Friday, March 14, 2008

The New Electoral Boundaries in BC

This week the NDP and the Liberals agreed to a new set of boundaries in BC for elections. They chose to preserve the northern and rural ridings and added six ridings in urban BC.

I am happy to see representation kept for the north, but I am concerned with the population gaps that are emerging. There will be 10 ridings in BC that will be under 75% of the average population of a riding, the smallest population will be less than half the average. Stikine will have just over 20 000 people and on the other end of the spectrum there will be five ridings with close to 60 000. The gap is getting too big to justify. One in eight ridings being well under the population numbers is going to lead to problems for representation.

The disparity can continue for a long time, federally we are willing to accept that BC deserves a lot less representation than Atlantic Canada or the praries, but it is not ideal and will be leading to problem with the concept of confederation.

There is only one good answer to the problems of representation in BC. The north needs to separate and form a new province. The economies of the north and urban BC are too different to put them into one province