Monday, January 28, 2013

Final Report of the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission

The final report of the BC Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission was tabled today and I am not impressed.   Here is how it plays out on the South Island.

With the addition of six new seats in BC, Vancouver Island was entitled to at least one.  I think that an argument could have been made for two if the Sunshine coast remained with Powell River and was connected to the island.

With one more seat on the island and the populations north and south of the Malahat almost equal, it meant there would be one riding straddling over the Malahat.   The CRD has gone from three seats to three and half.

Final report boundaries in the CRD - thick grey lines are current boundaries
 the one boundary line on Saanich Inlet reminds me of one of Marvin the Martian's instant martians 
Victoria - no changes to the current riding boundaries, they dropped their dumb idea of craving off Vic West.   I think they missed their chance to drop the parts of Saanich that are in the riding.    The current population is 110,942, which is 5.90% too high.  If you were to remove all the Saanich areas from the riding it would have 98,302 people, which is a bit small but still a larger than eight ridings in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley.    This should remain a safe NDP seat unless the Greens surprise people in 2015.

Saanich-Gulf Islands - It is now proposed to have have 104,285 people, the initial report had it at 108,244. If you moved the 12,910 people in Saanich that are currently in the Victoria riding to Saanich-Gulf Islands you would have 117,195 people in the riding, a high number but not the highest in BC.  You could have lowered this number by adding people to the newly proposed Saanich-Juan de Fuca.  The changes are small enough that Elizabeth May should be safe in her seat.

Saanich-Juan de Fuca has a population of 113.004, the previous Esquimalt-Colwood proposal had 107,565.  The big changes here from the original report are:

  • The return of Vic West to Victoria 
  • A small section of high Quadra is now in the riding
  • All of Langford and Highlands are now part of the Malahat straddling riding
  • Metchosin and Sooke are now part this riding.

I really do not like this riding and think something better could have been done.   I do not have access to enough information, but my sense is that it will be more friendly to the Conservatives.  Much will depend on who runs here for the NDP and the campaign

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford has a population of 99,160, the lowest of any on the Island.   The major changes from the previously proposed South Cowichan-Juan de Fuca are:

  • Gaining all of Lake Cowichan, Langford and Highlands
  • The loss of Sooke, Metchosin and the southern part of Ladysmith.
I think some thought should have been given to moving Saltspring to the Cowichan Valley riding - there are ferries in both directions so it is a reasonable decision.  This would have allowed for Saanich to only be in two ridings and neither one would have been overly high in population.   Saanich-Gulf Islands could have taken in all of Saanich east of the Pat Bay and all the parts of Saanich in the Saanich School District.

Cowichan-Malahat-Langford will likely be a very close NDP versus Conservative race.



Yes, that very small area with the blue boundary all around it is part of Courtney-Alberni and not Vancouver Island North-Powell River-Comox


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