My name is Melody Simon. I work as Realtor. I have lived in Merritt for 13 years.
I am writing to commend the great work you have done in your Preliminary Report. I support the changes you have made to electoral boundaries across the province, especially in Fraser-Nicola. It must not have been easy trying to balance between high-growth and low-growth areas of the province.
I believe that bringing Hope and the Fraser Canyon back into Fraser-Nicola will provide better and more effective representation for those residents who used to be a part of our constituency before 2009 when it was known as Yale-Lillooet. I believe the constituency should be re-named Yale-Lillooet to reflect the change back.
The people of Hope have more in common with the people of Lytton, Lillooet, Merritt and Ashcroft. We are all small towns sharing the same community interests such as forestry, tourism, transportation, and a common history. We also share the same rural life-style. Being included in Chilliwack did not serve the greater interest of the people of Hop. Chilliwack is urban and growing rapidly, while all the communities in the former Yale-Lillooet, including Hope, are all fighting resource job losses, and closure of public services like court-houses, post offices, schools, down-grading of health care, etc. There are people in Hope who shop for goods and services and medical services in Chilliwack. These activities will still continue on regardless of boundaries and borders. Those of us who live in Merritt also shop for goods and services in Kamloops and access the Royal Inland Hospital there for medical procedures, yet we are not in the same constituency. People in Abbotsford and Chilliwack routinely shop in Sumas, Washington, where the international border is no deterrent.
Moving Hope back into Fraser-Nicola is the right thing to do. This also allows you to shift Princeton into Boundary-Similkameen in order to fix their population problem that was over the plus or minus 25% deviation.
Again, I support the good work you have done in your report. Please do not back away from those positive changes.