New federal ridings split Comox Valley

Reaction is mixed from Comox Valley politicians on a binding decision to split the area for the next federal election.

ALL OF COURTENAY and Comox as well as Denman and Hornby islands are moving to a new federal riding that includes Port Alberni and Ucluelet.

The reaction is mixed from Comox Valley politicians on the binding decision by the Federal Boundaries Commission for B.C. to split the area for the next federal election.

The commission released its final report last week, dividing Comox from Courtenay, Cumberland and Denman and Hornby islands, while merging them into a new riding named Courtenay-Alberni.

Comox remains in the newly broadened Vancouver Island North-Comox-Powell River riding. The renamed riding incorporates Area C (Puntledge-Black Creek) and Area B (Lazo North) of the Comox Valley Regional District, along with the Pentledge Indian Reserve No. 2 and Comox Indian Reserve No.1, and runs north to Port Hardy.

The Courtenay-Alberni riding incorporates Area A (Baynes Sound, Denman and Hornby islands) along with Port Alberni, Qualicum Beach, Parksville, Tofino and Ucluelet.

“I’m very disappointed to say the least,” said Vancouver Island North MP John Duncan, who along with three other MPs, filed separate but complementary objections to the commission. “Even though we offered a sensible solution (to the commission), they chose this option.

“We are revisiting where we were 20 years ago when Powell River was in the riding in the early ’90s.”

Duncan added prior to the next federal election, he has options to consider.

“I’ve got to make a decision to run again and if so, where to run again,” he noted.

He confirmed his Comox Valley office will remain in Courtenay until the next election.

Courtenay Mayor Larry Jangula said, while he is “a little bit surprised” by the commission’s decision, he is satisfied the city was not divided in half, as per the original proposal.

“In theory, there are some positives in the Comox Valley — we will have two MPs, two voices speaking on our behalf,” he noted.

“There were no easy solutions that were obvious. It’s better than the first proposal, and it’s easy to sit on the sidelines and throw rocks really well.”

Jangula added he feels badly for the mayor of Powell River whom he said really didn’t want to be part of an extended Comox Valley riding.

Cumberland Mayor Leslie Baird said she is “really pleased to have Cumberland all as one” in the new Courtenay-Alberni riding, and also cited history, as Cumberland was once in the same riding as Port Alberni.

“It may make a difference (this time) with Courtenay in the riding,” she added.

In its report, the commission did note the many common interests between Comox and Courtenay, and were urged at a public hearing not to divide part of Courtenay from the Comox Valley.

“Reflecting these comments, the proposal in our report kept Courtenay together and with the Comox Valley, while Comox continued to be in the North Island riding. For population reasons the two cities cannot be united in one electoral district and still kept whole.”

They explained removing Powell River from its former West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country riding and adding it to the Vancouver Island North-Comox-Powell River riding was significantly driven by numerical considerations.

“We were required to reduce the area of the (West Vancouver riding) by shifting its boundaries, one on the North Vancouver side and the other on the Powell River side.”

They also noted access was a consideration, and added the Powell River to Little River (Comox) connection may be more convenient, as only one crossing is involved, thereby possibly enhancing accessibility between the MP and constituents.

The next federal election is scheduled for October 2015.

To read the full report online, visit www.redecoupage-federal-redistribution.ca/bc/now/reports/bc-report_e.pdf.

photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Just Posted

Outdoor classroom coming to Huband Park Elementary

The project has been a collaboration of various community groups, says PAC member

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

Campbell River schools, First Nations preserve traditional tongue

Project uses new technology to promote language to kids

Public to have say about pot

Senate passes Cannabis Act

A talent in the making

Pats consider 16-year-old a leader

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

New Jersey forward Taylor Hall wins Hart Trophy as NHL MVP

Vancouver’s Sedin brothers share King Clancy Award for humanitarian efforts

Vancouver Island nursery property sells in historic deal

Green Thumb Garden Centre and Nurseries in north Nanaimo sold

GoFundMe page launched for families of missing Vancouver Island fishermen

Search for three men whose vessel capsized near Tofino on June 15 continues.

50 new fires sparked in B.C. after lightning strikes across province

Similar conditions seen at the beginning of 2017 wildfire season

B.C. woman graduates high school at age 92

Nanaimo’s Joan Deebank the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as ministry can confirm

B.C. Appeal Court rules lottery winner must be paid back $600,000 loan

Enone Rosas won $4.1 million in a lottery in 2007 and loaned a portion to a friend

17th Street to be repaved

Motorists can expect closures and detours

B.C. man surprised after used needle falls from sky

A Vernon resident said a syringe fell out of the sky and landed at his feet

Most Read