Electoral boundary changes affect us all

Boundary changes could result in our region not being heard in Ottawa.

It seems like the people who make decisions far away in Ottawa don’t quite understand BC nor do they understand the importance of physical geography in such a mountainous place. They look at maps with demographics and populations and what they have is an impression of where we live, but not how we live or what our communities really look like.

It’s disappointing that Elections Canada would break apart our West Kootenay Community and place the entire area surrounding Nelson into the East Kootenay Region just to shuffle numbers. Rather, to gain those number for the East Kootenay-Columbia riding they ought to have looked toward a northward expansion, taking in more communities in the Rockies (their geographic neighbours).

Our riding of the Southern-Interior already is too broken by geography and to loose a major West Kootenay town will diminish the voice of West Kootenay residents in their own ridings.

The breaking apart of our voices will shift focus to areas not our concern. Larger population centres in Cranbrook will dominate discussion for Nelson and the South Okanagan will weigh too heavily, drowning out the needs of Trail, Castlegar, or the Boundary area.

It’s sad to see that Ottawa’s officials wouldn’t even consider our community as a whole.

The people of the West Kootenay deserve to be represented in one riding without splitting our cohesive voice. We share concerns for regional health care, regional transportation needs (like our struggling airports which will not get any attention from people in Cranbrook or Penticton), and we have common desires which would be split by larger centres elsewhere unless we stand together.

Our voice will be lost in Ottawa because of this split.

Our region deserves better. If we were all to be represented as one entire East and West Kootenay community (leaving out other areas like the Shuswap or the South Okanagan) that might make sense, or if we were to be represented as is, by a riding which spans all of the Southern Central BC at least we can affect the way our MP speaks for us, but when we’re broken, our region is not going to be heard.

It’s extremely frustrating to know that bureaucrats in a far off place would not even study the issue enough to know that our three major towns comprise one diverse but spread out city.

Our population as a whole is like that of Vernon or other moderately sized cities. Our two regional districts show the extent to which our area should be held as one unit.

The history of co-operation between our communities to hold festivals, to build regional infrastructure, etc. is what should be looked at before splitting our vote between two other areas who have no direct concern for our well being here.

I argue that if we were to be best represented in Ottawa, we need ONE voice together, and most likely combined all together with the Southern Central Interior.

Our transportation corridor has more to do with our riding than “as the crow flies” concepts based on maps that don’t show how long it takes to get from A to B. The Hwy 1 route bypasses us, and Hwy 3 links us, so our riding ought to reflect that. It’s really quite simple. So simple in fact that I hope we all stand up and reject any proposition to divide our community.

Make your statement at the community meetings: Nelson, Best western Baker St Inn Tues. Oct 2, 7pm, and Castlegar Fireside Inn, Wed. Oct 3, 7pm.

You have to register to attend and speak, so send letters to be received by Aug 30th to:

Commission Secretary

Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for British Columbia

1095 West Pender Street, Suite 301

Vancouver, BC

V6E 2M6

You can also access an online registration form on their website:


Please come out en-masse to the meetings. We need to voice our desire to remain ONE West Kootenay community!

Jason Peil


Just Posted

The pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands into Grand Forks orchard, pilot injured

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

Author John Vaillant joins Lisa Moore and Fred Wah for Elephant Mountain Literary Festival’s Alumni Reading on Friday, July 9. All three authors were featured at the inaugural festival in 2012. Photo: Submitted
FESTIVAL TALES: When 2012 meets 2021

The Elephant Mountain Literary Festival will include authors from the event’s inaugural year

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

J. L. Crowe Secondary will host the convocation for 2021 Graduates on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. Photo: Jim Bailey
Convocation goes Saturday with Kootenay Columbia grads in learning groups, no parents

Parents can live-stream the ceremony of their 2021 graduates online

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Camper van explosion burns Vancouver Island gas station to the ground

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. The website for a Broadway theatre showing "Springsteen on Broadway" said it would only allow guests "fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine" — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
No Springsteen for you: AstraZeneca not good enough to qualify for Broadway ticket

Victoria area mayor among those unable to attend New York entertainment due to COVID-19 restriction

The BC Ferries’ website is down for the second time in one week from what they say is likely an overwhelming increase in web traffic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Surging web traffic crashes BC Ferries’ site again

Website down for second time this week

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
PODCAST: John Furlong lays out a ‘provincial’ B.C. plan to host the 2030 Winter Olympics

Podcast: Chat includes potential role for Vancouver Island communities

Lake Country firefighters made good use of pet respirators they keep on board June 17, 2021. (District of Lake Country)
PHOTOS: 11 dogs rescued, home destroyed in large blaze in Okanagan

Home deemed a total loss, cause remains unknown but crews thankful for pet respirators

A tenant walks in front of her home on Boundary Road on Friday, June 18, 2021 after it was destroyed by fire the night before in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Family homeless after fire rips through Chilliwack house

Turtle rescued, no one seriously hurt following Boundary Road fire in Chilliwack

BC Ferries’ newest Island Class vessel is experiencing an issue with one of its thrusters off the Algerian coast. Photo courtesy patbaywebcam.com.
BC Ferries newest vessel having mechanical issues in Mediterranean

Island 4 will be repaired in Spain before crossing Atlantic

Most Read