The B.C. government proposed amendments to the Electoral Boundaries Commission Act that would maintain existing northern and rural electoral districts and ensure the total number of districts remained at 85. The Electoral Boundary Reform White Paper detailed the proposed amendments and was available for public comment from Nov. 14, 2013 to Jan. 15, 2014.
The proposed amendments were to:
- Address the need to ensure effective representation for northern and rural British Columbians;
- Ensure the responsible use of tax dollars by holding the line on the creation of new electoral districts; and
- Provide the Electoral Boundaries Commission clear direction before it began its work in May 2014.
November 14, 2013 to January 15, 2014
63 comments were received throughout the consultation.
Input leads to action:
On February 12, 2014, the proposed amendments to the Electoral Boundaries Commission Act were introduced under Bill 2 to the B.C. Legislature, and on May 7, 2014, they were passed. The amendments ensure that the existing number of northern and rural electoral districts will be maintained through the next boundary revision process, while also permitting the independent Electoral Boundaries Commission the discretion to propose up to 87 electoral districts province-wide, an increase of two districts.
British Columbia’s demographics have changed significantly since the Act was first passed almost 25 years ago, and recent boundaries commissions have found it challenging to balance population growth with the need to ensure effective representation for northern and rural British Columbians.
The Electoral Boundaries Commission continued to have the ability to recommend changes to the boundaries of all electoral districts, but it was subject to a clear direction to preserve the existing number of electoral districts in three defined northern and rural regions of the province.
The Commission issued its final report on September 24, 2015 and its proposals were brought into effect by passage of the Electoral Districts Act in November 2015. New electoral districts will be established when the current legislature is dissolved for the spring 2017 general election.