Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca MP Randall Garrison wants the name of the newly redrawn federal riding he represents to simply be called Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke.
The current proposed name for the new boundary is Saanich-Juan de Fuca. It can easily be mixed up with the provincial electoral area of Juan de Fuca, represented by NDP MLA John Horgan, Garrison said.
Despite sharing a name, the provincial and federal Juan de Fuca electoral areas encompass different populations.
“It’s very confusing,” Garrison said. “My proposal gives the public a clear sense of who is included in the new riding.
“I believe that Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke would better reflect the geography of the new riding and better indicate who is included and who is not.”
The reconfigured boundary takes in Colwood, Sooke, Esquimalt, View Royal and Metchosin, as well as part of Saanich.
The current Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca electoral area will lose Langford and Highlands to the proposed Cowichan-Malahat-Langford electoral area. However, it will gain thousands of Saanich residents.
The population of the reconfigured Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca riding will be about 113,000. That will be down from about 137,000, which makes the current riding one of the largest in the province, Garrison said.
He was happy to see the commission reviewing federal electoral boundaries accepted his earlier recommendation that Saanich be included in the new riding name, Garrison said. However, keeping Juan de Fuca in the name will be confusing and doesn’t distinguish the new boundary from the old, he said.
The proposed new federal electoral map for B.C. was tabled in the House of Commons in late January.
MPs have one last chance to point out any problems or make suggestions, Garrison said.
His submission to the Canadian House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs will be debated.
if passed, the name change will be recommended to the electoral boundaries commission for a final decision in the coming months, according to Esquimalt-Juan de Fuca constituency assistant Bruce Fogg.
“I’m quite hopeful this will be adopted,” Garrison said.
The new riding boundaries and names will be finalized this year and used in the next federal election in the fall of 2015.
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