Re: Burnaby split into three ridings, Burnaby NOW, Jan. 30.
As one of several dozen presenters at the B.C. electoral boundary commission public meeting in Burnaby, I join with others in expressing concern with the commission decision to reject the virtually unanimous presentations made by dozens of citizens opposing a Burnaby North-Seymour riding and advocate retaining Burnaby-Douglas.
Both the first held B.C. commission meeting in Seymour and the last held B.C. commission in Burnaby were overwhelmingly against a North Burnaby-Seymour riding.
What is the purpose of a commission if not to listen to the public? The evident outright rejection of input from citizens may be taken as a disregard for the process of public consultation. Certainly there were other boundary configuration options and recommendations made, and other strategies available which the commission could have taken into account in rendering a decision.
The two electoral boundary commission panel hearings were deluged with opposition to revert to an illogical Burnaby North-Seymour riding terminated by a previous commission.
Perhaps surprisingly, the presentations against a Burnaby North-Seymour riding were acknowledged by chair John Hall and in the next breath discounted in what appears to be a preconceived decision by the commissioners to force the fusion of Burnaby North and Seymour. Why? The result is an elongated, divided, disparate Burnaby North-Seymour riding.
So, it may be said to be incongruous, if not insulting, (as reported in the Burnaby Now article) the statement from chair John Hall: "We heard from people who gave us very good submissions - Mayor (Derek) Corrigan and I think the MLAs from out there - and ultimately we had to make a decision and we made that decision." A telling statement of apparent indifference. commission chair Hall could have at least remembered if the MLAs from "out there" actually attended the Commission hearings, and if they made or did not make or submit presentations. They would have been on the presenter list and have been acknowledged.
Apparently there is one last chance for MPs in Parliament to provide feedback on the B.C. boundary commission final report; to which chair Hall commented, off hand it seems: "We may . look at some of these ridings and reconsider." Well there appears to be significant opposition points worthy of reconsidering.
Dr. Phil Moir, Burnaby