Federal riding about to change in area

The new version of the federal riding would no longer include 100 Mile House

By Andrea Klassen -Kamloops This Week

The boundaries of the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding are set to shrink, thanks to changes proposed by the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for B.C.

The new version of the federal riding would no longer include 100 Mile House, which would become part of the Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon Riding.

To the north, Valemount voters would start casting ballots for the Peace River-Prince George MP.

Commission chairman John Hall said the riding, like several in the Interior, was trimmed down to try to bring its population in line with the 105,000-person limit set out for each riding.

But, even the shrunken version of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo is a bit higher than the standard, with a population of 111,231.

That’s true of several fast-growing ridings in the region, including Kelowna-Lake Country (proposed population 111,577) and North Okanagan-Shuswap (112,399).

“All of the ridings in the Interior are a bit over the median, because we have about 50,000 people too many to keep them at the quotient of 105,000,” said Hall.

“But, we don’t have enough — we would need 90,000 to 100,000 people to create a new riding.”

When redrawing the ridings, Hall said the commission tried to look at how communities historically interact with each other and where the lines of communication and transport are throughout the province.

“Really, what you’re trying to do is have effective representation by the member of parliament,” he said.

The commission also had to fit six new ridings into the province — 30 seats are being added across the country in advance of the 2015 federal election to account for increases in population — though none of them are coming to the Interior.

The commission will host public hearings on the proposed changes later this year, with a stop in Kamloops set for Oct. 11 at the Kamloops Convention Centre at 7 p.m.

Those wishing to make a presentation at the hearing are asked to contact the commission by Aug. 30 with their names, contact information and a brief description of what they want to speak about.

Once hearings are complete, the revised electoral map will go to Ottawa for review and feedback from MPs.

For more information on the hearings, go online to federal-redistribution.ca.