Quote:
Originally Posted by kwoldtimer
Somebody else could do the math, but I suspect that Quebec will continue to add MPs, just fewer than Ontario, BC and Alberta and with the result that their percentage of the total will decline.
But yes, a completely new "rule" could be developed  for example by a Blocsupported Conservative government. It's due in 2021, isn't it?

It's actually very interesting  I think I've figured it out.
The representation rule (bizarrely) states that if a province was overrepresented last time and (after applying all the other rules) would be underrepresented this time, then it gets a topup to the "correct" level of representation. The 3 seats that Quebec got are that topup. This was not part of the 1985 Act, but is instead the product of a 2011 amendment. That's why Quebec's representation suddenly jumped after being 75 all that time (the reason it stayed at 75 was because Quebec's share of the population was declining, but the 1985 Act made each province's 1985 seat total into a perpetual floor for that province).
Anyway, what they're now doing is:
 Everyone gets their proportional number of seats by dividing the national population by the number of MPs (call it N, whatever that is going to be);
 Then the bonus seats are added (whether those that are constitutionally required in PEI and NB or the 11th NS seat and the extra MB and SK seats that are "grandfathered" back to 1985);
 Then they redo the proportionality calculation to account for the addition of all the bonus seats (because now the number of seats is not N anymore, but N + B);
 At this point, the 4 big provinces are all "underrepresented", because their seats were allocated based on the first calculation and none of them gets any bonus seats. Every other province is overrepresented, so we're done with them.
 This underrepresentation is corrected by the "representation rule", but only in the case of a province that was previously overrepresented  a description that applies only to one province, Quebec, whose 75 seats in the last redistribution amounted to an overrepresentation.
So the upshot is that Quebec gets three extra seats, I guess because they desperately needed to give Ontario, Alberta and B.C. a lot more and couldn't bear the optics of not giving Quebec something as well (while realizing that to give Quebec more seats and
also increase ON, AB and BC proportionally to match that would have resulted in far too many new MPs). It also sounds good because it's only ensuring that Quebec is "correctly represented", and who could disagree with that? (leaving out the information that Ontario, Alberta and BC are underrepresented  someone has got to be, in order to balance out the bonus seats).
But at the next redistribution, the representation rule presumably won't apply to Quebec, since it is not currently overrepresented. It might still get additional seats but I suspect it would be more likely to lose seats. For example, if the population of every province remained the same and the House of Commons remained the same size, Quebec would get 75 seats, not its current 78 (even though nothing would have changed numerically). I'm surprised that they left that possibility open.