Proposed electoral boundaries divides neighbourhoods 0
B.C.'s Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission proposes creating a new riding called Vancouver Granville. This electoral district, shaded beige, would divide parts of Mount Pleasant into different ridings. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Local business owners and politicians warn the possible slicing and dicing of federal ridings to make way for a newly proposed electoral district will leave Vancouver neighbourhoods in disarray and without cohesive representation.
B.C.'s Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission proposed the new divisions in June - part of an effort to give Vancouver an additional seat in Ottawa - with public hearings for the city beginning Sept. 24 at Harbour Centre.
NDP MPs Libby Davies and Don Davies, who represent Vancouver East and Vancouver Kingsway, respectively, are both speaking at the hearings.
Libby Davies, whose own constituency office rests inside the proposed Vancouver Granville riding, said the realignment would be detrimental for Mount Pleasant.
The Vancouver East riding presently extends to Ontario Street, the historical divide between city's the east and west sides. The proposed Vancouver Granville boundary would start at Arbutus and reach all the way to the west side of Kingsway above 12th Avenue and the west side of Main Street above Seventh Avenue.
The east sides of those streets would remain in the old riding.
"Mount Pleasant has a shared history and also shares unique challenges," Libby Davies told 24 hours in an email. "Its emerging voice must not be diluted by cutting out Main and Broadway."
Don Davies said he's particularly concerned about the western boundary of Vancouver Kingsway being pushed from Oak Street to Prince Edward Street.
"If the present proposal goes ahead, a corridor four blocks east of Ontario (Street) that is east Vancouver will be lumped in with essentially a west-side riding," he said. "Those (residents') interests will be diluted and lost in a much larger area."
He said he's confident with the boundary commissioners, adding the public hearing will be an opportunity to help the commission understand the unique makeup of the neighbourhoods that could be affected by a new riding.
John Boychuk, owner of Banana Tans on East Broadway and Main Street, is speaking at the public hearings to tell commissioners that one neighbourhood should be equally represented on all issues.
"To split (Mount Pleasant) in two or three doesn't do anybody any good."