Falkland’s wishes must be respected

EDITORIAL: Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission needs to turn its ears up to Falkland's wishes

Let’s hope the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission got the message.

Removing Falkland from Okanagan-Shuswap and lumping it in with Kelowna, Summerland, Merritt and Princeton is a complete mistake.

Not one presentation to the commission Wednesday supported the realignment of boundaries, and Falkland residents took to the street Tuesday to voice their opposition.

“You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who would support it,” said Rene Talbot, the local regional district director.

There’s no question that redistributing boundaries to meet population trends is difficult, but did  the commission members actually look at a map? Falkland is no where near Princeton and Merritt and even driving to Kelowna will take the better part of a day.

That means having physical contact with their MP’s office would be limited and Falkland’s needs would be overshadowed by the much larger communities within that riding.

If commission members actually took the time to go on a road trip, they would realize where Falkland’s alignments are. Its secondary students go to school in Armstrong, it is part of a Salmon Arm-based regional district and many residents work and shop in Vernon, as well as access health care there.

It could be months before the commission makes a final decision on boundaries, but an immediate announcement leaving Falkland in Okanagan-Shuswap should be a priority.

If that doesn’t occur, they will continue to realize that Falkland residents are a tenacious bunch and known for speaking out.

They aren’t going to stop fighting until the boundaries commission raises the white flag.