The final report from the Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission is recommending the bulk of one of the ridings in the Peace be contained within Grande Prairie.
City limits would form most of the boundaries. Anything north or west of a line that follows Resources Road to the railway tracks, 108 Avenue, 92 Street, 116 Avenue and 88 Street would also be included.
Anything west of the city that is south of the County boundary, the east side of Grande Prairie and everything south of the County line to the Smoky River would be part of GP Wapiti.
What is left of the current GP Smoky riding would be combined with the current Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley constituency. It would be re-named Central Peace-Notley.
It would stretch from the Clear Hills south through Valleyview and Fox Creek.
These recommendations would still have to be approved by the provincial government.
Grande Prairie-Smoky MLA Todd Loewen says there was too much of a focus put on population and there were other factors that should have been taken into consideration.
“Obviously, the size of the constituencies is important and also, grouping communities together that are related,” explained Loewen. “Right now, what they have for Central-Peace-Notley includes Fox Creek and Worsley. I think it is very little relativity between those two communities. They are a long way apart and there isn’t any real natural corridor between the two.”
The job of an MLA is to represent communities and their needs, but Loewen says that becomes hard with these boundaries so far apart.
“It is going to be interesting to see where [the commission] goes from this. I would hope they would consider some changes. Very little of this was described in their interim report that we were able to give input on. It would be nice if there was a chance for more input on this.”
He thinks unnecessary changes have been made based on conversations he has had with people in the community.
With files from Justine Kelsie