My name is Bruce Kreller. I am retired and have been living in Hope since 1981.
I was unable to attend the Hope Public Hearing in person last month. I am writing to support the changes proposed in the Preliminary Report of the Electoral Boundaries Commission. I am pleased that you have responded positively to the opinions of people like me and many others from Hope and our surrounding area who asked the Commission in the fall of last year to put Hope, Yale and Boston Bar back in with Fraser-Nicola. I want to thank the Commission for your thoughtful decision contained in the Preliminary Report.
I believe it is a good idea. It should never have been taken out of Yale-Lillooet to begin with. We have way more in common with the Fraser-Nicola communities than we do with Chilliwack-Hope. All the towns in Fraser-Nicola are similar in size compared to Hope, Yale and Boston Bar. We also have a common history, geography and an economy based on resource-extraction, transportation and tourism. That is why before 2008 we were better able to shed light on our common problems and concerns by putting up a united front with elected officials and senior public servants.
Now, more often than not, we have to fight with Chilliwack and Abbotsford to keep from having our public services moved there. A community cannot successfully fight the bigger urban centres located within its own electoral district if the MLA is the one who has to make the tough decision. In our case, the MLA now is from Chilliwack. It is always a foregone conclusion that the MLA will choose the larger city with its larger voter base, regardless of what political party they represent. That is the biggest problem Hope and the Fraser Canyon faces being in with Chilliwack. We in Hope always lose out. Your changes in the Hope area correct that.
In Fraser-Nicola, communities like Merritt, Ashcroft, Lillooet and Logan Lake are small and similar in size as Hope and have similar community interests. When we were in Yale-Lillooet we always received our fair share of attention and government funding for projects and public services, because we could successfully compete with these similar-sized communities. I agree with your comments in the report affirming that the residents of the Hope area will have “more effective representation” with the proposed changes.
So, thank you very much for re-instating Hope and the Fraser Canyon communities with our former constituency.
I support your recommendation for Hope and the Fraser Canyon.