MPs, mayors join Vancouver Island North MP to oppose riding redistribution proposal

Recommendations about changes proposed for Vancouver Island North have been submitted to the B.C. Electoral Boundaries Commission.

A proposed electoral boundary redistribution would split Courtenay between two federal ridings. It would also shift all of Cumberland out of Vancouver Island North into Nanaimo-Alberni.

A proposed electoral boundary redistribution would split Courtenay between two federal ridings. It would also shift all of Cumberland out of Vancouver Island North into Nanaimo-Alberni.

Recommendations about controversial changes proposed for the Vancouver Island North federal riding have been submitted to the B.C. Electoral Boundaries Commission, MP John Duncan revealed Wednesday evening.

The report, which was earlier tabled by the House of Commons committee studying the subject, summarizes the objections of MPs to the most recent proposal of the BCEBC, Duncan noted. The commission’s task is complicated by the addition of six new seats in B.C. due to population growth, he added.

“The latest recommendation by the BC Boundaries Commission, which split the Comox Valley in half and removed Powell River from the Sunshine Coast and added it to Vancouver Island North, met with considerable opposition in the impacted communities,” Duncan said in a press release.

“This proposal is contrary to the obvious communities of interest within the Comox Valley and the Sunshine Coast. I understand that the commission’s task was a difficult one, but in the end they were solving a Lower Mainland problem at the expense of Vancouver Island,” Duncan stated.

“I felt that the best way to address the problem was to collaborate with the affected MPs on Vancouver Island and the Mainland.”

The report notes that, “Mr. Duncan submitted to the Committee a detailed proposal which readjusts the boundaries for the proposed ridings of Vancouver Island North, Courtenay–Alberni, Nanaimo–Ladysmith, West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast, and Mission–Matsqui–Fraser Canyon. This proposal included precise boundary descriptions and maps.”

“It was extremely helpful that all affected MPs and the mayors of Courtenay and Powell River agreed with my proposal to retain all of Courtenay in Vancouver Island North and to retain Powell River in the West Vancouver–Sunshine Coast riding, which gave the committee confidence that there was no unintended domino effect or major objections to my proposal,” Duncan continued.

“The commission will now consider the committee report and then finalize the Electoral Boundaries for B.C., which will then be in place for the 2015 federal election. The final report should be concluded in September and I remain optimistic that the commission will adopt our recommendations,” said Duncan concluded.

The report is available at www.parl.gc.ca/Content/HOC/Committee/411/PROC/Reports/RP6190719/411_proc_Rpt58_PDF/411_proc_Rpt58-e.pdf.

— MP John Duncan

 

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