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

    Pat Bell, Prince George
    2014-11-16

    Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback to the EBC. As a 3 term MLA for Prince George Mackenzie I believe I am in a unique position to speak to the issue of boundary changes and the impacts, intended and unintended.

    When the boundaries were changed in 2005 I'm sure the EBC of the day believed that they were re-balancing the ridings to allow for better representation and fairer treatment. While the re-balance may have achieved a slightly more population balance there were significantly negative impacts on the Constituents in the impacted ridings. The communities of Tsay Keh and Kwadacha were taken out of the riding I represented (Prince George North) and moved into Peace River North. These 2 communities have road connections to Prince George but not to Fort St John and n both of the First Nations have their offices and service providers in Prince George. residents of the Hart Highway had for years been represented by a single MLA, post boundary change they had 2 different representatives depending on which side of the highway you lived.

    It is with this in mind that my first recommendation is "do nothing". While not perfect the impact of changing riding boundaries creates confusion and misunderstandings. I believe that unless there is a compelling case for change British Columbians are better served with the status quo.

    Should you feel that population changes require change my suggestion would be to create a similar model to the one from 1996-2005. That is to say "Prince George Mackenzie" would include everything north of the Nechako River. "Prince George Valemount" would be the remainder of Prince George excluding the area north of Highway 16 and west of Foothills Blvd. This would allow you to move "Omineca" east and capture a small amount of the Prince George population.

    Again I start from the principle that disruption is worse than status quo, As an MLA it is hard to explain to someone that you no longer represent them, even though they have built a long standing relationship with the MLA.

    Sincerely

    Pat Bell
    Past MLA
    Prince George Mackenzie



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