Under a proposed redistribution proposal for federal electoral districts, Kootenay-Columbia will remain largely intact except for a shift on the western boundary that would exclude Revelstoke.
It’s part of a number of proposed tweaks to existing electoral boundaries across the province, while adding a new riding into the B.C. Interior — Vernon-Lake Country in the Okanagan.
The process is being guided by the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission of British Columbia.
“Our task is to create an additional riding and to adjust the boundaries of existing ridings to maintain effective federal representation for all British Columbians. We are proposing quite a few boundary changes,” said Mary Saunders, who chairs the three-member commission.
“The changes are mainly in response to the significant but uneven growth of our population.That growth pattern creates a domino effect if we are to be fair and have relative equality between voters in different electoral districts. Our proposal necessarily gives attention to what is possible and practical given our varied and rugged geography and our distinct communities. We look forward to receiving public input on it.”
Currently, there are 338 ridings represented across the country, and the proposed redistribution would add a net four ridings onto the federal electoral map — one in British Columbia, three in Alberta and one in Ontario, while removing one from Quebec.
The redistribution process, which occurs once every 10 years as mandated in the constitution, is meant to review all federal electoral districts and potentially alter riding boundaries to reflect changes in population movement.
Proposed changes aren’t a given. The process began last fall with the allocation of seats and establishment of boundary commissions. Following public hearings in communities across the country on the proposed changes, a report will be completed and tabled in the House of Commons for debate and discussion.
From there, if MPs have objections, the commission will study those concerns and submit a final report back to the House and a representation order will be drafted and proclaimed. Under the current timelines identified by the commission, that is expected to be done by September 2023.
The commission will stop in Cranbrook for a public hearing on Monday, June 20, 2022, at the Heritage Inn, starting at 7 p.m.