On September 13, the Surrey Board of Trade presented their perspective on the proposed federal electoral district redistribution to the Commission for British Columbia at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel.
“We are opposed to the proposed redistribution of electoral boundaries because some Surrey Members of Parliament will have to focus on two cities instead of one, limiting the focus and attention that Surrey requires from the Canadian Government for city-building infrastructure investments,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “The reconfiguration of Surrey-Centre by splitting the focus between Surrey and New Westminster, for example, will negatively impact an elected official’s ability to represent the needs of the constituents they serve. Many of the changes do not align with municipal or natural boundaries. There are different needs within each city.”
An elected official that represents a riding that straddles two cities has double the number of organizations, events and investment decisions to listen to and advocate for in Parliament.
“The proposal indicates it is using the Fraser River, key roads, and municipal boundaries to the fullest extent possible, however, we disagree that these natural and appropriate boundaries are being considered. Removing a key area in North Surrey and combining it with New Westminster does not reflect the needs of these areas. They are completely different.”
The proposed changes have also removed a large part of what is currently Fleetwood-Port Kells, which is a key demographic that makes Surrey the geographically diverse area that it is.
The Surrey Board of Trade asks that the proposed changes not be implemented as it will be detrimental to our ability to advocate for our business community.
“Already we have Cloverdale – Langley City as one federal electoral district – Cloverdale and Langley City are so different from each other in terms of investment needs by the Federal Government.”
Stewart Ladyman, Commissioner and Anita Huberman, President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade