I am writing with concerns about the proposed new North Okanagan-Shuswap Riding and the revised Central Okanagan-Coquihalla riding.
It appears that this new boundary will split the community of Sorrento in half along the Trans-Canada Highway. There appears to be some sort of assumption that those of us on the south side of the highway are oriented to Kamloops and Summerland, while those on the north are oriented to Salmon Arm. This is ludicrous. We have much more in common economically and politically with the North Okanagan than we do with Summerland, which is a four-hour drive away. It is utterly unreasonable to redraw the boundaries in this fashion.
The commission’s introductory paper indicates that the commission has taken “more vital considerations, such as historical patterns and community of interest or identity” into consideration, as well as “transportation corridors…, road access and natural landscape features…, boundaries of municipalities, regional districts or urban localities…”
It is a pity that none of these considerations “of paramount importance” have been used to determine the boundaries of these two ridings. Community interest is clearly not markedly different between the north side of the TCH and the south in Sorrento. Road access to Salmon Arm is not different either. The regional district is also radically different than the new electoral boundaries. To place communities within the North Okanagan/Shuswap into the same electoral district as the bulk of the South Okanagan is to deny voters throughout the region any semblance of fair representation. It is as bizarre as dividing Kelowna into two electoral districts.
Please reconsider these boundaries, and develop a more reasonable plan for the region.