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

    Megan Olson, Smithers
    2014-11-12

    Dear Electoral Boundary Commission,

    Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to provide input regarding the electoral district boundaries in our province. I am a resident of Smithers, but I have previously lived in New Hazelton and the Kispiox Valley. As such, I have personal knowledge of the realities that come with a riding the size of Stikine. I am writing today to urge you to not change the boundaries of Stikine.

    There are a number of “very special circumstances” that should be taken into consideration when determining the boundaries of Stikine and the decision to not change them. Stikine is unique in that there is a very small population compared to other constituencies, but the largest physical area.

    Transportation is an ongoing issue in our area. Not only does it take a considerable amount of time to travel across the constituency, but many areas are hard to access. For example, Telegraph Creek is a remote trip, on a six hour long, very challenging side road. Many areas of the constituency lack public transit completely or only have sporadic public transport. A significant portion of the population do not have a driver’s license or a vehicle. This makes it very difficult for constituents to access the local MLA office or to make an appointment with the MLA.

    Many of the communities in Stikine also lack cell phone service and/or high speed internet service. Many constituents cannot afford a landline. Some of the worst socioeconomic indicators in BC are found in Stikine, which presents challenges for access to the MLA.

    The changes made shortly before the 2009 election better reflected the community structure of the area. Stikine is now the constituency for all Gitxsan communities, where those had been previously broken up. The current Stikine boundaries also reflect a broader cultural, economic and environmental community in the North. Any change to the boundaries would divide representation in these communities and create even more challenges for the representation by the MLA.

    Given these considerations, I submit that any change to Stikine’s boundaries would negatively impact on the effective representation of the area’s constituents. The very special circumstances of geography and accessibility, as well as consideration of the community make up of Stikine, are all reasons that the boundaries should remain the same.

    Thank you for your consideration.



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