I have lived in Merritt for 46 years. I must congratulate the Commission for doing a good job to re-align constituency boundaries in such a fair manner. You have lived up to the letter of your independence as a Commission. The changes you made in Hope allowed you to shift electoral boundaries westward to alleviate population pressures in fast-growing areas.
Putting Hope back into Fraser-Nicola is the right thing to do. It did not fit into Chilliwack with its urban issues. Hope, Yale, Spuzzum, Boston Bar, and Boothroyd had been a part of Yale-Lillooet as far back as I can remember until the 2009 Redistribution. I recall at the time how little that move made sense to me, until I realized a presentation from the District of Hope and the political interference from Victoria were the cause of it. Hope has so much in common with Fraser-Nicola communities like Merritt, Lillooet, Logan Lake, Ashcroft and Lytton. We have a similar economy, such as forestry, mining, tourism and common transportation links provided by national highways and railroad crossing our territory. We also have a common First Nations culture with the over-lapping N’laka’pamux peoples. Your rationale in the Report about “more effective representation” for Hope within Fraser-Nicola makes complete sense.
Putting Hope into Fraser-Nicola made it easier for you to take Princeton out and join it to the under-populated Boundary-Similkameen. That change should not be viewed as disruptive when it comes to effective representation. Both Fraser-Nicola and Boundary-Similkameen are similar rural ridings containing small towns, villages and multiple First Nations reserves.
I also agree with returning our riding name to Yale-Lillooet.
Again, thank you for recommending these positive changes in your Preliminary Report.