Falkland, Chase and Sorrento are staying right where they are.
The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission has reversed thrusters and decided the three communities will remain in the Okanagan-Shuswap riding instead of being lumped into a new constituency with Kelowna, Summerland, Merritt, Logan Lake and Princeton.
“I’m glad they listened to the people,” said René Talbot, Columbia-Shuswap Regional District director.
The commission had stated there was a need to change boundaries to reflect population trends, but Falkland residents stated their economic, social and political links are with Vernon, Armstrong and Salmon Arm. Another concern was a new riding would make it challenging for Falkland residents to meet with their elected representative if they were based in Kelowna.
Colin Mayes, Okanagan-Shuswap MP, says the issues raised by Falkland residents were relevant.
“They associate with Vernon and the rest of the riding,” he said. “I definitely didn’t want to see them go.”
By keeping Falkland, Chase and Sorrento in the riding, though, Okanagan-Shuswap will have 121,062 residents, 15 per cent over the electoral quota of 104,763.
While residents may be under-represented based on figures, Mayes says, “We can handle that.”