The proposed changes to the electoral boundaries around Hope are - I believe - short-sighted and not in-line with the realities of residents of Hope. To quote a much more eloquent friend:
"Taking Hope out of the Chilliwack region and putting it with Merritt makes no sense. Our health care region, school district, policing, Park, Forestry and Highways regional boundaries, and economic interests are all tied to the Fraser Valley. This is shortsighted and not at all well thought out. Our politicians (especially Provincial politicians) need to work with the land managers, agency representatives and Provincial Ministries for their area. This will be extremely complicated and unwieldly if we are combined with Merritt as the regional boundaries won't line up at all for any of these agencies. Economically our interests are more aligned with the Fraser Valley as well. The fact is that many Hope residents work and shop and see doctors and dentists in the Fraser Valley. Likewise, there is development pressure on Hope as population spreads outward from Vancouver. We need to have a say in that regional development pressure."
I realize that more goes into these decision than the feelings of residents and we must take into account demographic changes and population numbers. I also realize that we have been associated with Merritt in the past and Hope did not implode. However, it's also true that no one I know travels to Merritt for groceries, health-care, or recreation. We travel to Chilliwack and, therefore, have a vested interest in sharing a representative.
It's a difficult decision to make and I applaud those of you who are making the decision for your efforts. I only ask that you consider the real implications of changing the boundaries. It is not merely a line in the sand. Representation matters a great deal and I believe you will find that a majority of voters who have considered the issue feel that we would be better represented in our current riding.