The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission finished work on redistribution of Canada’s electoral districts and the final report has been submitted to the Chief Electoral Officer.
Under the changes, the current Nanaimo-Alberni and Nanaimo-Cowichan ridings would disappear, replaced by a new Nanaimo-Ladysmith riding, which would be in place for the next election expected to take place in 2015. Nanaimo-Ladysmith will include areas such as the Town of Ladysmith, City of Nanaimo and District Municipality of Lantzville.
Nanaimo-Cowichan NDP MP Jean Crowder will see her riding divided in two, with half going to Nanaimo-Ladysmith and the other to another new riding, Cowichan-Malahat-Langford.
Crowder said she will have to determine which riding she will seek the NDP nomination.
“We did make some presentations to the riding boundary commission, particularly in the initial proposal,” Crowder said. “What they had done is put Lake Cowichan in the Nanaimo-Ladysmith area and they clearly heard us and changed that so Lake Cowichan is now with the Cowichan-Malahat Langford area,” adding that there were other minor changes suggested and the commission was largely accommodating.
“The riding boundary commission has a tough job to do because they’re trying to balance the numbers and the communities of interest. There’s going to be some challenges with the new ridings but the good thing about the Nanaimo area is the City of Nanaimo is intact. I think sometimes in Nanaimo it can be a bit of a challenge because you’ve got two members of parliament who represent the City of Nanaimo and I think this will be an improvement for Nanaimo.”
Nanaimo-Alberni Conservative MP James Lunney was out of the country and unavailable for comment but the office for the federal Conservative said he will take a careful examination of the situation once he returns.
“James will review the final decision of the boundary commission when he returns and has time to digest it, consider the implications and consult with Conservative executive and supporters,” said a spokesman in an e-mail.
According to Elections Canada, the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission was created in February of 2012 to set boundaries so that each electoral district would contain roughly the same number of people while also taking into account communities of interest or identity, historical patterns and geographical size in sparsely populated regions.
For more information on Nanaimo-Ladysmith and riding redistribution, go to www.redecoupage-federal-redistribution.ca.