Controversial changes nixed

Proposed electoral boundaries that would have dramatically altered the political map in Central Alberta to the dismay of some area MLAs have mostly been abandoned.

Proposed electoral boundaries that would have dramatically altered the political map in Central Alberta to the dismay of some area MLAs have mostly been abandoned.

The electoral boundaries commission released a revised map late last week that does not include the most contentious changes proposed for Central Alberta. An earlier version had suggested dropping the traditional east-west alignment of several ridings to create ridings on a north-south axis.

It was also suggested that a chunk of Red Deer South riding, including Inglewood, Southbrook, Bower and much of Anders, be carved out included in a new Innisfail-Red Deer riding. That proposal has been abandoned.

“I don’t relish the fact we need to make changes,” said Dallas, who will lose a small portion of his riding to Red Deer North. “You don’t want to lose constituents.”

However, he is pleased the commission is not taking the portion in the south from his riding. His constituents said loud and clear they did not feel they would be well served in a large, mostly rural riding.

Innisfail-Sylvan Lake MLA Luke Ouellette told the boundaries commission at a Red Deer meeting suggested changes would “completely demolish” his riding.

Ouellette said on Monday he was pleased that his riding would remain similar to the one he has now and a plan to create a long north-south riding was dropped.

“I think it’s great,” he said. “I would have loved to have kept the whole county (Red Deer County), but I guess you can’t have everything.”

Ouellette said the suggested riding will also fit in well with various regional partnerships as they emerge.

The initial riding suggestion would not have worked near as well, he said.

“It seemed like it was going to be a million miles to drive and not a lot of commonalities as far as who does business with each other. East-west works much, much better I think.”

Rocky Mountain House MLA Ty Lund was pleased to see that a proposal to include parts of Olds in a new Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre has been reconsidered.

Lund had expressed concerns that the first riding proposal would have left an MLA responsible for representing a huge area with two large towns, Olds and Rocky Mountain House, at either end.

Lund said the new version of the riding is almost exactly the same as the one he suggested to the commission. The portion of Olds has been taken out and the riding’s border has been pushed closer to Sundre. The map also includes the trading area for Rimbey, which makes a lot of sense, he added.

Area MLAs worked together to present a map that worked as well as can be expected, he said.

“I think these rural constituencies are getting bigger and they are getting more difficult to serve because of their size. But it’s probably the best we could make of the situation.”

The commission has been charged with reviewing the province’s electoral map and making recommendations on the areas, boundaries and names for 87 electoral divisions — four more than at present.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

Asymptomatic testing will now be available for "priority groups" who are most likely to spread the COVID-19 virus to vulnerable or at-risk populations. File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS
Red Deer jumps to 449 active COVID-19 cases on Sunday

1,516 new cases identified in Alberta

The QEII was closed Sunday morning due to a pole fire. (Photo courtesy City of Red Deer)
UPDATE: QEII near Red Deer reopens

The QEII has been reopened after being closed due to a pole… Continue reading

Innisfail RCMP are investigating a single-vehicle crash that happened west of Bowden on March 21, 2021. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Bashaw RCMP investigate fatal collision in central Alberta

Bashaw RCMP are investigating after a fatal collision Saturday afternoon. Police were… Continue reading

A damaged unicorn statue is shown in a field outside of Delia, Alta. in this undated handout photo. It's not often police can report that a unicorn has been found, but it was the truth Saturday when RCMP said a stolen, stainless-steel statue of the mythical beast had been located in a field not far from where he'd been taken. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Mounties get their unicorn; stolen statue of mythical beast found in Alberta field

DELIA, Alta. — It’s not often police can report that a unicorn… Continue reading

Investigators from the Vancouver Police Department were in Chilliwack Saturday, collecting evidence connected to a double homicide. (file photo)
Police investigate shooting death of man outside downtown Vancouver restaurant

Vancouver police say one man was killed in what they believe was… Continue reading

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start registering people 18 years and older for COVID-19 vaccines

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government says it’s inviting people 18 years… Continue reading

San Jose's Tomas Hertl, center, celebrates with teammates Patrick Marleau, left, and Rudolfs Blacers, right, after Hertl scored a goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Minnesota Wild, Friday, April 16, 2021, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Stacy Bengs)
Patrick Marleau set to break Gordie Howe’s games record

For Patrick Marleau, the best part about Monday night when he is… Continue reading

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Half of U.S. adults have received at least one COVID-19 shot

WASHINGTON — Half of all adults in the U.S. have received at… Continue reading

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Federal government to send health-care workers to Ontario, Trudeau says

MONTREAL — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says federal departments and some Canadian… Continue reading

People cross a busy street in the shopping district of Flushing on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in the Queens borough of New York. Access to the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States is growing by the day. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kathy Willens
Despite COVID-19 vaccines, Americans in D.C. not feeling celebratory — or charitable

WASHINGTON — This might make Canadians jealous of their American cousins for… Continue reading

A man pays his respects at a roadside memorial in Portapique, N.S. on Thursday, April 23, 2021. RCMP say at least 22 people are dead after a man who at one point wore a police uniform and drove a mock-up cruiser, went on a murder rampage in Portapique and several other Nova Scotia communities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
Memorial service in Nova Scotia marks one year since mass shooting started

TRURO, N.S. — A memorial service is planned for today in central… Continue reading

In this April 23, 2016, photo, David Goethel sorts cod and haddock while fishing off the coast of New Hampshire. To Goethel, cod represents his identity, his ticket to middle class life, and his link to one the country's most historic industries, a fisherman who has caught New England's most recognized fish for more than 30 years. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
‘It’s more than just a fish:’ Scientists worry cod will never come back in N.L.

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — The latest assessment of Atlantic cod stocks, whose… Continue reading

Most Read