The electorate that will send area MPs to Ottawa in the next federal election will remain largely the same following the conclusion of the work of the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission.
The trio tasked with redrawing the province's federal riding lines tabled their report in the House of Commons yesterday.
According to their report, it was the group's "initial observation and ultimate conclusion that major change was not required for the three large northern British Columbia electoral districts: Prince George-Peace River, Cariboo-Prince George and Skeena-Bulkley Valley."
The B.C. commission, consisting of chair John Hall, Dr. Peter Meekison and Stewart Ladyman, shifted electoral boundaries to accommodate the province's six new seats in Parliament.
According to the 2011 census, the population has grown to 4.4 million from 3.9 million since the last review in 2001, creating a need for B.C.'s representation in the House of Commons to grow to 42 seats from 36.
The commission came up with a tentative plan in the spring that underwent substantial changes following a series of public hearings across the fall. When the trio came to Prince George last September they only heard presentations from three people.
The "modest alterations" made in the north include the transfer of Valemount to the Prince George-Peace River electoral district and a boundary shift between the Cariboo-Prince George and Skeena-Bulkely Valley ridings to keep Bella Coola Valley communities together. That change will also serve to "relieve the member of Parliament for Cariboo-Prince George from being required to traverse a difficult stretch of road at the westerly end of the... district," the report said.
The Village of Valemount had expressed displeasure over the prospect of being included in the Prince George riding. During the local public hearing, Regional District of Fraser-Fort George chair Art Kaehn spoke in support of the village's ultimately unsuccessful request to be included in the Kootenay-Columbia riding.
"Although Valemount was historically a resource-based economy, in recent years they have shifted to being a tourism-based economy and are much better aligned with the tourism-based economies in the Kootenays," Kaehn told the commission.
"While it is not possible to satisfy everyone, the commission believes its final report provides effective representation in all 42 electoral districts," Hall said.