A map showing the boundaries for the final recommendations made by the Electoral Boundaries Commission. Photo submitted

A map showing the boundaries for the final recommendations made by the Electoral Boundaries Commission. Photo submitted

Electoral boundaries changes not drastic for current division

The Electoral Boundaries Commission issued their final report to the Province in October

The electoral boundaries for the Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre division will be changing if the proposal is accepted by the Province.

Announced on Dec. 4, the current division is expected to get bigger.

According to a press release issued by the Province, the Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre constituency is of five constituents that is being moved around, if the motion is passed.

“Five electoral divisions would be consolidated into four, including Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre, West Yellowhead, Drayton Valley-Devon, Whitecourt-Ste. Anne and Stony Plain,” the press release stated.

The final recommendation of the Electoral Boundaries Commission suggests a change which would bring the electoral divisions population size to 45,138 about four per cent lower than the provincial average.

In May 2017, the suggestion from the commission was to increase the divisions size, which would have brought the population to 54,609, 17 per cent above the provincial average. The commission rationalized this choice by explaining the division will grow at a slower rate than the rest of the province.

This would have meant the division would have a larger population than ridings in Edmonton, according the MLA Jason Nixon.

When the initial report was issued the public had the chance to cite their opinions, which resulted in the final report.

One issue in the report from May was that many places in the Drayton Valley riding ere added to the Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre .

“We are lucky none of our municipalities were moved out. Many in Drayton Valley are upset about being separated,” Nixon said of the initial report.

With the changes, which resulted directly from the “significant public input,” the The Town of Drayton Valley would return to this constituency.

To avoid splitting communities, one small area of the Innisfail-Sylvan Lake region is to be added to what will be called the Rocky Mountain House-Sundre division.

The Rocky Mountain House-Sundre will retain communities along the Bergen corridor, as they currently are.

“This final recommendation reflects the concerns of many presenters about the size of the constituency produced by the interim recommendation, with its proposed degree of variance of plus 17 per cent from provincial average population size,” the final report from the commission states.

The commission decided the proposed changes will not significantly increase the size of the current riding, geographically speaking.

The changes will not include moving the boundary lines to include the community of Cochrane.

“While some may not agree with the recommendations, it is important to all Albertans that the new boundaries were decided by an independent body,” said Minister of Transportation and Government House Leader Brian Mason, adding his thanks to the commission for the work put into the final report.

Formed in October, 2016, the Electoral Boundaries Commission conducted extensive reviews of Alberta’s electoral map.

Changes will be accepted before the next general election. If the motion passes, the changes will come into effect on the day the writ is issued for the next provincial election.

 

The current electoral division for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre. Photo submitted

The current electoral division for Rimbey-Rocky Mountain House-Sundre. Photo submitted