New federal electoral map could see Pemberton and Mt. Currie join Whistler in Sea to Sky country for federal election 

FEBC recommends changes

click to enlarge PHOTO BY CATHRYN ATKINSON - LOOKING AHEAD Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy takes part in the electoral boundary meeting in 2012.
  • Photo by Cathryn Atkinson
  • LOOKING AHEAD Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy takes part in the electoral boundary meeting in 2012.

Pemberton and Mt. Currie will join the West Vancouver-Sea to Sky federal riding if recommendations of the electoral boundaries commission (FEBC) report are adopted.

The FEBC handed down its recommendations in Ottawa Jan.28.

"As a result of submissions received, the Commission has added the Pemberton-Mount Currie area to West VancouverÑSunshine CoastÑSea to Sky Country, an electoral district much more reflective of that area's community of interest," states the Commission in its report.

"The eastern boundary of the electoral district now generally follows the municipal divide between West Vancouver and North Vancouver."

Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy, who hopes the new boundary will be in place by the fall, greeted the news with cautious optimism.

Sturdy is hoping to become the new provincial Liberal representative for the region following the retirement of MLA Joan McIntyre.

British Columbia is gaining six electoral districts as a result of the increase in its population. Nearly two thirds of the province's electoral districts are located in the Lower Mainland region, and five new electoral districts will be added there. The Vancouver Island region gains one new electoral district, while the 36 existing districts are reconfigured. The report follows the public hearings that took place across the province between September 10 and October 18, 2012.

"The final configuration of electoral districts throughout British Columbia has been greatly influenced by submissions and presentations from the public. While it is not possible to satisfy everyone, the commission believes its final report provides for effective representation in all 42 electoral districts," said the Honourable John E. Hall, chair of the three-member commission.

"The Commission has not made changes for the sake of change, but was required to redesign electoral districts to reflect the very considerable population growth in the province over the past 10 years. The Commission has sought, throughout, to give primacy to historical patterns of representation and communities of interest without sacrificing due regard for the electoral quota of 104,763.

"The Commission wishes to pay tribute to those citizens and elected officials who took the time and effort to provide advice. This advice made the Commission more aware of perceived problems and local issues. It was a democratic process that measurably aided the Commission in its deliberations."

Two matters the FEBC could not deal with inside its mandate were recommendations about changing the present first-past-the-post electoral system to provide for some form of proportional representation, and secondly submissions to either decrease or freeze the number of electoral districts throughout the country.

"These matters are for Parliament rather than this Commission to consider," stated the report

In general, the reconfigurations were made for the following reasons:

¥ to recognize communities of interest affected by the proposal

¥ to maintain neighbourhoods within existing boundaries where possible

¥ to respect municipal boundaries

¥ in recognition of the importance of watersheds in certain electoral districts

¥ to substantially utilize regional district and census subdivision boundaries

¥ to give less regard to major transportation arteries

¥ in appreciation of the coexistence of urban and rural communities

The report will go before a parliamentary committee in the next 30 days before it is sent to the House of Commons for final approval.

To consult the report, visit www.federal-redistribution.ca.

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