Hope wants provincial riding left the same

Several Hope area residents told the BC Electoral Boundaries Commission that they favoured leaving their town in the Fraser Canyon ridings.

Hope Standard

The BC Electoral Boundaries Commission was in Hope recently, looking for input on the new ridings.

“The council has discussed this electoral boundary issue in detail and the decision of council was unanimous — we are unanimously in favour of staying within the Chilliwack alignment for the electoral boundary,” said Mayor Wilfried Vicktor. “A lot of this has to do with geographic accessibility, almost without exception, the provincial services that we enjoy as a community are based in Chilliwack — be it health services or the courts, there is a natural tie with Chilliwack.”

A request for the reconciliation of Hope and the Fraser Canyon with the Fraser-Nicola riding that currently presides over the communities of Princeton, Merritt, Lillooet, Ashcroft and Clinton was met with a level of honesty and integrity.

“Constituents of Hope, the Fraser Canyon and up through Boston Bar have already experienced inadequate representation and consequences when these areas once formed a part of the Fraser-Nicola riding,” said Hans Jeschek, broker and manager at Royal LePage. “The MLA of that period was located too far away to meet frequently with residents and did not visit our communities often.”

Hope was once part of the Fraser-Nicola riding, prior to a realignment established in the Electoral Districts Act in 2008 when Hope officially became a member of the Chilliwack-Hope riding.

The riding originally served as an amalgamation of Chillwack-Kent, Yale-Lillooet, Chilliwack-Sumas, Vancouver-Garibaldi and Maple Ridge-Mission.

Population was a key concern of the Chilliwack-Hope area, which has increased by 21 per cent, but still maintains a number within two per cent of the average population in other provincial ridings, thereby suggesting that moving into the Fraser-Nicola riding would not be in line with adequate representation.

Geographical concerns over the correct placement of The District of Hope were brought to light as citizens argued that Hope is part of the Fraser Valley, as opposed to the Interior.

Among other key points were the cultural and economical services that cover the entire area from Boston Bar through the Fraser Canyon.

“The heart of the Fraser Valley naturally gravitates south with respect to culture, business and services including health and recreation,” said Jeschek. “In fact the Hope and District Recreation Commission of the regional district serves from Hope up to and including Boston Bar — it is not geared towards Lytton, Lillooet and beyond.”

Efficiency and proximity was also a key issue for the potential realignment.

It was suggested that Hope would suffer if it was removed from its current riding status, which was seen by opposition as a difficult and impractical move for the smooth coordination of efforts between the federal Chilliwack-Hope and an MLA in a more remote mountain range in Princeton, or Merritt.

Voices in favour of the realignment were also heard.

“I support those changes, recommended by you, I believe they are in the best interest of the people of Hope and its surrounding town and villages,” said resident Marjorie Houghton. Hope is a a better fit with Fraser-Nicola than it was with Chilliwack, our views and our goals were overwhelmed by the majority of voters in Chilliwack. As a senior I moved to Hope when it had a hospital — now the hospital is just a band aid station,” she said.

The majority of those in favour of the realignment, cited differences in economics, numbers and objectives as a major reason to support the move for a new riding.

“When we were in Yale-Lillooet, our opinion mattered and we had an equal voice and we could compete with small communities like Yale, and we had a lot more in common with them in terms of economy and transportation links,” said Houghton.

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Okanagan Lake (File photo)
Thompson-Okanagan ready to welcome back tourists

The Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association expects this summer to be a busy one

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire at 16 Mile now being held

Wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 at 16 Mile, east of Highway 97

The Desert Daze Music Festival is doggone good fun, as shown in this photo from the 2019 festival, and it will be back in Spences Bridge this September. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
‘Best Little Fest in the West’ returning to Spences Bridge

Belated 10th anniversary Desert Daze festival going ahead with music, vendors, workshops, and more

Internet speed graphic, no date. Photo credit: Pixabay
Study asks for public input to show actual internet speeds in B.C. communities

Federal maps showing Internet speeds might be inflated, so communities lose out on faster Internet

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Thousands of protesters make their way through the downtown core during a Black Lives Matter protest in Ottawa, Friday June 5, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
MPs’ study of systemic racism in policing concludes RCMP needs new model

Chair of the House public safety committee says it’s time for a reckoning on ‘quasi-military’ structure

A case filled with packages of boneless chicken breasts is shown in a grocery store Sunday, May 10, 2020, in southeast Denver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-David Zalubowski
One million chickens euthanized during labour dispute at Quebec slaughterhouse

Premier says waste amounts to 13 per cent of the province’s chicken production thrown in the garbage

Premier of Manitoba Brian Pallister speaks at a news conference at the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg on Wednesday, April 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/David Lipnowski
Provincial leaders want more federal money for health care, plan to meet in fall

Premiers ask Ottawa to increase its share of overall health spending to 35 per cent from 22 per cent

A section of the eastern slopes of the Canadian Rockies is seen west of Cochrane, Alta., Thursday, June 17, 2021. A joint federal-provincial review has denied an application for an open-pit coal mine in Alberta’s Rocky Mountains, saying its impacts on the environment and Indigenous rights aren’t worth the economic benefits it would bring. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Panel says Grassy Mountain coal mine in Alberta Rockies not in public interest

Public hearings on the project in southern Alberta’s Crowsnest Pass region were held last fall

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

Himalayan Life helped finance the construction of Nepal’s Yangri Academic Centre and dormitories after a 2015 earthquake devastated the valley, killing more than 9,000 people. (Screen grab/Peter Schaeublin)
B.C. charity founder pledges to rebuild Nepalese school swept away by flash floods

Six years after an earthquake killed more than 9,000 people, Nepal faces another catastrophy

Most Read