Peter Bailey Submission,May 21, 2015
My name is Peter Bailey. I am a local business owner, running an employability agency in the community for the past 22 years. I came to your hearing in Hope, but had to leave due to another conflicting meeting, and was unable to make a presentation. Having presented at the Abbotsford public hearing in October last year, I felt it was appropriate to respond to the recommended changes in the Report you tabled this spring. This submission is more detailed than the one I made online on April 15th.
I support your Preliminary Report in full. I especially agree with your recommendation and rationale to remove Hope and the Fraser Canyon from Chilliwack-Hope and to include them in with Fraser-Nicola, where they belong. Many of us in the Hope area, including myself, made presentations and submissions to that affect last fall. I would like to thank the Commission for responding positively to our concerns, knowing full well the enormity of the task you faced over the winter as you attempted successfully to balance the often opposing needs and desires of individuals and communities.
I had a chance to read the rationale for the changes made in Hope and Princeton. It made sense to add constituencies in the Lower Mainland to deal with population growth there, thus necessitating the west-ward migration of constituency boundaries beginning to the west of us in the Langley area, through Abbotsford, Chilliwack and also in Fraser-Nicola and the Boundary country to the east of us. This corrects a historic wrong of 2009 when Hope was yanked out of Yale-Lillooet and arbitrarily put into Chilliwack. I did not appreciate the political interference by the Legislature at that time and neither did my neighbours. Your report accurately reflects what the community I live in wants and needs.
Chilliwack’s problems are related to the construction boom, suburban crawl and fighting crime, while our problems are related to the lack of growth in Hope and the Fraser Canyon. High unemployment, the resource economy, sawmill closures, loss of public services to regional cities (like Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Kamloops and Kelowna), Aboriginal issues, transportation, etc., are the common issues we face every day in Hope and Fraser Canyon. These are the same issues the smaller towns in Fraser-Nicola routinely face. Putting us back into our traditional Fraser-Nicola home provides for “more effective representation” as stated in your report.
This also rectifies the problem that the last boundaries re-distribution process created: that of the separation of peoples of First Nations’ origin who were divided into two constituencies for the first time since Confederation. Hope and the Fraser Canyon communities belong with the like-minded communities in Fraser-Nicola with whom we share common "community interests". Now, all 20 Bands of the Nlaka’pamux Tribe north of the international border are once again contained within the re-aligned Fraser-Nicola electoral district. Even though I mourn the loss of Princeton to Boundary-Similkameen, your rationale for doing this is understandable because of Boundary’s population deviation being greater than plus/or minus 25%. This was a necessary move; beside, Princeton goes from one rural riding to another where your mandate of “effective representation” is achieved.
The old historic constituency of Yale-Lillooet should never have been divided. Again, I thank the Commission for having the fore-sight to re-unite Yale with Lillooet and other communities Hope was previously aligned with for decades. The name “Yale-Lillooet” should also be re-instated to complete that change.
Thank you very much.