SURREY and Richmond will each have one new riding in the 2017 provincial election if the preliminary report of the BC Electoral Boundaries Commission that was released on Thursday by its Chairman, Justice Tom Melnick, and commissioners Beverley Busson and Keith Archer is accepted.
The commission has also proposed changes to 49 of the current 85 ridings, most if which are relatively minor. Substantial changes are proposed in the Lower Mainland, particularly in Richmond and Surrey. The maximum increase in ridings allowable by the Electoral Boundaries Commission Act is two.
In Surrey, Surrey South – south of Surrey-Panorama – will be the largest of the proposed Surrey electoral districts geographically and will stretch from Mud Bay east to the Langley border and from the Peace Arch border crossing north to East Cloverdale and Clayton.
In Richmond, the Queensborough neighbourhood of New Westminster is combined with residents in Richmond to create a joint Richmond and Queensborough electoral district.
The commission noted: “With the release of this Preliminary Report, we look again to British Columbians to present your opinions of our proposals. We encourage you to submit your input to us online, by email or mail by 11:59 p.m. on May 26, 2015. We also will conduct public hearings in communities across British Columbia in April and May. We then will analyze this input over the summer before producing our final proposals. According to the Electoral Boundaries Commission Act, these final proposals must be submitted as recommendations to the Legislative Assembly by September 25, 2015 – six months after the submission of this report.”
For details go to website www.bc-ebc.ca