Obviously no one wants politicians interfering with independent agencies simply to benefit themselves or their party.
But Okanagan-Shuswap MP Colin Mayes is taking things a little too far.
When asked if he would make a presentation to the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission over Falkland possibly being removed from the riding, his response was, “It’s a public process, not a political process.”
No one was expecting Mayes or the Conservative government to issue marching orders to the commission, but there is a role for him to play in this “public process.”
He was elected to represent the interests of his constituents and a number of his constituents are saying they would not be served by being shifted from Okanagan-Shuswap to a new riding that includes Kelowna, Summerland, Merritt, Logan Lake and Princeton.
Falkland residents insist that all of their economic and social connections are with Vernon, Salmon Arm and the other communities of the Okanagan-Shuswap. In a new riding, their interests would likely be forgotten and they would have to travel great distances — likely to Kelowna — to meet their federal representative.
Beyond the residents themselves, who better to present their case than Mayes? He has been MP for a number of years and should be familiar with the community of Falkland and the close relationship it has with the other communities of Okanagan-Shuswap. He must understand the challenges they would experience if the boundary was redrawn.
Political interference in a legislated process is wrong, but that doesn’t prevent elected officials from doing their job and representing those they serve.
It’s unfortunate Mayes hasn’t added his voice to Falkland’s fight.