Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes says she is definitely pleased with at least some of the BC Electoral Commission’s preliminary report on potential changes to her riding.
“I would say I am pleased that we didn’t lose rural ridings, so I think that’s a positive. I am pleased that we didn’t find ourselves amalgamated with ridings, so I think that’s a positive.
As for the additions to the riding, Oakes says the jury is still out.
“Now it’s up to, looking at the consultation, and looking at what the population breakdown will be. It looks like the new riding that’s being proposed would add Hixon, Red Rock, Stoner, and then go into College Heights in Prince George, so we have to have a better understanding of what that looks like from a population perspective, and how that specifically is going to work.”
The preliminary report would change the name of the Cariboo North riding to Prince George-Cariboo.
As for servicing a bigger area, Oakes says technology will help.
“The one thing that came out of COVID is certainly to utilize technology more, and looking at the extension of the riding into the College Heights area that does have connectivity. You know realistically there are ways, like at least it’s not another remote area that doesn’t have connectivity that you’d have to physically be in, connect on the ground with.”
The committee will hold more public meetings and there will also be on-line opportunities to comment before it presents its final recommendations to the legislature.
The other Cariboo riding could also be changed.
It would be called the Cariboo-North Thompson riding and would include Clearwater, Barriere, and Anahim Lake.