Boundaries review causes rural concerns

The Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission is conducting a review of electoral boundaries and Wetaskiwin county council...

County of Wetaskiwin No. 10

County of Wetaskiwin No. 10

The Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission is conducting a review of electoral boundaries and Wetaskiwin county council does not want to lose rural representation.

However, council has decided not to make a presentation at either of the two public hearings, and instead briefly discussed putting supports into the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties (AAMDC), which continues to advocate for rural representation in constituencies.

The Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission review was discussed during council’s Feb. 7 meeting.

“Of course one of the concerns is how do we deal with rural representation?” pondered CAO Frank Coutney.

Coutney also brought up how changing one boundary can affect residents on the other side of the boundary.

In the past the county had made a presentation to adjust a boundary in the Battle River-Wainwright area, absorbing it into the Wetaskiwin-Camrose area. It would have affected a couple hundred people but the presentation was not successful.

“Speaking from past experience we haven’t been very successful. But I think AAMDC has been advocating on behalf of rural Alberta too, that we don’t lose our representation. Maybe we’re just as well to go along with their support,” said Coun. Garry Dearing.

“I mean, we haven’t been successful on a couple hundred people,” he added.

“And if they take our rural and put it into urban that means our MLA is going to have to cover that much more. And you look at these MLAs and how much they have to cover. I mean even Wetaskiwin-Camrose, that’s two cities,” said reeve Kathy Rooyakkers.

Four constituencies hold ground within the County of Wetaskiwin boarder: Wetaskiwin-Camrose with MLA Bruce Hinkley, Drayton Valley-Devon with MLA Mark Smith, Battle River-Wainwright with MLA Wes Taylor and Ponoka-Lacombe with MLA Ron Orr.

County council accepted the Alberta Electoral Boundary Commission review as information.