I was born and raised in Merritt and have lived here all my life. I am currently in university in Europe completing my M.D. Degree. Upon completion and certification, I will be returning to B.C. to practice Medicine. I have read your “BC Electoral Boundaries Preliminary Report” online. I agree with the changes proposed for Hope and Princeton.
I believe Hope and the Fraser Canyon’s “community interest” will be better served in Fraser-Nicola than in a constituency where Chilliwack was the ‘big cheese’. In Fraser-Nicola Hope, Yale, Spuzzum and Boston will be in the same company as the other similar-sized towns like Logan Lake, Douglas Lake, Ashcroft, Lillooet, Lytton, Spence’s Bridge and Merritt. There is no community big enough to push its own agenda before that of the others. These communities act as checks and balances against each other when competing for government attention and largesse. Unfortunately, the interests of Hope and the Canyon played second fiddle to the interests of the much larger urban city of Chilliwack. The prosperous city of Chilliwack is growing fast; however, the populations of Hope and communities in Fraser-Nicola are stagnant at best, and definitely shrinking because of job losses in the resource sector and also due to the pull-out of essential public services in Rural B.C.
I would love to see Princeton stay in Fraser-Nicola, but the alternative options would all result in the dismantling of Boundary-Similkameen, a rural seat. People in the region would be very upset if that were to occur. Inclusion of Princeton into Boundary-Similkameen was as necessary as the inclusion of Hope into Fraser-Nicola. Both these towns will enjoy “effective representation” in their new homes.
Again, I support the changes recommended for Fraser-Nicola.