Vernon is one step closer to having a single electoral boundary encapsulate the area.
The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission (FEBC) for B.C. has tabled a report with the House of Commons that would keep Vernon (and surrounding area) a single electoral district instead of dividing it into two ridings, which was earlier proposed.
“Last year, our Chamber urged the boundaries commission to not separate Vernon, Coldstream and Area B and C between two federal ridings,” said Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce president Robin Cardew.
“These jurisdictions share common services such as water and culture and Greater Vernon is a single economic and social unit.”
Cardew explained that having two electoral districts would create “challenges for business, local government and residents,” as access to federal services would require communicating with two members of Parliament.
The proposed riding that was initially suggested would have seperated Vernon alongside Francis Street, and half of Coldstream.
The FEBC presented a report to the House of Commons on Feb. 8 that would call for a new riding called Vernon-Monashee, which would include all of Vernon, Coldstream, Lake Country, North Westside Road, half of Spallumcheen, Lumby, Cherryville, Nakusp and New Denver.
The report will now be reviewed by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs, prior to House voting on the proposal.
Previously, in the 2021 federal election, Vernon was a part of the North Okanagan-Shuswap riding, which included the area from Rattlesnake Point in the south, through Salmon Arm in the north and as far east as the Campbell River. The districts were set to be redrawn for the next federal election due to population growth in the Interior.