Victoria Report: Local representation could be lost

Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart says local connections could be lost with switch to PR

By Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart

I recently completed my latest constituency tour, a three-day road trip that took me to several communities in our large riding of Fraser-Nicola, including Ashcroft.

We discussed issues including downtown revitalizations, cell service, transportation, and housing, but the biggest issue raised by constituents was the electoral reform referendum.

Many of them reported that they didn’t feel engaged or informed, and they had a lot of questions about what the ballot and the three proportional representation (PR) options on it would look like.

Constituents are also concerned about the potential loss of local representation if B.C. does move to a system of PR. Some of them have told me they’re worried about ridings getting larger, with potentially more than one MLA. They want to see their representatives “elected” rather than “selected” from a party list. They want an MLA who knows the area and understands local issues.

Our entire community is thrilled with the recent developments at Ashcroft Terminal, our inland port. For years, the team there has been working to secure new deals and grants so it can continue to grow, provide more services, create jobs, and have an even bigger economic impact.

As MLA, I’ve been proud to help advocate for them along the way. I live in Ashcroft, so I know what a game-changer these major developments are going to be: not only for the company, but for our community and region.

So when I think about the very real possibility that an important contributor like Ashcroft Terminal could lose that local connection with the representative they rely on, it pains me.

It’s important that we fully understand what a change to proportional representation will mean to our community. But I fear the government just isn’t listening, as it rushes through this referendum process.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Federal Green Party leader visits Ashcroft

Elizabeth May was in town with Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon Green Party nominee John Kidder

Historic Cornwall fire lookout to get some tender loving care

Volunteers are being sought for a work bee at the lookout in August

Ashcroft resident now in his 25th year of riding to raise funds for BC Lung Association

Wayne Chorneychuk once more getting ready to ride in the Bicycle Trek for Life and Breath

Wildfire smoke can pose serious health risks

Tips to help you stay safe during the smoky summer season

Communities in Bloom judges coming to Ashcroft

All are invited to a meet and greet, where prizes for best gardens and street will be presented

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Trudeau says Ottawa open to proposals for B.C. refinery as gas prices soar

Prime minister says he knows B.C. residents are struggling and the federal government is open to ideas

Clock’s ticking to share how you feel about Daylight Saving Time in B.C.

Provincial public survey ends at 4 p.m. on Friday

Most Read