Seating in the B.C. legislature had to be altered to add a third row on each side to accommodate 85 MLAs. After the 2017 election

New seats coming for 2017 B.C. election

Surrey getting ninth MLA, Richmond adds another as rural seats preserved, legislature will soon have 87 seats

VICTORIA – New provincial seats will be created in Surrey and Richmond-New Westminster for the next B.C. election, bringing the number of MLAs in the legislature to 87.

Justice Minister Suzanne Anton tabled legislation Thursday to adopt the recommendations of the latest B.C. Electoral Boundaries Commission and create the two new constituencies to reflect high-growth areas of provincial population.

The commission recommended changes to boundaries to 48 existing constituencies, after public hearings since it proposed the changes this spring to balance population. It was restricted by a law that prevents the elimination of electoral districts in areas outside the urban southwest.

The latest boundaries leave a wide range of populations to be represented by a single MLA. The lowest populations are Stikine with 20,616 and North Coast with 22,382. At the other end of the scale are Vernon-Monashee, Vancouver-Fraserview and Vancouver-Kingsway, all with more than 62,000 people.

The hearings were dominated by conflicting views on changes to four areas:

• Severing Hope from Chilliwack and adding it to the Fraser-Nicola constituency, which extends into the Interior to include Merritt. Princeton is added to the Boundary-Similkameen district.

• Rearranging boundaries in central Vancouver Island to create a new electoral district of Mid Island-Pacific Rim, anchored by Cumberland.

• Adding a new Surrey South district, bringing the total number of seats in Surrey to nine.

• Adding a new Richmond-Queensborough district, taking in part of New Westminster.

The last review in 2008 recommended that an urban population shift should result in a reduction of one seat in the Cariboo-Thompson region and one in northern B.C. The government intervened keep those seats and increase the total constituencies from 83 to 85.

The B.C. Liberals and NDP agreed then that northern constituencies could not get any larger and still be represented by a single MLA.

The 2008 review added seats in the Okanagan, Fraser Valley, Surrey, Burnaby-Tri-Cities and downtown Vancouver.

The commission’s report and maps are available on its website.

Just Posted

Discussion centres on the future of English Grade 8 at RSS

Parents met with the principal to discuss the future of English Grade 8 at Rossland Summit School.

Rossland St. Andrew’s United Church planning for restoration

Rossland’s United Church has received a CBT grant to support a restoration of the Red Roof Church.

Interior Health facilities score high in housekeeping audits

Housekeeping audits for health facilities in the region show most are above the auditor’s benchmark.

RCMP urge drivers to be more cautious

The top causes of accidents in the West Kootenay are distracted driving, impaired driving and speed.

FortisBC explains rate change proposal

FortisBC met with customers in Castlegar to explain their new time-of-use rate proposal.

B.C. Games open with Olympic touch

The 2018 B.C. Winter Games kicked off in Kamloops

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

B.C. ski cross racer wins Olympic gold

Kelowna’s Kelsey Serwa wins the gold medal in thrilling fashion in PyeongChang

New charges against ex-Trump campaign associates

More charges were laid Thursday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and his business associate

Man accused in death of Winnipeg teen Tina Fontaine not guilty

Raymond Cormier was accused of killing Indigenous 15-year-old and dumping her body in the Red River

Okanagan real estate agents brace for speculation tax impact

“There’s a real potential for a domino effect to hurt the market in Kelowna.”

Alberta drops B.C. wine boycott, Notley says Horgan ‘blinked’ on pipeline

B.C. government announces court reference on proposed diluted bitumen restriction

UPDATE: Northern Health dealing with lack of 121 registered nurses

Auditor General says officials need to improve internal management, track effect of new policies

B.C. businesses say new health tax will raise prices for consumers

Province announced that MSP will be gone by 2020

Most Read