Quesnel’s MLA would represent a region that reached up to touch Prince George as well as our own city, in a proposal by the BC Electoral Boundaries Commission (EBC).
If this plan were to be enacted, very little would change in northern B.C., the most notable exception in this area being a new corner of representation being added to what is currently called Cariboo North but would be re-named Prince George-North Cariboo.
The current border of Coralee Oakes’ riding stops just south of Hixon, right now, but would instead take in territory all the way into the College Heights neighbourhood of Prince George, so the northern capital would have three MLAs with jurisdiction instead of only two at the moment. The territory gained in this hypothetical riding design would simply slice off a bit of what is currently Shirley Bond’s Prince George-Valemount riding.
There would also be a bit of realignment in the southern part of the Cariboo-Chilcotin riding represented by Lorne Doerkson.
The EBC published its final report with recommendations to the Legislative Assembly for changing British Columbia’s provincial electoral districts and released it to the public on Monday (April 3).
The Commission’s recommendations include a proposal to create six additional electoral districts in areas of rapid population growth, bringing the total number of provincial ridings to 93 from the current 87.
“Our proposal to increase the number of electoral districts reflects our growing province,” said Justice Nitya Iyer, chair of the Commission. “We do not recommend reducing the number of ridings in more sparsely populated areas of the province because doing so would undermine effective representation.”
The Commission recommends adjustments to the boundaries of 72 electoral districts and changes to 41 electoral district names based on the geographic, demographic, and communication and transportation considerations set out in the Electoral Boundaries Commission Act.
“We learned a great deal from our initial and final public consultations,” said Iyer. “In total, we held 63 public meetings in 44 communities and received more than 2,000 submissions. We wish to thank wholeheartedly the many British Columbians who took the time to share their views with us. Your input was invaluable in shaping our understanding of our complex and diverse province.”
The publication of the final report marks the end of the Commission’s process. It is now the responsibility of the Legislative Assembly to decide whether to accept all, some or none of the Commission’s recommendations.