Previous Public Input Received
The following input and submissions were gathered by the commission through public hearings held in 29 communities throughout B.C. from September to November 2014. The public also provided input through the online submission form, by email and by mail to be reviewed and considered as the commission develops a Preliminary Report for further public input.
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Posts

    Anne Docherty, Hazelton
    2014-11-03

    I live in Hazelton British Columbia, which is one of the remote-rural and predominantly aboriginal communities that are situated within the Stikine constituency. I believe that some very special circumstances require our boundaries to remain the same. The geographic distances between communities are vast. Many people in our community do not have driver’s licenses or own a vehicle and public transportation barely exists. This means that some of the poorest constituents have immense challenges to access their MLA office. Even though our current MLA has opened two constituency offices, for many people it still requires a 2 to 5 hour drive to reach an office. It is not unusual for households in Stikine to have no telephone or for their community to have no cell service or high speed Internet. This makes it even more difficult to access their MLA. It takes over 20 hours of driving time for the MLA to visit every community. An extension of our boundaries would result in some of the most marginalized citizens having less opportunity to engage with their MLA. The current Stikine boundary (that was created before the 2009 election) solidified all members of the Gitxsan First Nation communities within one constituency. This boundary decision was a good and fair decision because it recognized the traditional relationships and alliances already in place based on culture, economics and environment. Expanding the boundary to include communities further east does not fit these natural alliances already in place. Expanding the boundary will result in dividing a First Nation’s communities; create even more challenges for citizens to access their MLA and will push poor people further to the margins. To allow the MLA Stikine to effectively represent all people of the constituency means keeping the boundaries as they are and not adding more territory or absorbing Stikine into another constituency. I request that the Stikine constituency remain the same.



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