Boundary change ‘ridiculous’

Nelson, Salmo and Fruitvale could be separated from the rest of the West Kootenay in the next federal election.

Nelson, Salmo and Fruitvale could be separated from the rest of the West Kootenay in the next federal election.

The proposed boundaries show no understanding of the economic and trade interactions of the West Kootenay, defy the activity and association between the communities, and fail to incorporate the effects of the mountainous terrain in the Kootenay region.

What is the logic behind moving Nelson, Salmo and Fruitvale out of a riding that incorporates much of the rest of the West Kootenay? Nelson shares a municipal bus service with Trail, Castlegar and Balfour.

If you look at the trading area, people in Nelson and Salmo work in Castlegar and Trail and throughout the West Kootenay… not in Creston nor the East Kootenay.

In many respects Fruitvale is a satellite community to Trail. The community college operates in Nelson, Kaslo, Trail, Salmo and Castlegar. The proposed action unnecessarily splits school districts, regional districts, interior health regions, and more. Even the Nelson Kootenay Lake Destination Marketing Organization will be divided.

If the government proceeds, one of the most dangerous mountain ranges in the province will isolate the Nelson/Salmo/Fruitvale triangle from their riding, relegating their impact to nominal in the Kootenay Columbia riding. (Try driving that stretch of Highway 3 in the winter.)

I’m having a hard time seeing how this ridiculous re-carving of the Kootenay is anything but an absolutely partisan attempt by the PC government to sway the election by changing boundaries. I want to believe the government is acting in the best interest of the communities affected. In the case of Nelson/Salmo/Fruitvale triangle, this is blatantly not the case.

Now is the time to effect reconsideration of this redistribution, and to encourage the electoral boundaries commission to modify its plan with an understanding of the West Kootenay community.

For the sake of common sense we must encourage the government to minimally put Nelson, Salmo and Fruitvale in the West Kootenay, where they belong.

To register your concern contact the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for British Columbia at 1-855-747-7236

Robin Goldsbury