A group of municipalities, school boards, business organizations, and community groups south of Edmonton are calling on the commission reviewing electoral districts to reconsider proposed changes to the federal Edmonton-Wetaskiwin riding.
The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Alberta is proposing changes to existing boundaries that would realign communities into new ridings. Beaumont would be included in a new district titled Sherwood Park-Beaumont, and Leduc County would be divided among five districts.
Many of the communities and organizations in the current Edmonton-Wetaskiwin riding have longstanding service relationships and shared economic interests.
“Commission members have a tough task in balancing different considerations and ensuring fair representation, but we’re concerned that these changes fragment the region and could negatively affect our voice at the federal level. I’m hopeful the Commission will take a thoughtful second look at the proposal and reconsider the changes,” said Beaumont Mayor Bill Daneluik.
“The proposed boundary changes could see Leduc County divided into five ridings from the current three. We have concerns that not only will this become confusing for residents, it also has the potential of impacting future federal investments in Leduc County,” said Leduc County Mayor Tanni Doblanko
“By deviating from strict population parity and giving due consideration to the community of interest and historical patterns, we believe the Commission can better ensure effective voter representation, while respecting the sense of belonging and community interest of the residents in our region,” said Black Gold School Division Superintendent of Schools Bill Romanchuk.
“Historically Beaumont has been used to balance out the Federal Electoral Districts which has proven to be not only a detriment to the city's identity, but has impacted the health of the business community. Our commonality of interests have become so ingrained that the Chamber has real concerns in the proposed redrawing,” said Beaumont Chamber of Commerce Director Ron Hanchurak.
The Commission held an in-person hearing in September and is accepting written submissions until November 1 to collect feedback on the proposed new ridings. Residents concerned about the impact of the suggested changes are encouraged to mail or email the Commission asking that they reconsider their proposal.
Mail: Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Alberta PO Box 45062 Calgary AB T2G 4X3
Following the public comment period, the Commission will prepare a report that includes any changes to the initially proposed riding boundaries. Members of Parliament will then have an opportunity to object to the boundary alignments. More details about the process are available on the Commission’s website.
Mike BerezowskyDirector, CommunicationsCity of Beaumont780-243-0458 firstname.lastname@example.org
Katherine DegaustCommunications CoordinatorLeduc County780-979-6183 email@example.com
Kristen HewlettInterim Communications ManagerCity of WetaskiwinP: 780-361-4415C: 780-335-2742 firstname.lastname@example.org
Deven KumarCommunications AdvisorBlack Gold School Division780-955-4570 email@example.com
Laura WintonDirectorBibliothèque de Beaumont Library780-929-2665, ext. 1200 firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie GeldartExecutive DirectorBeaumont Chamber of Commerce780-850-8492 email@example.com