Recent History – 1998
Dec. 14, 1998, By Mark Nielsen, Daily News Staff
Peace River Regional District (PRRD) directors voiced concerns Friday over the recommendations of the electoral boundaries commission. Although pleased that the commission supports retaining two MLAs for the Peace, some directors questioned the change to the boundary separating Peace River North and Peace River South.
For the sake of continuity, Fort St. John municipal director Steve Thorlakson said all of electoral area C should remain in Peace River North.
“On some issues we’d be dealing with two MLAs and one might not know the issue,” he said. “It’s a little different in these urban areas where you’ve got ridings cheek by jowl.”
Chair Karen Goodings questioned the need to change the boundary between Peace River North and Peace River South but Taylor municipal director Fred Jarvis said he hopes that other boundaries, for such bodies as the highways districts, are not changed as well. Electoral area C director Short Tompkins said reviewing the boundaries was unnecessary in the first place and that the PRRD should send a letter of censure. “It’s been a complete waste of taxpayers’ dollars and bureaucrats’ time,” he said.
Thorlakson said he agreed with Tompkins but there is a Supreme Court ruling that makes such a review a legal requirement. “I agree with you philosophically, but I think at the same time we have to stand by the law,” he told Tompkins.
In response, Tompkins said that maybe a letter of censure will get the judges to back off.
Directors agreed to send a letter to the commission thanking them for recommending that two MLAs remain in the Peace but also that they will be reviewing the findings. The commission will be in Fort St. John on March 15 for a public hearing before making final recommendations to the B.C. legislature.