Skip to main content

“I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind.” ~~ John G. Diefenbaker

DAN DAVIES – At the end of the day, equality also means that our rural voices deserve the same strength and representation as our urban ones

Earlier in the Legislative session in Victoria, the NDP government introduced a bill entitled the Electoral Boundaries Commission Amendment Act, 2021. As harmless as this bill sounds, it has been one of the more contentious and hotly-debated bills of the spring session, and for good reason. This bill, which just passed (our whole caucus opposed it) has the potential to reduce rural representation and the rural voice in Victoria while increasing representation in more urban areas like Vancouver.

While our Electoral Boundaries Commission reviews our riding boundaries once every two elections, the general goal is to provide equal representation for all British Columbians. But in recognition of the vast area and many geographic challenges of our province, the Commission itself has said that effective representation is not simply anchored to equality of population.

A 2015 report stated that, “factors like geography, community history, community interests and minority representation” should be taken into account when deciding how to draw electoral boundaries.

Whereas the barriers to access your elected officials in a community like Surrey are more likely to be the population itself, the barriers for residents of regions like the Cariboo, Kootenays, or the North are more often than not the land itself.

Our own riding of Peace River North is 160,000 square kilometres — larger than Belgium, Greece, Switzerland, or England and Wales combined. The distance from Fort Nelson to Fort St. John is longer than the entire Lower Mainland — a minimum of four hours to drive, and that’s if the weather is good. You almost certainly need a pickup or four-wheel drive to be able to travel the roads year-round, and even then, it can be an incredibly challenging journey.

Although we may not have the population of some of the Lower Mainland riding's, there is no way local residents could be properly represented if the boundaries were expanded to reach the proposed electoral quotient, and statutory protections have been put in place to avoid this.

So why would government want to remove these?

Although they claim otherwise, there is a growing fear that they are trying to weaken the voice of our rural riding's, which have traditionally not voted for NDP MLAs, to strengthen their grip on power in the provincial government.

At the end of the day, equality also means that our rural voices deserve the same strength and representation as our urban ones. The ability for MLAs to connect with constituents is vital to an effective democracy, and as such, neither the number of constituents, nor the size of an electoral district, should serve as a barrier to British Columbians having access to the representation they need and deserve.

This will be a topic of discussion over the coming months, and I encourage you to let me know your thoughts.

Elected in 2017, and re-elected in 2020, Dan Davies is the BC Liberal MLA for Peace River North. He currently serves as the Official Opposition Critic for Education and is a Member of the Select Standing Committees on Education and Health.


Popular posts from this blog

It seems the call for blood donors is being responded to, however ... “This effort is a marathon, not a sprint” says Canadian Blood Services

A week and a half ago I wrote the commentary ... “ While the national inventory is currently strong, an increase in blood donor cancellations is a warning sign of potential challenges to maintaining a health inventory of blood ” It was written as a result of talk about a potential blood shortage that would occur if people stopped donating due to the COVID-19 virus. It seems the call to Canadians was responded to, however, as I was told this afternoon ... “ T his effort is a marathon, not a sprint ”. As it now stands now, donors are able to attend clinics which are held in Vancouver (2), Victoria, Surrey, and in Kelowna, so I asked if there any plans to re-establish traveling clinics to others communities - for example in Kamloops, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Revelstoke or Cranbrook, and perhaps further north at perhaps Ft. St. John? According to Communications Lead Regional Public Affairs Specialist Marcelo Dominguez, Canadian Blood Services is still on

FEDLSTED -- Rules will have to relax-- the question is how and when

The media has created a fervour over the mathematical models that allegedly help governments predict the future of Coronavirus infections in the general population. Mathematical modelling has limited use and value. We need to understand is that the data available on Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in Canada is far too small for statistical reliability. The data available for the whole world is useless due to variables in how nations responded to Coronavirus infections. There is no commonality in steps taken to combat virus spread and no similarity in the age demographics of world nations, so the numbers you see on the daily tracking of world infections are not useful in developing a model of infection rates that can be relied on. Mathematical models of the future spread of Coronavirus are better than nothing, but not a whole lot better.  Mathematical models must include assumptions on virus spreads, and various factors involved. As they are used in projections, a small erro

AARON GUNN -- He is, at his core, an ideologue, meaning the facts of any particular issue don’t actually matter

Ben Isitt - City Councillor and Regional Director Victoria City Council and its resident-genius Ben Isitt is back with another dumb idea. Introducing a motion to ban the horse-drawn carriages that have coloured Victoria’s downtown streets for decades, calling them “an outdated mode of transportation”. Are you serious?   No one is actually commuting by horse and carriage. They are here for tourists and residents alike to interact with world-class animals and discover the magic and history of our provincial capital. It’s part of what gives Victoria its charm. And the truth is these horses are treated better than anywhere else in the world. They probably live better lives than many British Columbians.   And talk to anyone who works with these horses and they’ll all tell you the exact same thing: this is what the horses love to do. This is what they were bred for and trained for. This is what gives their lives purpose and meaning. But maybe we shouldn’t be su


Show more