Editorial: Riding changes need a rethink

This year, federal electoral boundaries commissions are redrawing riding maps to squeeze in 30 more seats.

This year, federal electoral boundaries commissions are redrawing riding maps to squeeze in 30 more seats, including six more in British Columbia (giving us a total of 42).

For many people in the Capital Region this is a yawn-inducing exercise that won’t impact their lives. But for people in the western half of Saanich, the West Shore, Vic West and Sooke, the riding they live in could change significantly.

The commissions are out to create ridings encompassing roughly 111,000 people. Greater Victoria could get a new, geographically small urban riding called Esquimalt-Colwood – effectively everything west of the Blue Bridge and east of Veterans Memorial Parkway in Langford and Colwood.

In turn, the old Esquimat-Juan de Fuca riding, created in 1987 and spanning from Esquimalt to Port Renfrew, would see its urban base gouged, then be fused with the Cowichan Valley, from Ladysmith south.

This may work on a map, but it seems to ignore the geographic, cultural and economic realities of the south Island. The Malahat creates a sharp divide in many ways between Cowichan and Greater Victoria.

Creating federal ridings that meet population criteria and mesh with regional realities is tough, but boundary commissioners in B.C. may want to sharpen their pencils again for the Island. People interested in how their riding could change can visit www.redecoupage-federal-redistribution.ca. The commission is accepting written submissions until Aug. 30.

A public hearing goes Oct. 17 in Victoria.

Have your say on where you vote.

 

Thoughts are with Olympians

As the Olympic torch is lit in London today and athletes begin competing on a global stage, our thoughts and hopes are with those who we’ve found training on our lakes, roadways and nearby gymnasiums.

We wish Island Olympians and all the Canadians the best of luck as they pursue their dreams and represent their country with pride.

Just Posted

Victoria police seize over one kilo of fentanyl, guns and cars

Andrew Ritch is facing charges of drug trafficking and firearm offences

Tour de Victoria rolls through the region Saturday

Expect traffic delays across Greater Victoria on Aug. 18

Fire chief stops driving lesson to fight fire

Sooke fire concerned over second suspicious bin fire this year

UPDATE: Missing Langford teen found safe

The 13-year-old Langford boy reported missing Wednesday has been found

West Shore firefighters answer call to battle fires in north-central B.C.

Crews to help with structural fire protection in Fort St. James

B.C. wildfires 2018: Hazy skies impacting crews in spotting new fires

18,000 people are on an evacuation alert, with 3,000 homes under an evacuation order

Minister optimistic after 2 days of Columbia River Treaty negotiations

Canadian and U.S. officials met in Nelson Wednesday and Thursday to discuss future of the treaty

Man dies in B.C. police cell while awaiting court hearing

An independent investigation is underway after a man died while in Penticton police custody Aug. 16

RCMP appeal for tips, dashcam footage in German tourist shooting west of Calgary

The Durango crashed into the ditch after the shooting near the Goodstoney Rodeo Centre

2 nurses attacked at B.C. psych hospital, union calls for in-unit security

PHSA says that in-unit guards would do more harm than good

Former B.C. optician won’t be jailed for sexually assaulting minor

Kenneth Pilkington sentenced to 24 months’ probation for offence three decades ago

Red Cross now accepting donations for those impacted by B.C. wildfires

The Canadian Red Cross is asking for help now and in the weeks and months ahead.

B.C. program to educate parents reduces ‘shaken baby syndrome’ by 35%

Period of PURPLE Crying was launched nearly a decade ago

UPDATED: Vancouver Island community under evacuation alert due to wildfire

BC Wildfire Service says steep terrain near Zeballos poses challenge as “out of control” wildfire approaches homes

Most Read