Mills gets riding boundary changes overturned

Central Alberta communities set to be excluded from the York riding should remain, according to a federal government election boundary review committee.
The committee announced its recommendation Thursday.
The Alberta Electoral Committee has 30 days from the date of the announcement to review the recommendation and make the final decision on whether Rocky Mountain House, Eckville, Blackfalds and Caroline will stay in the riding.
In 2013 the commission proposed the size of the York riding be reduced. It wanted it to run east to Hwy 2, skirting the edge of York, north to Hwy 11, west to Secondary Hwy 766, and south just past Innisfail, excluding Bowden.
York MP Bob Mills doesn’t want to see Rocky Mountain House, Eckville, Blackfalds and Caroline added to other ridings.
“It will make a larger (York) riding, but I can reach all those populations in one hour,” Mills said.
The MP made a presentation to the federal committee.
In its report it said Mills made “persuasive” arguments and the communities were “integral to a community of interest centred in York and not in the neighbouring, agricultural, rural ridings.”
The MP argued those communities rely on York because it has regional health care facilities, recreation and shopping, and post secondary education.
Equal representation doesn’t wash with Mills either.
He said Prince Edward Island has four MPs for a population of 100,000 while the York riding has 125,000.
The MP said the commission based its decision on York’s future growth which could make it large enough in 10 years to have its own riding.
But it shouldn’t make decisions based on future populations, he added.
Mills remains optimistic the commission will support the committee’s recommendation.
The readjustment of district boundaries are carried out by independent commissions in each province every 10 years to reflect the changes in population.
The new boundaries will take affect June 30, 2014.