Seating in the B.C. legislature had to be altered to add a third row on each side to accommodate 85 MLAs. After the 2017 election

New seats coming for 2017 B.C. election

Surrey getting ninth MLA, Richmond adds another as rural seats preserved, legislature will soon have 87 seats

VICTORIA – New provincial seats will be created in Surrey and Richmond-New Westminster for the next B.C. election, bringing the number of MLAs in the legislature to 87.

Justice Minister Suzanne Anton tabled legislation Thursday to adopt the recommendations of the latest B.C. Electoral Boundaries Commission and create the two new constituencies to reflect high-growth areas of provincial population.

The commission recommended changes to boundaries to 48 existing constituencies, after public hearings since it proposed the changes this spring to balance population. It was restricted by a law that prevents the elimination of electoral districts in areas outside the urban southwest.

The latest boundaries leave a wide range of populations to be represented by a single MLA. The lowest populations are Stikine with 20,616 and North Coast with 22,382. At the other end of the scale are Vernon-Monashee, Vancouver-Fraserview and Vancouver-Kingsway, all with more than 62,000 people.

The hearings were dominated by conflicting views on changes to four areas:

• Severing Hope from Chilliwack and adding it to the Fraser-Nicola constituency, which extends into the Interior to include Merritt. Princeton is added to the Boundary-Similkameen district.

• Rearranging boundaries in central Vancouver Island to create a new electoral district of Mid Island-Pacific Rim, anchored by Cumberland.

• Adding a new Surrey South district, bringing the total number of seats in Surrey to nine.

• Adding a new Richmond-Queensborough district, taking in part of New Westminster.

The last review in 2008 recommended that an urban population shift should result in a reduction of one seat in the Cariboo-Thompson region and one in northern B.C. The government intervened keep those seats and increase the total constituencies from 83 to 85.

The B.C. Liberals and NDP agreed then that northern constituencies could not get any larger and still be represented by a single MLA.

The 2008 review added seats in the Okanagan, Fraser Valley, Surrey, Burnaby-Tri-Cities and downtown Vancouver.

The commission’s report and maps are available on its website.

Just Posted

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will use less greenhouse gases.

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

Smiles all around as province announces emergency ward funding

$2.1 million to go to much-needed upgrades

As avalanche danger grows, BC heli-skiers exercise caution

Company relies on guides’ decades of experience

Heli-skiing operation “very concerned” by new caribou protection regs

Habitat protection is important, but ‘at what cost?’, asks Nakusp tourism operator.

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Former communications director Brian Bonney’s sentencing hearing for breach of trust is underway

Most Read