Mayor Mitch Campsall sees “no common sense” in the proposed plan to remove 100 Mile House, 108 Mile Ranch, Lac la Hache and some other South Cariboo areas from the current federal electoral riding.
Regarding the differences between Chilliwack and Cariboo issues, Ottawa is “so detached from [British Columbia]” it wouldn’t understand them, he says, adding the current Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod does.
“In my opinion, [McLeod] is an incredibly good MP who has put a lot of time into our community, understands our community, and now we’re going to lose her.”
There’s no relationship between Chilliwack and the B.C. North, he explains, while many relationships exist between Lower Mainland communities.
“If anything, we’re getting further away from Ottawa…. It’s going to be really difficult for [Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon MP Mark Strahl] to even understand our needs up here.”
Campsall says he holds nothing against Strahl (who has also voiced his objections to the changes), but the Lower Mainland is “so detached from anything past Hope” Strahl would have a “heck of a time” representing 100 Mile House issues.
“[McLeod] shows up here more in one month than anyone else has done in a year. She’s been really good for our community and to lose her would just be devastating.”
The District of 100 Mile House is going to “fight” the changes, Campsall says, adding the Cariboo Regional District, the North Central Local Government Association (for which Campsall is president) and Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett have all indicated they are on board to participate in that battle.
The politicians will eventually change, but the boundaries may not, the mayor adds, so he encourages local organizations, businesses, the South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce and others to send letters to express dissatisfaction with the planned boundary move.
Comments must be submitted in writing by Aug. 30, either by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or other contact options posted online at www.federal-redistribution.ca.
When looking at the redrawing of the riding lines, Campsall notes Clinton stays in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo Riding, despite being closer to Chilliwack than 100 Mile House is.
“How does that work? It’s using a calculator instead of looking at issues and looking at representation. We won’t have good representation; it just can’t be.”