Cariboo Regional District chair Al Richmond says proposed changes to the electoral boundary that would see portions of the South Cariboo and 138 Mile House become part of the Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon Riding do not make sense.
“They are looking at representation by population to try and redraw lines to justify to seats. I think that representation by population is part of democracy in Canada, not the sole purpose. It makes no sense for these folks that are operating from a vacuum of unreality in Ottawa to draw a line with no appreciation that Chilliwack to 100 Mile House is a large area,” he notes, adding the drive from Chilliwack to 100 Mile House is at least 3.5 hours.
The CRD plans to write a letter to the Federal Electoral Boundary Commission to voice its opposition to the proposed realignment of the electoral boundaries, which would affect communities in the region and is encouraging residents to voice their opinions on the proposed changes during one of the public hearings being held in the fall.
“Last time there were changes made to the electoral boundaries, despite our objection and our concerns, they just went ahead,” Richmond says.
Richmond has received e-mails from people in the region endorsing the stance the CRD is taking.
“They’re saying enough is enough and cut it out. You can’t just keep dividing and conquering us. It’s no good. Along with us opposing it and continuing to oppose it, we need the people of the Cariboo to voice their opinions and tell them to leave the boundary alone. There’s got to be a better way of resolving this than simply carving things up on a map. If I want to see my MP, am I going to drive to Chilliwack? I don’t think so.”
The realignment is not in the best interest of the Cariboo Chilcotin, he says. The Electoral Boundary Commission will be holding hearings in Prince George on Monday, Sept. 17 at 2 p.m. at the Coast Inn of the North, 770 Brunswick St. and in Kamloops, Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. at the Kamloops Convention Centre, 1250 Rogers Way.
Residents who wish to speak at a hearing are requested to notify the Electoral Boundary Commission, in writing, before Aug. 30. Applications can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, faxed to 1-855-747-7237, or completed online at federal-redistribution.ca under British Columbia, Public Hearings.