My name is Baljit Samra.
I want to thank the Commission for this opportunity to present my ideas on electoral boundaries. I have lived in Merritt since 1987.
The map puts Hope/other communities in the Fraser Canyon back where they belong--with other rural communities in the Cariboo-Thompson Region such as Merritt, Ashcroft, Lillooet and Logan Lake. This change will result in more “effective representation” for the residents of the Hope area by including them with communities with similar realities and interests. In the past, having Hope in with an urban centre like Chilliwack would be like putting Keremeos or Oliver in with the much larger City of Penticton – their voices would be drowned out.
I disagree with the people who call this a big change. Separating Hope from the Fraser Canyon in 2009 was the big change; your report sets things right. The good people of Hope can still continue to shop in Chilliwack and access health care there without belonging to the same constituency. The people in Princeton shop in Penticton, Merritt and Kelowna, and we also access our regional hospitals in Penticton and Kelowna. This will continue.