EDITORIAL: Boundary change off the mark

One has to wonder if members of the B.C. Electoral Boundaries Commission have been to Greater Vernon

One has to wonder if members of the B.C. Electoral Boundaries Commission have been to Greater Vernon or are aware of its governance structure.

If they had, they likely wouldn’t have made the recommendation to rip the Swan Lake area and a portion of the BX out of the Vernon-Monashee provincial constituency and shift it into Shuswap, which covers from Spallumcheen to well past Salmon Arm.

Yes there may be just a few kilometres difference, but electoral area residents along Pleasant Valley and Old Kamloops Road and east to Silver Star Road associate themselves with Vernon. They work in the city and shop in the city.

More importantly, though, the two electoral areas are partners with Vernon and Coldstream in critical issues such as water, culture and parks. Frequently, the jurisdictions have to lobby the provincial government and that’s likely to escalate as options for the master water plan are sought. Currently, just one MLA is approached, but the new model would see two at the table.

The BCEBC has placed all of the City of Vernon in a single constituency. However, the commissioners neglect to consider that regular annexation applications means the boundary between Vernon and the electoral areas is fluid.

Yes, larger cities in B.C. have more than one MLA because of their population base. But it’s unrealistic to consider the BX fire hall having one representative and BX Elementary, on the other side of the road, having another MLA.

Public input is being sought on the commission’s recommendations. Hopefully local residents and elected officials will have their say.