I have carefully reviewed your preliminary report and would like to offer my feedback as a resident of the Fleetwood area of Surrey.
First of all, I really appreciate the fact that the Commission has proposed a new electoral district for Surrey to accommodate our fast growing population. You stated in your preliminary report: “The City of Surrey continues to be a high growth area of the province. Seven of the eight electoral districts in Surrey are well over the provincial average and this rate of growth is projected to continue. Two districts already exceed the maximum allowable population range and two more are very close.” I fully support your proposal to increase the number of electoral districts in Surrey from eight to nine. This is a big step in the right direction towards ensuring the people of Surrey are equitably represented in Victoria.
Secondly, I understand that the addition of a new electoral district requires substantial changes to the current boundaries. Balancing the need for a new district with the desire to respect historic and current communities is a difficult task. Surrey has six designated town centers that are presently stretched across eight electoral districts, and soon possibly nine. As your preliminary report acknowledges, it’s not possible in this context to draw electoral boundaries that perfectly reflect communities that are now too populous for single seat. Thus, the Commission has to place some communities in multiple electoral districts in order to fairly balance populations.
Nevertheless, I would like to point out that our community is known for three important hubs used primarily by Fleetwood residents: Fleetwood Community Centre/Fleetwood Public Library, Fleetwood Park Secondary School and Fleetwood Park. Both Fleetwood Park Secondary School and Fleetwood Park are located on the southern side of 80th Avenue and thus fall outside the proposed new boundary of Surrey-Fleetwood.
Therefore, I respectfully submit you consider amending the proposed boundary to bring both Fleetwood Park Secondary School and Fleetwood Park inside the Surrey-Fleetwood district. This could be achieved by moving the proposed southern boundary slightly further south. I don’t have access to the population figures, but I think this change would be small enough that no further changes would be required in Surrey-Fleetwood or any neighbouring district. Retaining these important community spaces would help keep Fleetwood whole while still embracing the reality that just like Newton and Cloverdale, Fleetwood is now too big for a single seat.
Thank you for your consideration.