Proposed changes to federal electoral boundaries will affect voters in the Okanagan Valley and the Southern Interior of British Columbia. (Elections Canada map)

Proposed changes to federal electoral boundaries will affect voters in the Okanagan Valley and the Southern Interior of British Columbia. (Elections Canada map)

Federal electoral riding boundaries expected to change in Interior

Proposed Vernon-Lake Country riding will result in numerous boundary changes

An additional federal riding has been proposed for the Okanagan Valley as a redistribution to the seats in the House of Commons is considered.

The formula is prescribed under the Constitution Act and an independent commission is examining the proposed changes

The new proposed riding, Vernon-Lake Country, is to be created from the existing North Okanagan-Shuswap and Kelowna-Lake Country ridings. This new riding would have a population of 111,242.

Creating this new riding also requires other boundary adjustments in the Southern Interior of British Columbia.

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A statement from the federal committee for the province noted the challenges of British Columbia’s terrain and uneven distribution of population.

“We have concluded that the growth and redistribution of the population must result in quite a few adjustments to electoral boundaries, in the interest of fairness to voters in the various electoral districts affected and effective representation,” a statement from the boundaries commission read. “Some of the boundary adjustments that we propose suggest renaming the electoral district to better describe it.”

Kelowna’s city centre will be part of the new electoral riding instead of its existing placement in Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola. This riding, to be named Kelowna, will have a population of 108,969 and will replace the existing riding of Kelowna-Lake Country.

The riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola is proposed to be renamed Coquihalla and will include the western portion of Penticton and also the community of Hope. This riding will have a population of 110,837.

While the riding of South Okanagan-West Kootenay will retain its name, boundary changes will affect this riding. The proposed changes will see the community of Keremeos added, while parts of Penticton will be removed. Under the boundary changes, the riding will have a population of 108,957.

Revelstoke will become part of the North Okanagan-Shuswap riding instead of the Kootenay-Columbia riding.

These changes are part of a nationwide redistribution of federal ridings.

Under the proposed changes, British Columbia and Ontario will each receive one additional seat in the House of Commons, Quebec will lose one seat and Alberta will gain three.

All other provinces will have the same number of seats in the House of Commons, although riding boundaries may change.

Each of the three territories has one seat in the House of Commons, and those ridings and boundaries will not change.

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