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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    Bill Brassington, Burnaby

    Submission to the 2014 BC Electoral Boundaries Commission


    As a constituency name, Burnaby North is about as distinct as you can get. And, except for a few boundary tweaks over the years, it’s geographical delineation has remained fairly consistent.

    Federally, Burnaby North is part of Burnaby Douglas south. But that will change as a result of federal redistribution hearings held in 2012. That process was an anxious and angry one for many in Burnaby North (as well as North Vancouver) because of what was viewed as a rigged outcome. Incredibly, one of the three federal commissioners (Stewart Ladyman) stated well before public hearings that “this time around” there was no way community of interest - an established principle of the commission’s work - was going to trump the target riding population quota of 104,763.

    True to his word, the electoral boundaries commission created the riding of Burnaby North-Seymour. In doing so, it repudiated the notion that Seymour and Burnaby North have two.different geographical and historical realities, as well as divergent community interests. The pushing aside of these factors in favour of a slavish adherence to a population quota has created representational difficulties for the new riding of Burnaby North-Seymour.

    For example, in which community should the constituency office be located? A decision to locate it in one community will likely alienate the other. Similarly, a decision with respect to the location of an election campaign office will be equally alienating, particularly when it comes to the recruitment of election volunteers.

    A similar outcome of the provincial boundaries review is to be avoided.

    Provincial Boundaries

    To this end, a reading of the Electoral Boundaries Commission Act provides a degree of reassurance that there should be little or no impact on the majority of existing electoral districts as a result of a boundary review. That is:

    Other than a possible name change 17 electoral district boundaries are protected from any changes whatsoever.

    - The geographic and historical condition of a district should remain intact.

    - With the provincial population at 4,621,394 the electoral quotient would be either 53,119,471 (87 districts) or 54,369 (85 districts), depending on which number the commission uses.

    Except in special circumstances, a district population may vary no more than 25% above or below the electoral quotient.

    - Only two additional districts may be created.

    Specifically, the current populations of the four Burnaby districts places them well within the 25% upper range of either electoral quotient mentioned above. Moreover, the four districts meet all the principles set down in Section 9, sub-section (1) of the Act.

    Accordingly, the Burnaby districts should remain as is.

    Two more districts

    That leaves the matter of additional electoral districts.

    Of the eight Surrey electoral districts six contain a population within the upper quotient range. The remaining two districts exceed the upper limit: Surrey Cloverdale at 79,362 and Surrey-Panarama at 75,462.

    Taken together all eight electoral districts have increased in population by a total of 116,464, a number equivalent to two additional districts with an average population of 58,323 each. No other area can make a similar claim. It therefore would be reasonable to create two additional Surrey electoral districts.

    Thank your for this opportunity to submit my views to the Commission.

    Bill Brassington
    Burnaby North
    November 2014

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