I’m writing in regards to provincial electoral district for the Fraser Canyon. I am writing in support of the proposed changes to the Fraser-Nicola boundaries.
Growing up in Lytton and at Kanaka Bar, I was very proud to be part of the Yale-Lillooet riding, as was my family and my friends. The eventual name change to Fraser-Nicola made sense as the Nicola Valley and its residents represent a pretty distinct geographical location and life style compared to the Fraser River people although the economy of the two areas are pretty similar. However the 2008 removal of the communities on the Fraser River below Kanaka Bar and subsequent placement of them into the Fraser Valley and Chilliwack area riding did not “make sense”.
Now the BC Electoral Boundaries Commission is recommending the return of the lower Fraser Canyon communities to the Fraser-Nicola riding and that I believe that makes both common and electoral sense as the lower Fraser communities are inherently rural in nature and are best served by an MLA who understands the needs of rural British Columbia versus an MLA who will be under pressure to place urban needs and interests above the needs of the rural minority.
Also, the 2008 electoral change inadvertently divided the Nlaka’pamux Nation into two separate ridings. The proposed return now of the indigenous communities of Boothroyd, Boston Bar and Spuzzum First Nation into the Fraser-Nicola is to be welcomed. The interests of the indigenous population will be aligned with all resident of the Fraser-Nicola and a stronger voice for all is then achieved.
Finally, the ad in the Hope standard dated May 14th, 2015 seems a little misleading. The present Fraser Nicola Liberal MLA is operating out of Ashcroft not Merritt. The Hope residents can certainly have the Fraser-Nicola MLA in their community if that is where the MLA chooses to locate or reside.
Chief Patrick Michell
Kanaka Bar Indian Band