My name is Jagjit Nann. I have lived in Merritt since 1966, the year the electoral boundaries commission of the day created Yale-Lillooet out of the remains of two historic constituencies. It was a sad day several years ago when the previous commission unjustifiably divided this historic riding into two. There was no need to do that as Yale-Lillooet and the Cariboo-Thompson Region were already under-populated. Taking population out made no sense at the same.
I support the Preliminary Report you made public in March. I want to thank you for putting the Fraser Canyon communities of Hope, Yale, Boston, Bar and Boothroyd back into our riding again. You are to be commended for listening to our concerns during the initial round of hearings.
I understand there are some people in the Chilliwack and Hope area who don’t like the change because they shop and do business in Chilliwack and go to the regional hospital there. I owned my own business for a dozen years. Let me tell you, people shop and do business wherever they can find the best deals, and no border or boundary is going to stop them from doing that. I used to drive to Surrey to purchase the products I sold in my business, plus have been going to Kamloops to access my legal and medical services.
I agree that the Fraser Canyon’s interests will be better served in our riding and not in Chilliwack where Hope was swallowed up for 6 years. Hope didn’t matter then. At least in Fraser-Nicola all the towns and villages are the same size with no dominant community unduly influencing the MLA’s decisions.
Losing Princeton to Boundary-Similkaneen is tough, but your rationale is one I do understand. Princeton will continue to enjoy effective representation in its new home as it does in its present home.
Your proposed changes are fair. There have been no logical or practical solutions offered by critics of the Commission’s report that could be acted upon. I urge you to keep these changes in your final report. Thank you for your time.