IN THE NEWS ~ Election riding re-draw plan not popular in Queensborough

Election riding re-draw plan not popular in Queensborough
By By Grant Granger - New Westminster News Leader
New Westminster News Leader
Published: July 24, 2012 09:00 AM
Updated: July 24, 2012 10:010 AM

Having Queensborough included in a proposed federal riding realignment with Richmond East isn’t going over too well in the New Westminster neighbourhood.

In late June, the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for B.C. issued its proposals for realignment that would add five seats to the Lower Mainland.

It would create a New Westminster-East Burnaby riding that would not include Queensborough, which is currently part of Burnaby-New Westminster. Instead, the east end of Lulu Island would become part of Richmond East, as would Delta’s Annacis Island.

Gavin Palmer, a defeated civic council candidate and a past president of the Queensborough Residents Association, said it’s good Western Canada is getting more seats because it deserves more representation.

He said while the natural boundary of the Fraser River proposed by the commission might make some sense, it still separates the area from New Westminster.

“It’s a little bit frustrating we’re getting pushed into a separation. We’ve worked hard as a community to be part of New Westminster. To me that’s a little on the disappointment side,” said Palmer.

“It was sort of sprung on us without any notice. So obviously somebody’s just said OK this is a way to go, what do you think? This opens up the road for discussion.”

The commission will hold public hearings throughout the province, including a session at the Inn at the Quay in New Westminster on Wednesday, Sept. 26, at 7 p.m.

Palmer said while he is not a New Democrat, he has been impressed with how NDP MP Peter Julian represents the community.

“I would feel badly to lose him as a member of parliament.”

Another Queensborough resident, Sanghara Dhaliwal, also doesn’t want to lose Julian’s representation as well as the connection to the rest of the city.

“I just want to stay with New Westminster,” said Dhaliwal.


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