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LETTERS: Riding boundary changes put local representaion at risk

‘Democracy is precious and riding boundaries matter,’ writes Delta Coun. Dylan Kruger
Proposed boundary changes for federal electoral areas would see parts of Delta added to ridings in Richmond and Surrey, while the southwest corner of Surrey would become part of the Delta electoral district. (Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for British Columbia image)

Re: “Proposed electoral boundary would have Delta represented by three MPs,” May 3, 2022

Local representation in Delta is at risk.

This month, the federal Electoral Boundaries Commission released a draft map of their proposed redistributed federal ridings. Clearly, whoever drew these riding maps has never visited Delta.

Currently, our entire city is represented by one member of Parliament. Under the new proposal, Delta would be carved up into three ridings, and split between Richmond and Surrey.

Ladner north of Highway 99, Tilbury, Annacis Island and North Delta west of 112th and north of 72nd would be lumped in with Richmond East. Ladner, Tsawwassen and North Delta south of 72nd would be lumped in with Surrey all the way to King George Boulevard. The remaining part of North Delta east of 112th would make up a new “Surrey West” riding.

Where to begin? In two out of the three new proposed ridings, Delta voices would be in the minority. This means residents in Richmond and Surrey would effectively decide who represents us here in Delta.

According to the Commission, there should be roughly 116,000 people in each federal riding. Luckily, Delta’s population hovers just above 110,000. Why would the Commission recommend cutting our community into slices and creating unnatural and illogical boundaries with other communities?

This might seem technical but its important. A fundamental tenet of our democratic system here in Canada is the right to local representation. A local MP understands Delta issues and is better prepared to fight for the solutions we care about.

These proposed changes would weaken Delta’s position in the Canadian federation, add significant confusion to voters, and delegate decision-making power to our neighbours.

The good news is, it’s not too late to stop these changes. The Commission will be holding a public meeting on June 9 at 7 p.m. at the Tsawwassen Coast Inn. I have signed up to speak.

I am also working with Mayor Harvie on a council motion in opposition to the proposed changes. With the support of council, the motion will direct the mayor to write to the Commission to express our serious concerns.

Democracy is precious and riding boundaries matter. Let’s work together to stop these changes and keep our city united.

Dylan Kruger

Councillor, City of Delta

SEE ALSO: Surrey’s proposed federal ridings are all over the map

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