Central Alberta’s ridings would look a bit different under a potential new federal electoral map.
On Thursday, the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Alberta’s report outlining its proposed changes to the province’s electoral map was tabled in the House of Commons.
The report, which was sent to the Speaker of the House through the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada, will be reviewed by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs.
Currently, there are two ridings where the City of Red Deer is represented: Red Deer-Lacombe and Red Deer-Mountain View.
“Splitting the City of Red Deer into two hybrid electoral districts was unpopular with its residents,” the report states.
“Accordingly, the commission in its proposal recommended a modified Red Deer electoral district, one that included the City of Red Deer in its entirety, as well as a portion of the current Red Deer-Mountain View electoral district. The proposal to reunite the City of Red Deer within one electoral district was received very favourably.”
Under the new tabled electoral map, there would be a sole Red Deer riding, which would also include the Town of Penhold, the villages of Delburne and Elnora, and part of Red Deer County. This riding’s population is 115,044.
The new Ponoka-Didsbury riding would be home to the City of Lacombe, and the towns of Bentley, Bowden, Didsbury, Eckville, Innisfail, Olds, Ponoka, Rimbey and Sylvan Lake. It would also include the villages of Alix and Clive, as well as the summer villages of Birchcliff, Gull Lake, Half Moon Bay, Jarvis Bay, Norglenwold, Parkland Beach and Sunbreaker Cove. This riding would also include parts of Mountain View County, Ponoka County and Red Deer County, as well as the entirety of Lacombe County.
Part of Ponoka County would also be located within the Leduc-Wetaskiwin riding. Rocky Mountain House, Caroline and Sundre would be located within the Jasper-Banff-Canmore riding. The Battle River-Crowfoot would feature central Alberta communities as well, including Stettler, Trochu and Three Hills.
The commission was tasked with proposing new boundaries that maintain population equality while taking into consideration social and geographic factors, including respect for communities of interest or identity and historical patterns of previous boundaries.
These criteria, along with the submissions and the public feedback gathered at public hearings held between Sept. 6 and Oct. 14 all factored into the report tabled in the House of Commons.
“Following a review of the submissions received, the Commission revisited many of the electoral boundaries,” said the Justice Bruce McDonald, Chair of the three-member commission.
“The Commission is satisfied that it has achieved a fair balance with respect to the criteria for the redistribution of the 37 electoral districts in the Province of Alberta. Considering the size, shape and character of each electoral district, the Commission is satisfied that fair and effective representation has been achieved within each one.”
According to the redistribution process timeline, February to May will be a time to hear objections from members of parliament. The commission will consider those objections from May to June and prepare a representation order for September.
To consult the report and for more information on the next steps in the redistribution process, visit www.redistribution2022.ca.
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