Friday, June 29, 2012

New Federal Riding Boundaries Proposed

Every ten years the federal ridings are reviewed and the 2012 electoral boundary commission for BC has released their proposed boundaries for BC.   This time around we get six more seats in BC which means there needed to be major changes.

Vancouver Island goes from six ridings to seven ridings.  This is the list in descending order of population in the proposed ridings:

  • Vancouver Island North 110,769 (118,374) - this riding does gain Powell River
  • Nanaimo-Cowichan 110,413 (131,118)
  • Nanaimo-Alberni 109,624 (127,275)
  • Saanich-Gulf Islands 108,244 (116,749)
  • Esquimalt-Colwood 107,565 (132,300 as Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca)
  • South Cowichan-Juan de Fuca 105,487 (40,046 from the CRD and 65,441 from the CVRD)
  • Victoria 104,136 (110,942)
These seven MPs will represent 756,238 people, 5.067 more people than the 10 MPs from New Brunswick represent.  Newfoundland and Labrador has seven MPs but 241,702 fewer people.   Our political voice is still much smaller than it would be if were on the east coast.

We currently have three ridings in the Victoria area, Victoria, Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca, and Saanich-Gulf Islands.  The proposal calls for us to have three and half - Victoria, Saanich-Gulf Islands, Esquimalt-Colwood, and South Cowichan-Juan de Fuca.   

Saanich-Gulf Islands does not change much, it loses the area of Saanich west of Quadra and south of Mackenzie.   There are not enough changes to really call this a change and Elizabeth May should be in an unchanged situation.

Esquimalt-Colwood takes in all of Esquimalt, View Royal and Highlands but also parts of Victoria, Colwood, Langford and Saanich.   It is as if the boundaries were drawn without any reference to the local municipalities. This is a gain of 8.505 from Saanich-Gulf Islands and 6,806 from Victoria.  At the same time 40,046 people are moved from what has Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca to South Cowichan-Juan de Fuca.     This would seem to be the riding for Randall Garrison with 92,254 of the population of the proposed riding already being represented by him..

Victoria with 104,136 people loses Vic West but is otherwise the same.   I personally think it makes more sense having a riding that does not divide up Victoria.  I do not see Denise Savoie in danger in this riding with the changes though I am not convinced she will run in 2015.

South Cowichan-Juan de Fuca with 105,487 - this includes everything up to North Cowichan.  It is effectively the new riding on the island.  It should be a safe NDP riding.

There will be a public hearing on Wednesday October 17th at the Victoria Conference Centre at 7 pm.  You have to let them know in writing by August 30th that you want to appear.
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