New electoral map proposed for province
The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for British Columbia has proposed a new electoral map for consideration at public hearings taking place this fall. British Columbia is gaining six electoral districts as a result of the increase in its population.
The proposal takes into account British Columbia’s increase in population from 3,907,738 in 2001 to 4,400,057, as captured in the 2011 census.
“High population growth was noted between the North Shore and Chilliwack, on Vancouver Island, in the Okanagan as well as in the Kamloops area. These changes have prompted us to make substantial adjustments to the boundary lines in these regions,” said the Honourable John E. Hall, chair of the three-member commission. Mr. Stewart Ladyman and Dr. J. Peter Meekison are the other members of the commission responsible for readjusting the province’s federal electoral boundaries.
In addition to looking at population numbers, the commission focused on historical patterns and community of interest or identity to achieve the goal of effective representation in Parliament. “We also bore in mind the proper representation of First Nations communities and residents of the northern electoral districts,” said judge Hall.
Under the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act, the commission’s main aim in redrawing boundaries is to divide the province into electoral districts as close to the average population as reasonably possible. The population of a district should remain within 25% of the average once consideration is given to communities of interest or identity, and historical and geographic factors. A commission can depart from the 25% guideline to deal with extraordinary circumstances.
Residents of British Columbia are invited to share their views on the proposed federal electoral map at public hearings. In Cranbrook, the hearing will be held at the Heritage Inn Hotel & Convention Centre, 803 Cranbrook Street North on Monday, October 1, 2012 at 7 p.m.
Everyone is invited to attend. Those wishing to make a presentation at a hearing are requested to send the commission notice no later than August 30.