Electoral redistribution plan would cut Comox Valley in half

Comox Valley residents are sounding the alarm about a federal riding redistribution proposal.

A proposed federal riding redistribution proposal would transfer the part of the Comox Valley on one side of Highway 19 to the Nanaimo-Alberni riding.

A proposed federal riding redistribution proposal would transfer the part of the Comox Valley on one side of Highway 19 to the Nanaimo-Alberni riding.

Comox Valley residents are sounding the alarm about a federal riding redistribution proposal that apparently would hive much of the area from Vancouver Island North, transferring it to Nanaimo-Alberni.

“We in the Comox Valley have somehow become the butt of an incredible bad federal joke,” wrote Dorothy Drubek in the letter to the editor of the Comox Valley Record. “I have just received a copy of the proposed electoral map of B.C. for the distribution of federal districts and I am horrified.

“The plan for our area is to basically divide Courtenay in half, with all of us north of the river to remain in the North Island district — and those of us south of the river to join the Nanaimo-Alberni riding,” she adds.

In another letter to the editor, Tom Finkelstein contributed his thoughts.

“It appears that the appointees to the commission, assisted by federal bureaucrats who have likely never seen the Valley, wish to tear its heart out,” Finkelstein writes. “To divide this community along the Courtenay part of Comox Road and the old highway (19A) makes no sense.”

The federal government is proposing to change the boundary in the riding of Vancouver Island North, in keeping with a 10-year practice following the census where electoral districts and boundaries are revised to reflect population shifts and growth. If the change comes into effect, the boundary would extend south to Nanaimo and Port Alberni, and no longer extend north to Campbell River and beyond.

There will be a public hearing in October about the proposed change.

The province is gaining six electoral districts due to population increases. In 2001 there were about 3.9 million people in B.C. The 2011 census pegged it at 4.4 million.

“High population growth was noted between the North Shore and Chilliwack, on Vancouver Island, in the Okanagan as well as in the Kamloops area,” John Hall, chair of the Electoral Boundaries Commission for B.C., said in a news release. “These changes have prompted us to make substantial adjustments to the boundary lines in these regions.”

The commission also 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,” Hall said.

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.

Residents can share their views about the proposed federal electoral map at a public hearing Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. at Crown Isle in Courtenay. Those wishing to make a presentation need to notify the commission no later than Aug. 30.

Notices of presentation should include:

• Name, address and contact information;

• Organization represented (if any);

• Date of the public hearing;

• A short overview of issue(s);

• Official language of preference;

• Any accommodation needs.

Written notice can be e-mailed to bc-cb@rfed-rcf.ca or mailed to Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for British Columbia, 1095 West Pender St., Suite 301, Vancouver, B.C. V6E 2M6.

Alternatively, forms can be filled out at www.federal-redistribution.ca under British Columbia > Public Hearings.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The current location of Comox Valley Search and Rescue on Moray Avenue in Courtenay. Google Maps photo
Comox Valley Search and Rescue aiming to purchase a roof for their rescuers

Their goal is to raise between $1.2 and $1.5 million, approximately the purchase price of a facility

A bear is seen walking down Alderwood Place in east Courtenay Sunday (May 9) morning. Video screenshot/Kristie Cave
Video: Bears spotted throughout Comox Valley

Hide food sources, keep garbage away: conservation

Carter Woods was first across the line at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup, Saturday in Altstadt, Germany. File photo
Cumberland mountain biker wins World Cup race in Germany

Carter Woods of Cumberland won a World Cup mountain bike race Saturday… Continue reading

The flowers of Darmera peltata (Indian rhubarb) before the leaves emerge. Photo by Leslie Cox
DUCHESS OF DIRT: Plenty of ‘wow’ factor in the garden in spring

Leslie Cox Special to The Record I can’t help it. I like… Continue reading

WestJet in flight. Black Press file photo
Two COVID exposures on WestJet flight into Comox

The BC Centre for Disease Control has posted advisories for two separate… Continue reading

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The only access to 5th Street bridge heading east (toward Lewis Park) is via Anderton Avenue. Photo by Terry Farrell.
Single lane alternating traffic controls on Courtenay bridge now in effect

Single lane alternating traffic on the 5th Street Bridge is now in… Continue reading

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Most Read