My name is Ashley Mackay. I am the Administrator for the Spuzzum First Nation. I want to thank the Commission for bringing in a preliminary report that is well thought out, fair and independent. I support the recommendation to re-instate Hope and the Fraser Canyon communities of Yale, Boston Bar, Boothroyd and Spuzzum back into Fraser-Nicola. I appreciate the fact the current Commission respects the views of Aboriginal peoples.
The recommendation to move Hope and area back into our former electoral district is supported by the N’laka pamux people. The N’laka pamux are once again re-united under the boundaries of the same constituency. The unpopular 2009 decision to divide the twenty N’laka pamux Indian Bands of southern BC into two provincial ridings angered our people. Our common interests have always been with the other N’laka pamux and non-N’laka pamux communities like Lytton, Kanaka Bar, Spences Bridge, Lillooet, Merritt, Ashcroft and Logan Lake to the north and to the east. We did not fit in with the much larger urban centre of Chilliwack. Chilliwack is growing and our populations in the Fraser Canyon are dwindling, especially since the JS Jones sawmill in Boston Bar shut down. I agree with your rationale that the Hope area will now have “more effective representation” in Fraser-Nicola. In recognition of our involvement in this historic Yale-Lillooet constituency I ask that you also change the name back to Yale-Lillooet.
I urge the Commission to keep the changes you have recommended in your initial report. Thank you.