Gateway Gazette

Electoral Boundaries Commission Presents its Final Report

“Albertans’ right to effective representation in government is fundamental to democracy and is protected by the Canadian Constitution,” said Justice Myra Bielby, Chair of the Electoral Boundaries Commission.

“The year-long review of Alberta’s electoral boundaries was undertaken as required by law, with a view to producing recommendations to the Legislature aimed at ensuring continued effective representation notwithstanding significant population growth in recent years. I thank the hundreds of Albertans who participated over the last year, making representations and providing feedback. Their insight has been invaluable to our process.”

Highlights of the report’s recommendations

The report recommends the creation of three new electoral divisions: Airdrie-Cochrane, Calgary-North East and Edmonton-South. The report also recommends the consolidation of ridings in three areas in the province that have experienced below average population growth over the last eight years.

This includes consolidating:

  • Four electoral divisions into three, including Lac La Biche-St. Paul-Two Hills, Athabasca-Sturgeon-Redwater, Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville and Bonnyville-Cold Lake.
  • Five electoral divisions into four, including Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre, West Yellowhead, Drayton Valley-Devon, Whitecourt-Ste. Anne and Stony Plain.
  • Seven electoral divisions into six, including Battle River-Wainwright, Drumheller-Stettler, Strathmore-Brooks, Little Bow, Cardston-Taber-Warner, Cypress-Medicine Hat and Vermilion-Lloydminster.

The Commission further recommends that the two electoral divisions in the far northwest of the province, currently Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley and Lesser Slave Lake, retain special status under s. 15(2) of the Act.

Almost entirely in response to public feedback, the Commission has modified some of its recommendations from the interim report. Changes include a decrease in the geographic size of some electoral divisions and a reduction in the degree of variance from the provincial average population for others. The vast majority of the recommendations would continue to produce population numbers falling within 10% of provincial average population size. The Commission made alterations to avoid dividing counties and to keep communities of interest together, including indigenous populations. It also made changes regarding the naming of some electoral divisions.

Since its establishment in October of 2016 the Commission has received extensive public feedback, including 1,358 written submissions and hundreds of oral presentations. Over 30 public hearings were held in various locations across the province.

The Commission submitted its final report to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly this morning. To access the report visit www.ABebc.ca.

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