Grande Prairie city officials may have some ideas about changes to electoral boundaries.
A city committee has asked administration to investigate possible suggestions to the boundaries commission after its recent interim report.
Those ideas include places like Beaverlodge and Wembley going in GP Smoky, rather than Central Peace-Notley. Valleyview would go to the latter riding instead.
Mayor Bill Given says this would make for a better fit with the part of the city that will remain in Smoky.
“I think there’s a more natural connection between the communities to the west of our city and the City of Grande Prairie residents than there might be with the communities of Fox Creek and Valleyview. That’s why I was interested in seeing if there was a way we can put forward a recommendation that will maintain the one fully urban riding, but then more appropriately deal with the balance of the City of Grande Prairie.”
He adds the committee supports the proposed new riding that would be inside Grande Prairie.
“I still have a concern about the balance of the City of Grande Prairie. The east portion of our city, as it sits in this first draft (of the boundaries commission report), is in an electoral district that would contain the communities of Valleyview and Fox Creek, but not the communities to the west of the city.”
Councillor Kevin McLean says along with this, he would like administration to check into Beaverlodge and Wembley still going to Central Peace-Notley and Valleyview going to that riding or maybe into the same one as Barrhead and Westlock.
“The next panel review will be, say, (in) eight years and if we don’t get changes now, if we don’t get any changes, it will be 16 years, so that is how I look at it. In 2010 I spoke at the panel. No changes were made. Our population grew. Here we are, 2017.”
Administration will look into these ideas and report back to committee ahead of a stop in Grande Prairie July 17 for a public hearing by the electoral boundaries commission.