Bill MacFarlane addresses Thomas Melnick

Changes unlikely to Revelstoke riding

Big changes are unlikely to be made to the boundaries of the Columbia River-Revelstoke riding.

Big changes are unlikely to be made to the boundaries of the Columbia River-Revelstoke riding.

The BC Electorial Boundaries Commission arrived in Revelstoke last week to seek feedback from the public as it makes adjustments to the province’s electoral districts.

The commission can add two electoral districts to the province; those additions will likely take place in the Lower Mainland.

For Revelstoke’s riding, the changes will be minimal, if there are any at all. Current legislation means that four ridings must be maintained in the Columbia-Kootenay area, meaning there’s not much flexibility to make changes. Those ridings are Columbia River-Revelstoke, Kootenay East, Kootenay West and Nelson-Creston.

“Realistically, if there are to be a minimum of four electoral districts in this area, we can only do so much massaging,” said commissioner Thomas Melnick. “It may be logical to move a boundary here or there if it’s of benefit to the people that live here but so far we haven’t heard any compelling reasons to do that.”

Columbia River-Revelstoke currently has a population of 32,521, which is much lower than the provincial average, but it is also the largest riding in the region geographically.

“It’s definitely not a cookie cutter process that we’re going through and if there’s variations in population from one district to another that are justifiable, that at the end of the day provide for effective representation, that’s what we’re seeking,” said commissioner Keith Archer.

Only one person came out to the Revelstoke hearing date to make a presentation — NDP member Bill MacFarlane. He told the commission that Columbia River-Revelstoke’s boundaries should remain unchanged.

“There have been five provincials elections since (1991, when the riding was formed) so I would suggest the residents are used to and comfortable with the current boundaries,” he said. “There is much in common throughout the riding with regards to economic conditions, geography and lifestyle that reflects an enjoyment of economic activity.”

The commissioners asked MacFarlane about a couple of changes they were floating — adding Nakusp to Revelstoke’s riding, or moving Kimberley into Kootenay East, with it’s neighbour Cranbrook. The goal of asking was to get feedback on those possibilities.

“By posing a question to our presenters it gives us a chance to listen to people in communities how they would see a potential shift at the margins of an electoral district,” said Archer.

The commission is currently traveling to 29 communities throughout B.C. seeking feedback on potential changes. Melnick said in places where people are happy with their ridings, turnout at the hearings has been low.

Beverly Busson, the third commissioner, said that people feel more enfranchised when they “feel more comfortable in their electoral district.”

“That’s one of the by-products of what we’re trying to achieve, is more effective representation and having people feel their anxious to exercise their rights to vote,” she said.

For more information, or to make a submission of your own, visit www.bc-ebc.ca.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Summerland Ornamental Gardens remain closed

Staff and volunteers continue to weed and maintain plants

Canada’s deficit result of investing in Canadians: Minister of Middle-Class Prosperity

Minister Mona Fortier said the government is working on the next steps as the economy restarts

Cancelled shows and slow reopening for Revelstoke Art Gallery

The gallery has been closed since March due to COVID-19

Pure magic: live performances revived in Revelstoke

Revelstoke Arts Council hosting Guerrilla Gigs on Wednesdays all summer long

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for July 9

Jack Snoddy Archive assistant, Revelstoke Museum & Archives 120 years ago: Revelstoke… Continue reading

Horgan says B.C. restart making gains as more people come out of their homes

B.C. announced the easing of more restrictions on businesses, recreation and travel last month

Man drowns while swimming in Okanagan Lake

The incident happened off the shores of West Kelowna on Thursday

Conservatives say police should be called into investigate WE charity scandal

Trudeau is already under investigation by the ethics commissioner for potential conflict of interest

Amber Alert continues for missing Quebec girls, 6 and 11, and their father

Police issued the alert for Norah Carpentier, 11, and Romy Carpentier, 6, from Levis, Que.

Limit police access to lethal weapons in Indigenous communities: Justice Summit

Grassroots-organized National Indigenous Justice Summit was a free-to-attend two-day videoconference

Summerland Ornamental Gardens remain closed

Staff and volunteers continue to weed and maintain plants

Kelowna taxpayers could pay $90K for losses caused by cancelled Memorial Cup

$135,000 would be put aside for a potential bid for a future opportunity to host the tournament

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Motorcycle rider seriously injured in collision with vehicle on Highway 97 west of Pritchard

Chase RCMP report that motorcycle was attempting to pass when crash occurred

Most Read