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.
< All input received

    Rani Lali, Merritt

    Dear Commissioners, these are my thoughts on the provincial electoral boundaries.

    I was born and raised in Merritt and have lived my entire life here, except for the time I was away at college. I have read many of the thoughts of others on your website. I would like to write this from a perspective that is totally different from anyone els’s. Let me state my bias right at the beginning. I am the spouse of the previous MLA for Fraser-Nicola, Harry Lali. Having said that, what I have to say is of no lessor or greater value than the perspective of all the others – just ‘different’, that’s all.

    During Harry’s 18 years or four terms as MLA that spanned a 22-year period, I along with my three children, often accompanied him on his travels throughout the constituencies of Yale-Lillooet and Fraser-Nicola. I speak from first-hand experience about the job he did, the communities he travelled to, the people he met, and the various issues he dealt with on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. I am not going talk about or go into detail about any of that. I want to convey to you the impressions of our three young children and what they had to say about this constituency.

    During my husband’s first tenure as MLA from 1991 – 2001, our older two kids and I routinely travelled with Harry to all the usual places in the constituency, from the south near Princeton to Lillooet in the north, and from the west at Hope to the east to Tunkwa Lake near Logan Lake and Ashcroft. Our older kids, when they were between the ages of roughly four to ten years, met a lot of the community leaders and residents in these towns. The whole family would also travel together for kids’ sports events, too. One question they repeatedly asked us every time was, “How come all the people Papa meets are all so old? There isn’t anyone our age to play with like in Surrey.”

    Our third child was born in between Harry’s two tenures as MLA. During my husband’s second tenure as MLA from 2005 – 2013, the older children grew up. Our third child and I often accompanied Harry to constituency events across the same area as before and now he was between the ages of four to ten. His hockey games also take to us many of these same communities. The one question he always asked us in addition to the question his siblings asked before him was, “How come all these towns Papa works in are empty? There aren’t very many people here.”

    It didn’t matter if we were in Logan Lake, Ashcroft, Lillooet, Lytton or Princeton the children’s observations and questions were always the same. The morrow of the story is even kids as young as age four years old can tell the difference between small rural towns and villages with their older senior populations and boarded-up store-fronts, compared to the hustle and bustle of urban centres most young families gravitate to. Society often does not give young people credit for making keen observations at such a young age.

    Smaller communities are better off with other small communities that they have more in common with than being lumped in with larger urban centres. The arguments posed by residents of Hope and the Fraser Canyon that they want out of Chilliwack and into Fraser-Nicola are based on obvious differences that are as clear as night and day.

    I support the idea of Hope and the Fraser Canyon being rejoined with Fraser-Nicola.

    < All input received