250 News - Your News, Your Views, Now

October 28, 2017 4:21 am

Quesnel Concerns Dominate Electoral Boundary Hearing

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 @ 3:49 AM

Quesnel resident Darlene Osborne makes a presentation at Tuesday’s BC Electoral Boundaries Commission hearing – photos 250 News

Prince George, B.C. -Tuesday’s BC Electoral Boundaries Commission hearing was held in Prince George, yet all the concerns raised were from Quesnel residents.

Namely worries about changes to the Cariboo-North riding, the heart of which is centred in Quesnel.

Quesnel resident Peter Walsh

Quesnel resident Peter Walsh

“I believe when you came down to Quesnel (for hearings last fall) you heard from the residents that they did not want any changes,” said Darlene Osborne. “That they felt the Cariboo-North riding was fine as it is, yet after reviewing the proposals I did see that there were quite a few polls that were going to be moved to the Cariboo-Chilcotin riding.”

She said she was most concerned about moving 150 Mile House from Cariboo-North to Cariboo-Chilcotin.

“This to me does not make sense, the reason being this access road is to Likely and Horsefly and these communities have a very strong connection to eachother. Taking 150 Mile out of Cariboo-North would once again create confusion for the voters.”

Osborne’s concern was shared by Quesnel resident Peter Walsh who said “the Likely, 150 Mile area, has as much or more to do with Quesnel than they do with other areas. The road to Barkerville used to go through Likely.”

He was also disappointed with losing a proposed 10 polls, and noted “in an area of our size, it’s significant.”

Another Quesnel resident, Bob Norman, wasn’t impressed he had to drive to Prince George for the hearing.

“Quesnel, the hub of Cariboo-North, doesn’t warrant a meeting? I’m not pleased with that but it’s not the end of the world.”

In direct contrast to Quesnel concerns however, the two presenters from Prince George were pleased with proposed changes to their ridings.

Under the proposal, all of the Hart would be moved to Prince George-Mackenzie, all of College Heights would be in Prince George-Valemount, while bowl residents would be divided between the two.

“I want to thank you for the work that you do,” said Charles Scott. The proposals you’re putting forward, they make sense to me.”

Cameron Stolz agreed noting “Mackenzie has a much stronger connection with the Hart than College Heights does,” he said. “The people of the Hart have a different set of issues and a different set of concerns.”

Commissioner Beverley Busson said they plan to carefully consider all the comments made at the hearing.

“We’ll have a good hard look at all of these comments to see if there’s some way we can incorporate their concerns and still meet our concerns around trying to balance the numbers and keeping communities together.”

The report proposed adding two ridings, in Richmond and Surrey, due to significant population growth.

The commission also proposed boundary changes to 49 other ridings, including the two in Prince George.

The commissions final report will be delivered to the legislature this fall. If passed, the changes will go into effect in time for the 2017 provincial election.

If you’d like to make a recommendation to the commission, you can do so at khttp://www.bc-ebc.ca/.


Only ten years ago we use to have three MLA’s in PG… Now we are down to two and with more growth down south those too are being diluted. The political system in BC is broken and no longer has the ability to represent the vast central interior and North. Representation by population alone fails the rural regions of the province so that new tidings only neighbourhoods in size can get ever smaller down south.

IMO the sooner the Northern two thirds of the province separate as an independent stand alone province the better… If for no other reason than proper representation.

I completely agree Eagleone.
Our concerns fall onto deaf ears in Victoria. Perhaps we wouldn’t have seen such a steep population decline in the North if Victoria showed any interest in it aside from taking advantage of our resource rich land. We’re down to what? 8 ridings in the north? and still some in the lower mainland say it’s too much because of our population.

Our issues in PG and the rest of northern BC are very different than the lower mainland. We’re practically different countries, never mind the same province. Time to move on. We have a port, we have the resources, we have cities to be our new economic hubs. And perhaps we will then have the power to reinvest in our communities and diversify their economies and not be at the mercy of the boom and bust resource cycles.

We all had to speak as a single voice to make UNBC a reality. We should speak as a single voice again and cut Victoria off.

Comments for this article are closed.