I am back in Ottawa for the fall session after a great summer enjoying family, friends and work with the constituents of my riding.
Our agenda this session will be to continue implementation of our jobs and growth Economic Action Plan, our government’s fighting crime agenda, and managing international challenges arising in the Middle East.
Over the summer I found that most constituents were focused on the provincial political scene which is dominating discussion. There has been some discussion on the new electoral boundaries in the riding proposed by the Elections Canada Electoral Boundaries Commission. The commission has made a proposal and now it is up to constituents to comment.
The proposed new federal electoral boundary runs straight up Salmon Valley road, so those on the west side of the road would fall in the re-named Central Okanagan-Coquihalla riding, and those on the east side in the re-named North Okanagan-Shuswap riding. The boundary meets the Trans-Canada Highway to the west of Salmon Arm and runs through to Squilax Bridge in Sorrento. Those on the north side of the TCH would fall in the North Okanagan-Shuswap riding, and those on the south side of the TCH in the Central Okanagan–Coquihalla riding.
This exercise is not influenced by your MP. It is a discussion paper presented by an independent commission appointed through Elections Canada. If you do not like the boundary proposal, you need to register your ideas by email to email@example.com, or submit a letter to: Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for British Columbia, 1095 West Pender Street, Suite 301, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E 2M6.
I am concerned with the splitting of the community of Sorrento. I am also concerned that Falkland associates more with Vernon than Kelowna, and should remain in the North Okanagan-Shuswap riding. Drawing lines has challenges, but boundaries need to be adjusted to reflect population growth. Please go online at www.redecoupage-federal-redistribution.ca to voice any concerns.
Generally, most riding proposals are positive and do have supportive arguments for the boundary changes. Remember, we are a rural riding but, in some urban ridings, boundaries go down streets and therefore neighbors across the street from each other can have a different Member of Parliament.
The next election is October 2015 and at that time, the riding names will officially change.
Submitted by MP Colin Mayes