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OUR VIEW: Surrey’s proposed electoral map puzzling

Cohesion and community identity clearly take a back seat here
The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission is proposing a new electoral map for future elections. The black lines are the current electoral boundaries, while the purple lines show the proposed areas. (Map: Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission)

It’s kind of like watching someone fuss over what colour to paint their room. Or should it be wall-papered?

Surely less fun than watching paint dry.

The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission is at it again. Proposed changes to local riding maps are calling for Surrey to be carved into eight ridings instead of the current five.

Why? Surely there must be more to it than keeping public servant cartographers gainfully employed.

Canada’s constitution says federal electoral boundaries must be reviewed every 10 years, with an eye on the most recent census data available from Statistics Canada, to reflect population growth.

READ ALSO: Surrey’s proposed federal ridings are all over the map

But cohesion and community identity clearly take a back seat here.

In this latest go-around, the commission proposes to place Fraser Heights into Pitt Meadows-Fort Langley, and link Bridgeview with New Westminster. No matter that both ridings will contain communities divided by the Fraser River, not exactly a trickling creek.

What does Fraser Heights have in common with Pitt Meadows? While only residents from both distinct communities can answer that question, we’ll hazard a guess that many of them don’t know either.

It’s almost unnatural. Historically speaking, rivers provide natural borders between peoples, countries even. The international list of nations separated by rivers is endless. The Hondo River separates Belize and Mexico, the Wye separates England and Wales, the Rio Grande separates the U.S. and Mexico, the Detroit River separates Canada from the U.S.…

It works.

Maybe a river shouldn’t run through it.


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