Another Member of Parliament will be joining the House of Commons to represent Vancouver’s growing population.
The proposed Vancouver-Granville riding, which will be cut out of the five pre-existing federal voting districts, will likely be in place for the 2015 federal election.
Public hearings held by Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission
The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for British Columbia, the group that maps out all of the province’s new ridings, has just wrapped up a series of public hearings to gather public input about the proposed electoral district.
John Hall, chairperson of the commission, said that during the public hearing process, Vancouverites’ main concerns were whether or not the designation between the east and west sides of the city would remain the same.
“In the areas of Vancouver-Kingsway and Vancouver-East, [the residents] were anxious around Main and Ontario streets,” said Hall. “They wanted to see it preserved as the boundary for the western part of the city.”
Federal ridings are adjusted every decade to population growth
Hall also said that federal electoral districts are reexamined every 10 years to make sure that each riding represents roughly the same number of constituents, with the goal being 101,879 constituents per riding.
“The changes are driven by the census numbers,” said Hall. “And with the [Vancouver-Granville] riding in place, all the ridings in Vancouver are very close to the electoral quota.”
Local political science expert views ridings change as positive
Stephen Phillips, head of the political science department at Langara, thinks the new proposed ridings in B.C. will have an overall positive effect.
“We are under represented in the House of Commons,” said Phillips. “This current redistribution is designed to establish the principle of representation by population.”
“We’re going to be gaining an additional six seats in the House of Commons – going from 36 to 42,” said Phillips. “So that’ll redress the population imbalance somewhat.”
But even with these new ridings, Phillips believes that B.C.’s population will only continue to grow.
“As soon as [the new riding] is in place, it’ll begin to get out joint yet again,” said Phillips. “But at least the gap will be narrow for a certain period of time.”
Reported by Omar Shariff
This YouTube video is a small clip from an interview with Langara College political science instructor Stephen Phillips regarding the new federal riding.