Trent Ernst, Editor
On August 21, the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for British Columbia concluded its work of redrawing the province’s federal electoral map.
The commission was created in February 2012 to set boundaries so that each electoral district contains roughly the same number of people while also taking into account communities of interest or identity, historical patterns and geographic size in sparsely populated regions.
After considering the views of the public and objections by members of the House of Commons, the commission submitted its final report to the Chief Electoral Officer for transmission to the Speaker of the House.
For the Prince George-Peace River Riding, the boundaries stayed the same. The name, however, has changed.
Now, when referring to this electoral district, it will henceforth be known as Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies.
MP Bob Zimmer says that the old name ignored a large portion of his district.
“It is rewarding to know that the Commission has decided to agree with my recommendation to change the name of our very large riding,” said Zimmer. “I strongly believe that including Northern Rockies in the new electoral district’s name will better represent the people and communities that live within these boundaries. I am especially happy for Mayor Streeper and the people of Fort Nelson and the Northern Rockies Regional District.”
The changes have yet to pass officially into law. That is expected to happen sometime in the next few months. If passed, the new name will become official when parliament is dissolved for the next election.
While this riding has only a name change to deal with, the new redistribution fundamentally changes the make-up of the House of Commons. There are currently 308 seats. If the changes recommended by the Commission are passed into law, there will be an extra 30 seats. British Columbia, along with Alberta and Ontario, have increased in population, meaning that these provinces are underrepresented in the House of Commons.
BC will have six new seats come the next election. Most of these are found in the Lower Mainland.
Every decade, a commission is struck to review the electoral boundaries. In the last redistribution, nearly every riding was affected in some way.