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

Valley woman found guilty on three charges following 2016 collision in Courtenay

The woman involved in a trial for a multi-vehicle collision in which… Continue reading

High winds force several BC Ferries sailing cancellations

Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay, Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay, and Duke Point to Tsawwassen among closures

New wind warning for most of Vancouver Island

Forecasters are calling for strong winds up to 90km/h for some areas

Mount Washington opening for winter season this weekend

The resort’s original opening day was delayed due to lack of snow

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Rash of bomb threats a learning opportunity for response capacity, Goodale

Thursday’s wave of bomb threats swept across communities on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border

Mike Duffy can’t sue Senate over suspension without pay, judge rules

Duffy’s lawsuit sought more than $7.8 million from the upper chamber

Most Read