Alberta's Electoral Boundaries Commission has come out with its final recommendations on redrawing political boundaries for the next provincial election, and the report is getting a better reaction from our MLA.
Rick Strankman, who represents Drumheller-Stettler, is happy to see the commission did away with an earlier move to add Strathmore to the riding, saying many of the town's residents have more in common with Calgary than they do with Wheatland County.
"This new mapping includes, to the best of my knowledge, primarily the MD of Provost," he remarked. "I'm quite pleased with that: it seems to generally follow municipal boundaries and trading patterns."
"It's disturbing that the Boundaries Commission is trying to preconceive the population patterns of some areas," he continued. "That's why they're enlarging places like Drumheller-Stettler because they predict our population is going to continue to decline."
Some critics of expanding the size of the riding argued it's already too big, not in terms of population, but in terms of the travel required by the MLA. However, Strankman doesn't feel unfairly singled out.
"There are those that argue we could go back to the same model as the federal agencies do," he noted. "I think we have some 30-plus MP's in the province and those guys have horrendously large areas to try and represent."
The report has been submitted to the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly and will be considered by MLA's, who will decide whether to adopt its recommendations in part or in full.