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Cariboo MLAs Thrilled Referendum on Electoral Reform Over

Reaction continues to Thursday’s 2018 Referendum Voting Results in which BC voters rejected proportional representation.

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett said people have spoken loud and clear and that it’s a matter that should now be put to rest.

“It was a tough referendum for everybody as it was one that many people as you can see voted, and that was their choice,” she said.

“I’m just thrilled that it’s over. We can now get back to hopefully governing the way that we should be governing.”

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Barnett thanked the people in the Cariboo Chilcotin who took the time to vote.

Just over 76% of participating voters in the Cariboo Chilcotin and 75% in Cariboo North opted to stay with the first-past-the-post system.

“If you are going to introduce something around democracy you need to have transparency and accurate information going out to an electorate instead of saying just trust us and we’ll figure it out behind closed doors,” said Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes.

“That clearly was something that did not designate when I was out making presentations and talking to people in the community.”

Premier John Horgan said while many people, himself included, are disappointed in the outcome, they respect people’s decision.

“I think electoral reform is finished,” said Finance Minister Carole James who believes the government did not rush the process.

“I think people have engaged in the process and we committed to making sure that the public had a voice. From our perspective, we now move on and get the good work going that we have already begun in the first 16 months-we’ve got a lot to do in the next 16 months.”

The referendum is reported to have cost $15 million money Barnett said could have been spent in other places such as wildfires.

“But it was the will of the government to go to referendum and the will was done, and basically now it’s time to move forward and get back to work,” Barnett said.

Oakes adds that she feels the method that the NDP chose was politically motivated and would have preferred a Citizens Assembly approach.

(with files from George Henderson, MyCaribooNow)

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