Bill before Legislature would redraw some southern electoral divisions

By Geoff Smith (@GeoffSmithLNN on Twitter)
December 5, 2017 - 10:32am

EDMONTON – The Alberta government has introduced a bill to implement the final recommendations of the Electoral Boundaries Commission, which would affect parts of southern Alberta for the next election.

The independent commission issued its final report Oct. 19, after hearing submissions and studying census data. It would create three new electoral divisions, while eliminating three others through consolidation. The three new divisions would be Calgary-North East, Airdrie-Cochrane, and Edmonton-South.

Changes are proposed to the electoral map in the south. A group of seven divisions (Battle River-Wainwright, Drumheller-Stettler, Strathmore-Brooks, Little Bow, Cardston-Taber-Warner, Cypress-Medicine Hat, and Vermilion-Lloydminster) would be consolidated into six.

One of the biggest changes is a new division called Cardston-Siksika. The bowtie-shaped region takes in the Blood Reserve, Del Bonita, and Magrath in the south, narrows at a point that includes Coalhurst, then broadens to the north and includes the Siksika First Nation and Gleichen at the northern edge. Vulcan, Vauxhall, and Picture Butte are also included, while Waterton Lakes National Park moves to the Livingstone-Macleod division, which would now include High River but not Black Diamond/Turner Valley.

To the east, the Taber-Warner electoral division would also include Milk River, Coaldale, Bow Island, Foremost, and Manyberries at its eastern edge.

Medicine Hat is split between two blended divisions: Cypress-Medicine Hat to the south, including Seven Persons and Onefour; and Brooks-Medicine Hat to the north.

No changes are proposed to the two Lethbridge electoral divisions. The report said the two areas are roughly equal in population to the provincial average.

If the Electoral Boundaries Act is passed, the new boundaries would take effect as soon as the writ is issued for the next provincial election.

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