Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ontario political regions: Barrie

My next analysis covers Barrie. Barrie is a fast growing city north of Toronto, that has very recently become its own riding. The Tories hold it federally, and the Liberals hold it provincially. It is now a safe Tory seat federally, with the Tories getting majorities in the last two elections, and the Liberals falling to 3rd place in the 2011 election.

At confederation the Town of Barrie was in the riding of Simcoe North, although it should be noted that much of today's Barrie was in Simcoe South at the time, as Innisfil Twp. was in that riding, and it included what is now in south Barrie.

1) T.D. McConkey (1867-1872)
2) H.H. Cook (1872-1878)
3) Dalton McCarthy (1878-1898) McCarthy became an Independent in 1891 and then formed his own party, the McCarthyites in 1896.
4) L.G. McCarthy (1898-1904)

L.G. McCarthy was elected as an independent.

In 1903, the Town of Barrie was transferred to Simcoe South. At this point, what is today the northern half of Barrie would have stayed in Simcoe North, as it was in Vespra and Oro Twps.
5) H.I.S. Lennox (1904-1912)
6) W.A. Boys (1912-1925)

In 1924, Simcoe South was abolished. The riding description does not include Barrie at this point, so it's difficult to tell which riding it's in. I am going to make the assumption that it was transferred to Simcoe North, as the Town of Barrie fell within the borders of Vespra Twp at the time, and it was in Simcoe North.

6) W.A. Boys (1925-1930) continued
7) J.T. Simpson (1930-1935)
8) D.F. McCuaig (1935-1945)
9) J.H. Ferguson (1945-1957)
10) H.E. Smith (1957-1968)
11) P.B. Rynard (1968-1979)

In 1976, Barrie is transferred to the new riding of Simcoe South.

12) R.A. Stewart (1979-1988)

In 1987, Barrie is transferred to the new riding of Simcoe Centre.

13) Edna Anderson (1988-1993)
14) Edwd. Harper (1993-1997)

Harper represented the Reform Party, the only Reform MP elected in Ontario in 1993.
In 1996, Barrie was transferred into the new riding of Barrie--Simcoe--Bradford.

15) M.A. Carroll (1997-2004)

And finally in 2003, Barrie becomes its own riding, losing the municipalities of Innisfil and Bradford West Gwillimbury which was in the previous riding. 

15) M.A. Carroll (2004-2006) continued
16) P.B. Brown (2006-present)

In short, this riding has been held by the Tories for most of its history.   

Barrie is a fast growing city. In 2006, it had 130,000 people, up 25,000 from the 2001 census. It could very well be closing in on 150,000. This is too large to be just on electoral district, and therefore the riding is either going to get smaller, or divide in half (which is more likely, in my opinion). North Barrie could join with the rural area north of it, including parts of Springwater and Oro-Medonte. The Town of Innisfil would be a very good fit for the new south Barrie riding. 

Provincial history  
Barrie was located in the riding of Simcoe Centre until 1999. I'm not sure if it was in this riding for the entire existence of the riding however, but I'll list the MPPs since its creation in 1886 anyways:

* O.J. Phelps (1886-1890)
* Robt. Paton (1890-1898)
* A.B. Thompson (1898-1902)
* David Davidson (1902-1904)
* A.B. Thompson (1905-1919)
* G.H. Murdoch (1919-1923) United Farmers of Ontario
* C.E. Wright (1923-1929) 
* L.J. Simpson (1929-1940)
* Duncan McArthur (1940-1943) 
* G.G. Johnston (1943-1960)
* D.A. Evans (1960-1977)
* G.W. Taylor (1977-1985)
* E.W. Rowe (1985-1987)
* Bruce Owen (1987-1990)
* Paul Wessenger (1990-1995) 
* J.N. Tascona (1995-1999) 

Since 1999, Barrie has been in the same riding as its federal counterparts (see above), and has been represented by the following MPPs:

* J.N. Tascona (1999-2007)
* M.A. Carroll (2007-present)

Political geography (2008 election)
The Tories won the majority of the riding, but they got their best results in the south end of the city. Meanwhile, central Barrie was the best area for the Liberals, but they only won a small hand full of polls. The NDP won one poll, which covers Georgian College.  

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