Pemberton says no to becoming part of Yale-Lillooet 

B.C. Electoral Boundaries Commission reviewing ridings

By Cindy Filipenko

The Village of Pemberton has gone on record stating its desire to remain part of the provincial riding of West Vancouver-Garibaldi.

Residents of Merritt have expressed interest in having Pemberton and Mt. Currie included in the Yale-Lillooet riding. At a recent VOP council meeting, councilors voted unanimously to oppose any change to the community’s status.

In a letter to the B.C. Electoral Boundaries Commission, Mayor Jordan Sturdy wrote:

“Village Council feels strongly that a change in electoral boundaries would not be in the best interest of our community or this portion of the region. Our community is connected to the Sea to Sky corridor with respect to economic, business, employment and development opportunities and it would not make good sense to have our interests represented by another region.”

In her written submission to the commission, MLA Joan McIntyre requested that the boundaries remain the same and that perhaps a change in name to the riding would be appropriate.

“The name of the electoral district should be changed from ‘West Vancouver-Garibaldi’ to ‘West Vancouver-Sea to Sky.’ The Sea to Sky Highway connects the communities of the district, and the corresponding federal electoral district has recently incorporated ‘Sea to Sky Country’ to the end of its name. Conversely, ‘Garibaldi’ is a little known name and not as well understood, except with respect to Garibaldi Park,” wrote McIntyre.

Electoral boundaries are currently being reviewed by the B.C. Electoral Boundaries Commission to ensure effective representation. With B.C.’s shifting and growing population, the commission believes that some electoral district boundaries may need readjustment.

This independent commission convenes and reviews boundaries after every second election, approximately every eight years.

The current commission will make recommendations for two sets of electoral boundaries. The first set, under the current electoral system, sees a single MLA representing each of the province’s 79 riding. The second set of recommendations will take into account the B.C. Single Transferable Vote (BC-STV) electoral system recommended by the Citizen’s Assembly on Electoral Reform in 2004. Under the BC-STV, voters are required to rank candidates in the order of their preference. A referendum to determine whether the BC-STV will be adopted will be held in conjunction with the May 2009 election.

In 2004, Pemberton was removed from the federal riding that served the corridor and placed into the riding of Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon.

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