The Electoral Boundaries Commission has released their interim report including maps of the proposed electoral division boundaries for the next election. Here are the proposed maps of Calgary, Edmonton, and Alberta-wide.
UPDATE (February 27, 2010):
Overall, I feel that the interim maps are a fairly good report from the Electoral Boundaries Commission. Given that the Commission had a legislative mandate to increases the number of electoral districts from 83 to 87, the members of the Commission likely had a much easier time deciding boundaries than had the number stayed the same or decreased. Here are some thoughts:
- I am pleased to see that the City of Grande Prairie would now have its own fully-urban riding and that Fort McMurray now has two districts.
- Edmonton received an additional electoral district, which places the Capital City at the same position it was before it lost a district during the 2003 boundary review. I would have liked to see Edmonton receive at least two new seats.
- Are voters in the Capital Region outside of Edmonton disenfranchised? I have always questioned the reasoning behind clumping Edmonton's bedroom communities like the Town of Morinville into electoral districts with Barrhead and Westlock, and Sturgeon Valley with Athabasca. Having grown up in Morinville, I can attest that there is little commonality between the three communities (I would estimate that around 90% of Morinville residents commute to work in Edmonton or St. Albert). It would make more sense to include these communities in a Sturgeon Valley district that included common communities in the Capital Region (the same can be said of Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville).
- From a political perspective, these interim maps would pose a political challenge to some incumbent MLAs. For example, Battle River-Wainwright MLA Doug Griffiths may have to face-off in a nomination contest with Drumheller-Stettler MLA Jack Hayden. The additional electoral district in Fort McMurray could also make it easier for Independent MLA Guy Boutilier bid for re-election.
- Once again, the Poland of Alberta's electoral map, Edmonton-Calder would disappear as it is merged with Edmonton-Glenora, Edmonton-North West, and Edmonton-Le Perle. This would pose a challenge to current Edmonton-Calder PC MLA Doug Elniski and former NDP MLA David Eggen (who many people expect to seek election in 2012).
Once again, the second round of public hearings begin in April 2010, so if you do not like what you see in these maps, show up and let yourself be heard!