The benches of the House of Commons are going to get a little more cramped in four years.
On Tuesday evening, the federal government pushed through legislation adding 30 MPs to Parliament Hill, increasing the number of MPs to 338 from 308 and bringing with them millions of dollars in costs to taxpayers.
By a vote of 154 to 131, the Conservatives pushed through the increase, inscribed in the Fair Representation Act, that will give Ontario, B.C., Alberta and Quebec more elected voices in the House of Commons. The bill now heads to the Senate for approval.
Prior to the vote, the Conservative minister of state for democratic reform said the old formula to distribute seats was unfair to the country's fastest-growing provinces, leaving almost two-thirds of Canadians under-represented in the House of Commons.
Tim Uppal also dismissed opposition proposals for a different formula, saying that they did nothing to solve the inequality issue.
"The legislation is fair for all provinces and it moves every single Canadian closer to representation by population,"he said.
"It strikes the right balance and it provides the most fair, practical and accurate way to move toward ... fairer representation."
A Liberal counter-proposal to reduce seats in some provinces, rather than add seats, was attacked by the government.
The NDP rejected both proposals, called for the abolishment of the Senate and suggested that the savings be invested in greater elected representation.