Rural officials around Alberta are worried there will be fewer chances for the rural voice to be heard if new electoral boundaries come into effect.
New recommendations from the Electoral Boundaries Commission would see three rural ridings, including GP Smoky, wiped off the map and replaced by three urban ridings.
County of Grande Prairie Reeve Leanne Beaupre says the Commission was tasked with changing the boundaries without adding more MLAs.
“Any time you take away from the rural voice, it is taking away from where the food production is and where the resources are being extracted from. We need to have that advocacy as much as possible. The urban residents do as well.”
The changes would mean the County goes from having two voices in the legislature to having one.
“We advocated for the status quo. That really gives them another five years and then come back to look at it. At that time, the City of Grande Prairie may have enough, or maybe in ten years may have enough population to look at having their own MLA or two serving the City of Grande Prairie.”
Beaupre will be sending a letter to Premier Rachel Notley and Municipal Affairs Minister Shaye Anderson outlining the County’s concerns.
Edited for the web by Justine Kelsie