I am writing to express my opposition to the proposed electoral boundary change which will remove the Village of Cumberland, Royston, Denman Island and Hornby Island from the Comox Valley riding and move them into the Port Alberni riding.
I have lived in the Comox Valley since 1977, and in Cumberland since 1979. The Comox Valley, even prior to my moving here and as long as I have lived here, has always been regarded as a community comprised of three municipalities (Comox, Courtenay and Cumberland) and the Comox Valley Regional District. As such, Courtenay has traditionally been regarded as the “urban” centre of the Valley. Most residents of all these communities use the facilities in Courtenay for social, cultural and recreational opportunities; our taxes help to support these facilities. In addition, the majority of retail activity in the Valley occurs in Courtenay.
There have, at various times, been several civic groups who have proposed amalgamation of these communities, although there has as yet been no referendum to gauge public support for this proposition. Should Cumberland and the other communities included in your proposed restructuring of the electoral boundaries be removed from the Comox Valley, it would significantly affect the functioning of the remaining communities, to their detriment and ours.
Port Alberni geographically is far enough distant from the Comox Valley that access to our MLA would be significantly reduced.
I urge you to reconsider this proposal; it will have a significant impact on the democratic process and on the delicate relationship between the communities in the Comox Valley.
Linda Safford Cumberland, B.C.