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.

 

Just Posted

Columbia Basin Trust funds $1 million in environment grants

Reptiles, grizzlies and more to benefit from the projects

Revelstoke Community Choir presents Candy Canes & Carols

The Revelstoke Community Choir presented their annual Christmas performance on Sunday and… Continue reading

Funding available for caribou habitat restoration

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation is now accepting grant applications

UPDATE: Sagmoen to stand trial

Curtis Wayne Sagmoen will appear on all three Vernon matters this week

Crash temporarily closes Trans Canada Highway near Sicmaous

DriveBC reported the accident at 3 a.m. Monday, Dec. 10

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Most Read