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Process of redrawing electoral boundaries begins

Canada’s electoral boundaries are set to change.

Every 10 years, Canada’s electoral boundaries are reviewed and redrawn to account for movement and growth in the population. That time has come again.

Ten independent commissions have been established to propose new electoral boundaries to better reflect population shifts and growth in each of the 10 provinces. As Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon constitute one electoral district each, they don’t require federal electoral boundaries commissions.

The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for British Columbia is dedicated to ensuring that the new electoral boundaries are fair to the people of the province.

The commission will draft a proposal of the new boundaries while taking into consideration various factors, such as population figures, communities of identity or interest, historical patterns, and geographical factors.

The Langley electoral district may be altered as a result of the redistribution process. The South Fraser region is one of the fastest-growing in the country, and Langley Township has shown significant growth, as confirmed in the 2011 census numbers.

At present, the Langley electoral district, represented by Conservative MP Mark Warawa,  comprises all of Langley Township and Langley City.

In the past, Langley has frequently been part of one larger riding. Most recently, before the current riding was put in place in 2004, Langley was part of two larger ridings, one which also included part of  Abbotsford. The other had Langley City and a small portion of the Township connected to a riding which was predominantly made up of South Surrey and White Rock.

B.C.  is set to get six new ridings as the boundaries are redrawn, with the number of MPs rising to 42 from 36. The next federal election is tentatively scheduled to be held on Oct. 19, 2015.

After the commission has drafted its proposal, the new electoral map is published and members of the public are invited to comment and make their own suggestions. Public hearings are held, and everyone is invited to attend and provide input.

After the views from the public are considered, the commission will submit a report to the House of Commons, where MPs will provide feedback that will then be reviewed by a parliamentary committee.

The commission will consider the feedback from MPs and decide whether to make any final changes to its report, which is then submitted to the Chief Electoral Officer of Canada for preparation of a document called a “representation order.” This final step allows the new electoral map of Canada to be officially implemented.

The new map will be used at the first general election called at least seven months after the representation order becomes law, which will likely be the 2015 general election.

Members of the public who would like to provide comments to the members of the British Columbia commission while they are developing their initial proposal, can contact them by e-mail (bc-cb@rfed-rcf.ca) or mail by April 20.

To learn more about the redistribution of British Columbia’s federal electoral districts, visit www.federal-redistribution.ca.

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