The report outlines proposed changed to electoral boundaries and districts throughout the province. (BCEBC)

The report outlines proposed changed to electoral boundaries and districts throughout the province. (BCEBC)

Report confirms no change to electoral district in Revelstoke

Revelstoke to remain in the Columbia River–Revelstoke district while other regions get a new name

The BC Electoral Boundaries Commission (BCEBC) considered changing Revelstoke’s electoral boundary division from the Columbia River–Revelstoke riding to the Salmon Arm–Shuswap in the interior riding, but have decided against it.

Occupying an awkward spot that is neither Kootenays nor Okanagan for federal ridings, Revelstoke was on the fence on where it might have ended up in the federal electoral boundaries. For some time, it’s been part of the Kootenay region, which has four sub districts, including Columbia River–Revelstoke, Kootenay East, Kootenay West, and Nelson–Creston. After the federal election last year, the BCEBC examined the possibility of changing Revelstoke’s division, but has recently released a report explaining why they decided not to.

In their preliminary report, released Oct. 3, BCEBC said that the Kootenay district’s population is growing slower than that of the rest of the province.

“The populations of both Columbia River-Revelstoke and Nelson-Creston currently fall more than 25 per cent below the electoral quotient,” said the report.

With smaller populations and more rural areas, the BCEBC considered consolidating their divisions from four to three after residents reported issues with “travel and communication barriers that currently impede effective representation.”

Travel was one of the main reasons that BCEBC decided not to change Revelstoke and Golden’s division.

“Revelstoke and Golden are only connected directly to the Shuswap area by Highway 1, which traverses the Monashee and Selkirk Mountains. This highway is subject to severe weather conditions including frequent winter closures. Commercial air travel into these communities is unavailable,” said the report.

The report did suggest a change to other divisions in the Kootenay region.

“We concluded that effective representation for this area of the province requires four electoral districts,” said the report.

Rather than eliminate one region, they have decided to rework the Nelson–Creston division. The proposed change would have the four regions be comprised of Columbia River–Revelstoke, Kootenay East, Kootenay West, and Kootenay Central would become the new boundary.

The change from Nelson–Creston is meant to acknowledge that the electoral region is comprised of several other towns besides the two named.

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