My name is Jackie Johnson. I am the Administrator Assistant for the Spuzzum First Nation.
I join with others in supporting the good work of the Electoral Boundaries Commission in your Preliminary Report. I support the recommendations for changes to the Hope and Fraser Canyon. Thank you for listening to the concerns of the Aboriginal people along the Fraser River. Here are my reasons:
1. Re-uniting the entire N’laka pamux Nation under one constituency again, as we were under Yale-Lillooet for decades, means a lot to me and my neighbours. It did not serve our interest when the 20 Indian Bands of the N’laka pamux Tribe in BC separated into two constituencies in 2009.
2. The Hope Area is a better fit within Fraser-Nicola electoral district where we share common interests or linkages dating back over a 100 years, such as geography, history, resource economy, tourism, transportation, small town living, etc.;
3. We will have better, more effective, representation being in with Lytton, Lillooet, Merritt, Logan Lake, and Ashcroft, as correctly pointed out in the Preliminary Report. No one community is big enough (like Chilliwack) to dominate the others.
4. Chilliwack is too big and different from the smaller communities in the Fraser Canyon and Fraser-Nicola and we didn’t have any influence in Chilliwack-Hope since 2009. In a re-constituted Yale-Lillooet electoral district we will be able to successfully work with other N’laka Bands to lobby federal and provincial government and high-light our issues.
5. Hope and the Fraser Canyon are rural, not urban like Chilliwack. Hope is the “Gateway” into Interior BC.
I would like to close by thanking the Commission again for your hard work and for your recommendations for change for the Hope area. Please keep up the good work. Thank you.