Valemount will leave the Federal electoral riding of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo and rejoin McBride in its riding, which will have a new name: Prince GeorgePeace RiverNorthern Rockies. Federal ridings were last redrawn in 2003, for the 2004 General Election. Prior to that Valemount was part of the Prince George-Peace River riding.
In December 2012, the Federal Boundaries Commission for BC released its report on the 42 electoral districts now allocated to the province. The report was tabled in Parliament in January, with some objections submitted by members of Parliament on a number of ridings. The Commission considered these objections, and has released its final maps and boundaries descriptions.
The Commission aimed for a population quota of approximately 105,000 residents in each riding, and considered a volume of public input before releasing the initial report in December. The final report notes that because of the addition of six new electoral districts, the original boundaries of only three of the original districts were preserved. In determining the new boundaries, the commission considered many factors such as existing municipal, regional district and census boundaries, maintaining neighbourhoods, the co-existence of urban and rural communities, and tried to give less regard to major transportation arteries.
The new boundary of Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo makes it the second most populous riding at more than 13 per cent over the Electoral Quota of 104,763. The largest riding is North Okanagan-Shuswap with almost 16 per cent over the quota. The riding of Kootenay-Columbia, which some had suggested Valemount should join, is also above the quota by 2.7 percent, but the newly renamed Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies riding is only 2.5 percent above the quota.
Skeena-Bulkley Valley and Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon are the smallest ridings, both at more than 13 per cent under the Electoral Quota.
Bob Zimmer, current MP for Prince George-Peace River who suggested the ridings name change, welcomed the Commissions final report.
It is rewarding to know that the Commission has decided to agree with my recommendation to change the name of our very large riding, said Zimmer in a press release. I strongly believe that including Northern Rockies in the new electoral districts name will better represent the people and communities that live within these boundaries.
The Chief Electoral Officer is expected to draft the representation order in September. The new ridings and boundaries will come in to effect for the next general election if it is at least seven months after the representation order is proclaimed.
Until then, Valemount is still a member of Cathy McLeods riding.