Wednesday August 20, 2014

TNRD to ask for two federal city ridings

Recommendation comes from committee of rural directors

The board of the TNRD will ask a federal electoral boundaries commission to split Kamloops in half to allow representation by two MPs.

The recommendation, approved by the board Thursday, originally came from a committee of rural directors.

Federal electoral boundaries are reviewed every 10 years, based on census information. The commission proposes six new ridings be added to B.C. in growing areas of the Lower Mainland.

The Electoral Boundary Commission has proposed that 100 Mile House be included in Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon, and Valemount moved to Prince George-Peace River. Chase would be shuffled out of Okanagan-Shuswap and into Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo.

A report from TNRD staff noted the redrawn ridings would place the Cherry Creek-Savona area in the Okanagan-Coquihalla riding. Areas of the South Cariboo would go to a Chilliwack-based MP.

The commission is scheduled to meet in Kamloops next month. The board approved sending a delegation to ask that two ridings be focused on Kamloops, stretching north and south.

Approval of the idea came despite concerns from several directors.

“Most ridings are 80,000 to 100,000 people,” said director Nancy Bepple. “I don’t think we’d be given any consideration to divide the current population. Neither (riding) would be close to 80,000.

But director John Sternig said redrawing the boundaries to centre on Kamloops “would better represent the area and outlying areas.”

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