Thank you to the Commission for holding a follow-up hearing hear in Williams Lake. While there hasn’t been a lot of change in the northern interior, there has been some change to the boundaries around Williams Lake and the surrounding areas. The Cariboo is a unique part of the province, or at least I like to think so, because our population bases are spread out over a large plot of land. It doesn’t lend itself to be nicely divided based on equally populations without usually splitting Williams Lake in some way. You heard from some of my fellow residents that having Williams Lake all in one riding means a lot, but I think it is important for the Commission to stay true to the idea that seats are equal in size. The idea of equal seats is a basic principle we all support. And while our rural seats won't be an equal size to say a Vancouver seat, the Cariboo seats can and should be an equal size between themselves. But considering our rural seats have been protected this time, and rightly so, I do feel the Commission should look at ways to balance the populations between the two Cariboo seats. It is only seem fair.
So, I’ve been looking at the maps the Commission produced and was thinking is there a way to balance the population between Cariboo-Chilcotin and Cariboo North while trying to respect the spirit of Williams Lake being in one riding? For me, the answer is that part of Cariboo North within the city limits. I think the Commission should keep that part of Cariboo North within the main city limits…I think they are polls 80-83 according to a map I saw on the elections website…but leave the rest of Cariboo North the same.
This slight tweak will respect the desire of Williams Lake residents to be in one seat (granted Williams Lake Airport will be in another riding) but just as important I’m guessing it could get us fairly equal ridings. I think that is very important to achieve because at the end of the day, when this is all over, everyone up here from 100 Mile House to Williams to Likely to Quesnel, we are all part of the Cariboo and I think it’s important to respect that fact by making sure have that balance in population. It will just make the region strong in my opinion. Thank you.