BY RATTAN MALL
NEWTON-NORTH DELTA MP Jinny Sims, who was at the hearings of the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission in Delta, told Asian Journal on Wednesday from Ottawa: “What I find looking at what the commission has produced is that it reflects what I heard at those presentations.”
Sims pointed out that that there was a lot of concern in Surrey to keep Newton together and not separate it into two or three pieces.
She added: “And I think what [the Commission] have done is that they heard the community and the map pretty much reflects what they heard from Newton and what they heard from Whalley.”
Sims said that she was carrying out an assessment of the Commission’s report that was submitted on Monday to the Chief Electoral Officer “because this will have to go a committee of the House of Commons if we have any concerns.”
She said: “I know there are many of my constituents who live in North Delta who really did not want to leave the Newton-North Delta riding. So I am very conscious of that. At the same time, I can see why the Commission wanted to keep the [Delta] municipality together.”
Sims added: “But on the whole, what has been a pleasant surprise is to see that the community’s efforts at those presentations are being reflected. At the end of the day, the voters are always right and they made very, very powerful presentations.”
Regarding the Surrey Centre riding, Sims said that it was pretty much what Surrey North MP Jasbir Sandhu’s current riding is.
She noted: “They took a little bit because his riding and my riding were too big as was Nina’s [Fleetwood-Port Kells riding] and that’s why the fourth riding [Cloverdale-Langley] came in.”
Sims pointed out that that the new boundaries of Fleetwood-Port Kells riding are pretty much what they are currently. They were moved north a little bit to give some parts from the south end of that riding to the ridings of Cloverdale-Langley and South Surrey-White Rock.
Both Sims and Sandhu are NDPers while Grewal is Conservative.
REGARDING Surrey, the Commission in their report noted: “The Commission’s proposal concerning districts in and around Surrey has been substantially altered as a result of much helpful public input. It appeared to the Commission, after receiving such information, that the proposal had paid insufficient regard to historical patterns and communities of interest. It is important to note that Surrey has seen the highest population growth in the province. For instance, the existing electoral district of Fleetwood—Port Kells demonstrates the highest variance from the electoral quota, at 52.85%.
“Recognizing that name’s historic origin, the Commission is now reverting to the name of Fleetwood—Port Kells for the reconfigured electoral district. A newly configured electoral district named Surrey Centre incorporates parts of Whalley and the existing electoral district of Surrey North; it is centred on the main business district and the relocated city hall. The reconfigured electoral district of Surrey—Newton incorporates a substantial portion of the Newton area. Much of this district was formerly a part of the existing Newton—North Delta electoral district.
“The Commission has ventured slightly beyond the eastern boundary of Surrey to create a reconfigured electoral district named Cloverdale—Langley, comprising parts of the Cloverdale and Clayton areas along with the City of Langley. This is a region of expanding population and reflects a community of interest that includes two historic centres. Part of the southerly portion of Surrey has been combined with the White Rock and Crescent Beach areas in a reconfigured electoral district named South Surrey—White Rock.”
Electoral District: Population / Variance from Electoral Quota (104,763):
* Fleetwood—Port Kells: 109,742 / 4.75%
* Surrey Centre: 111,486 / 6.42%
* Surrey—Newton: 105,183 / 0.40%
* South Surrey—White Rock: 94,678 / –9.63%
* Cloverdale—Langley: 108,519 / 3.59%
* Delta: 100,588 / –3.99%
IN the federal riding of Vancouver South, that has a substantial concentration of South Asians, the western boundary has been moved to Cambie Street.
There will be 42 ridings in B.C. – six more than what the province currently has. There will be 26 ridings in the Lower Mainland – five of them new. Vancouver Island will have seven ridings – one of them new. The Interior will retain its six ridings and the North will keep its three ridings.