What Happens When You’re MP-less?

September 20th, 2013 by Katie Reidel

It has been two months since my MP, Bob Rae, stepped down from his position as the representative from Toronto Centre to the House of Commons. Since then, there has been a lot of chatter about who his successor will be, as individuals clamour to get their names known by voters and the support of their respective political parties. Eventually one of these individuals will be my new Member of Parliament, but in the interim I am officially MP-less.

Toronto Centre

This is actually quite concerning to me. The House is currently prorogued, but right now I have no one responsible for speaking on my behalf in parliament. I feel a bit lost, as a Canadian without a representative. I have never been in this position before, so I was unsure about what happens to ridings without MPs.

A couple weeks ago I received a piece of mail from the House of Commons. A very official looking letter had been sent to me as a resident of Toronto Centre, explaining that although my seat was vacant I would be taken care of. The letter stated:

The House of Commons of Canada provides for the continuation of services to the constituents of a Member of Parliament whose seat has become vacant. The party Whip supervises the staff retained under these circumstances.

Following the resignation of the Member of Parliament for the Constituency of Toronto Centre, the Hon. Bob Rae, P.C., the constituency office will continue to provide services to constituents.

Click here to see a copy of the letter.

Constituency offices provide services to help their constituents interact with the government. They can help you with Employment Insurance or the Canada Pension Plan, with visa applications or immigration issues, or any other service provided by the Federal government. So at very least these services will continue to be offered to the constituents of Toronto Centre while we wait for a by-election to elect our next Member of Parliament.

If you’re living in a riding that is about to face a by-election, check out our tips on ‘Getting Ready for a By-Election.’

If you want to follow in-depth reporting on the Toronto Centre and other federal by-elections, including the nomination of candidates from the major political parties, please tune in to Pundits Guide.

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