Communities south of Edmonton are relieved by the latest federal boundary review changes Pipa News

Communities south of Edmonton are relieved by the latest federal boundary review changes

The latest proposal to move the boundaries of a federal riding south of Edmonton is a relief for many communities near the airport.

The initial proposal moved Beaumont from a large geographic riding south of the city to the Edmonton–Wetskewin riding to the east of the city, which intersects with Strathcona County.

Beaumont and several partners lobbied the commission in charge of preparing the report on the new boundaries to put them in the riding with neighboring communities such as Leduc, Wetskiwin, Calamar, Devon, Millett and Thoresby.

Beaumont’s mayor said he was glad the commission listened. The new proposal calls the riding Leduc-Vetschwein.

“We strongly believe that we have a lot more in common with Strathcona County than we do with the city of Leduc and our neighbors in Leduc County, Devon, Wetskewin and so on,” Beaumont Mayor Bill Denluik told the CBC last month.

“Strathcona County is a great community … but we have a geographic area here that we are very proud of. There is a huge economic zone here with our proximity to the airport, the QEI Highway business corridor and surrounding industry.”

He noted that Beaumont and the surrounding area have a shared history of agriculture with Leduc County that the area does not share with Strathcona County.

He said, “It makes sense for us to put our region together and have representation in Ottawa for our region that shares economic and demographic and agricultural similarities.”

There’s still a bit of a process before it’s all official. The report is now before the Federal Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs and any objections to it by members of the House will be returned to the Commission for consideration.

If approved, the limits would become official in April 2024 at the earliest.

Deneleuk said it helps when regions have similar interests, industries and issues, because then the MP can more effectively represent the region in Ottawa, he said.

The area’s current MP, Mike Lake, said the new proposed boundaries were a vast improvement over the initial proposal.

“If you’re looking at communities of interest, the area south of downtown Edmonton is really an area and there’s a reason it should be centered around Niskau and the airport,” Lake said in an interview on Monday.

Lake echoed Denluik’s words, saying that when regions are grouped together it helps MPs and local governments.

Lake said, for example, that in the initial proposal, Leduc County was divided into five separate federal constituencies. If the local government was trying to lobby for something, they would have to call five different MPs.

“It makes it a lot easier on both fronts … When it’s possible to keep areas of common interest together, it makes it more efficient in terms of representation,” he said.

Lake said the limits would not go into effect until after the election.


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