There is a growing unease at the prospect of the electoral map changing dramatically in rural and northern B.C.
The process is triggered automatically by an Electoral Boundaries Commission that is required by law in our province after every second election.
The last Commission took place in 2015, and its purpose is to re-examine electoral districts like Cariboo-Chilcotin and see what has changed over the years.
This is a fundamental part of our democracy — everyone has the right to vote — but we also have to recognize that our population is not evenly distributed across the province.
Yet the prospect of the whole province simply being ruled by a population concentrated just on the South Coast, is troubling to say the least.
It seems to be forgotten that for those of us who make rural British Columbia our home, we frequently have to travel for hours just to make a medical appointment.
The people in Victoria also seem to have also overlooked the fact that our own constituency Cariboo-Chilcotin is larger than the Kingdom of Denmark.
The next Electoral Boundaries Commission will be appointed by the government on Oct. 24 of this year, and its initial report is expected by November 2022.
As the Official Opposition, we will naturally oppose this legislation because it will drastically change the electoral map.
In my capacity as the Opposition Critic for Rural Development, I will certainly muster every effort to point out to this government that we can’t just have only five or six mega-ridings outside of the Lower Mainland.
Unfortunately, this government will likely use its majority to see this very deeply flawed legislation become law.
As a voter, each and every one of you will eventually have the opportunity to tell the commission what you think about its plans to alter electoral boundaries.
Lorne Doerkson is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin.