste. Marie, while Algoma East includes our base areas of rural Algoma District and Manitoulin District.

7) A.E. Dyment (1904-1908) continued
8) W.R. Smyth (1908-1917)
9) G.B. Nicholson (1917-1921)
10) J.W. Carruthers (1921-1925)
11) G.B. Nicholson (1925-1926)
12) Beniah Bowman (1926-1930)
13) G.B. Nicholson (1930-1935)
14) Thos. Farquhar (1935-1948)
15) L.B. Pearson (1948-1968)

(Green is the United Farmers of Ontario)

The 1966 redistribution created the riding of Algoma, mostly out of Algoma East and small parts of Algoma West. It was renamed Algoma--Manitoulin in 1997.

16) M.B. Foster (1968-1993)
17) B.J. St. Denis (1993-2004)

The riding was redistributed in 2003, and this region would now broadly fall in the Algoma--Manitoulin--Kapuskasing riding.

17) B.J. St. Denis (2004-2008)
18) Carol Hughes (2008-present)

The combined population for both districts, not including Sault Ste. Marie is less than 60,000 people. The riding, which includes parts of other districts, is not much bigger. The population of the region is stagnant at best. Redistribution here will depend on whether or not it is desired to have these under populated Northern ridings. If not, then a substantial boundary change could occur. If things stay the same, then not much will change in terms of borders, as the area hasn't lost that many people. 

Provincial history
Up until the ridings were changed to match their federal counterparts in 1999, this region was represented by two districts; Algoma and Algoma--Manitoulin. The region is currently in the Algoma--Manitoulin riding, as ridings in Northern Ontario were not redistributed in 2003 provincially.

Algoma--Manitoulin (1934-1999)
* W.L. Miller  (1934-1945)
* J.A. Fullerton (1945-1963)
* S.W. Farquhar (1963-1971)
* J.G. Lane (1971-1987)
* M.A. Brown (1987-1999)

The Algoma riding was created out of Algoma--Manitoulin in 1967
* B.N. Gilbertson (1967-1975)
* C.J. Wildman (1975-1999)

Following the redistribution in 1999, Brown has represented the area continuously.

Political geography (2008 election)
The NDP won polls right across these two districts in 2008. Their strongest support came from the sparsely populated northern part of Algoma District, but they won all areas except suburban Sault Ste. Marie. The Conservatives did the best in the Sault Ste. Marie area, which is technically in the Sault Ste. Marie riding. Outside of that riding, the Tories just won three polls and tied another. The Liberals only won a  handful of polls themselves, mostly on Manitoulin Island and the North Shore region. Sault Ste. Marie voted NDP in 2008 but changed hands, voting Conservative in 2011.

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