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Alberta Politics

final report of the electoral boundaries commission.

Enilghtened Savage may have beat me to the punch with the link to the report, but posted below are the Alberta, Calgary, and Edmonton maps from the Final Report of Alberta’s Electoral Boundaries Commission (pdf). It appears the sleuthing author of the aforementioned blog discovered the link to the report which had been loaded online before it has been officially posted on the Boundaries Commission website. You can download the full report here (pdf). Score 1 point for the citizen media.

UPDATE: The EBC appears to have removed the original link to the report, so I have replaced the above links with new ones provided by Enlightened Savage. You should be able to download the final report now.

COMMENTARY
Overall, I believe that the members of the Electoral Boundaries Commission have presented a fair report given the guidelines and political environment in which they were operating. I would have liked to see the commission merge some of the larger sparcely populated rural constituencies in the north of the province, but I understand the arguments for allowing exceptions in special circumstances.

Airdrie/Foothills-Chestermere: Large areas of Wildrose MLA Rob Anderson‘s former Airdrie-Chestermere constituency have been merged with Fiance Minister Ted Morton‘s Foothills-Rockyview riding to create Rockyview-Chestermere. It is unlikely that Mr. Anderson will challenge Minister Morton in the next election, so he may opt to run in the new Airdrie constituency.

North Calgary: There is a significant amount of shuffling in this area of Calgary. I’m not familiar enough with the area to say if it reflects communities of interest. I imagine that there will be an ample amount of confusion created when anyone talks about either Calgary-North Hill (singular) and Calgary-Northern Hills (plural). Anyone?

Edmonton-Centre: I was pleased to see that my riding remains intact. The boundaries make sense for Edmonton’s downtown constituency.

Edmonton-Glenora: Glenora has been shifted further west than was proposed in the interim report, moving more Tory polls into the constituency. They new boundaries also remove the NDP-voting polls north of downtown that were included in the interim boundaries report and cut out the Liberal-voting polls west of Mayfield road that were included in Glenora during the 2008 election. It could create a more favourable electoral situation for PC MLA Heather Klimchuk, who will face strong challenges from the Liberals and former NDP MLA David Eggen.

Edmonton-McClung: McClung has been split in two. I believe that the northern half is where former Liberal MLA Mo Elsalhy‘s stronger polls were located, so David Xiao might run for re-election in the new Edmonton-Southwest constituency in 2011. Elsalhy is planning on running again, so these changes could be good news for him.

Edmonton-Riverview: There was speculation that Liberal MLA Kevin Taft‘s constituency could be on the chopping block. It remains largely intact.

Fort McMurray-Conklin/Fort McMurray-Wood Buffalo: Independent MLA Guy Boutilier will have the choice of running in one of these two constituencies in the next election. Mr. Boutilier is widely expected to join the Wildrose Alliance at this weekend’s policy convention in Red Deer. Mr. Boutilier was elected as the PC MLA for Fort McMurray in 1997, 2001, 2004, and 2008.

St. Albert/Sturgeon: I am surprised that St. Albert has not reached the size to have two constituencies of its own. I was not surprised to see that the towns of Morinville and Legal are still included in Barrhead-Morinville-Westlock, though it would make much more sense for those communities to be included in a Sturgeon Valley riding that lumped in with a constituency that stretches all the way to Swan Hills.

Minority Report: Commissioner Allyson Jeffs wrote a minority report arguing for Edmonton and Calgary to receive more than the three additional constituencies awarded in this Final Report. The politically uncomfortable necessity of removing large numbers of rural seats in favor of new urban ones was solved when Justice Minister Alison Redford introduced legislation that increased the number of MLAs from 83 to 87. In 2003, Commissioner Bauni Mackay
penned a minority report opposing Edmonton’s loss of one-seat in that Final Report.

Political Responses:
Liberal MLA Laurie Blakeman (media release):

“The Stelmach administration’s sticky fingerprints are all over this report,” Blakeman says. “There’s been major tinkering with boundaries in Edmonton to reflect personal requests from Tory MLAs. Edmonton-Southwest, for example, is a mess.”

Wildrose MLA Paul Hinman (media release):

“…once again they displayed their disrespect for democracy in Alberta and fear of losing the next election by pressuring the Commission to make the changes that they believe will favour the PC Party.”

NDP MLA Brian Mason (media release):

“Generally the boundaries make sense. The NDP has a solid chance in several Edmonton ridings, and we plan to run a full slate of candidates in the next election.”

18 replies on “final report of the electoral boundaries commission.”

Thanks for the shout-out, Dave. I figure we’re not doing too badly, for the “not quite real media”.

I’ve updated my post with a link to a copy of the final report that I downloaded before they took it down. Open for all to read. 🙂

– E.S.

Thanks, ES. I have changed the links on this blog to direct to your uploaded document.

Thoughts on the maps? I’m pleased to see that Edmonton-Riverview has survived the redistrubution. Also, the boundaries of the new Edmonton-McClung and Edmonton-Meadowlark make more sense than the interim report boundaries of the proposed Edmonton-Collingwood.

Calgary-Montrose looks like a shelter-belt.

Calgary-Montrose is a bit of a mess – I’ll admit I’m not very familiar with the current boundaries of Montrose, so it may be par for the course, but I somehow doubt it.

The new riding of “Calgary South East” is interesting for several reasons – not the least of which is the fact that it includes parts of South West Calgary. I thought the interim report’s suggestion of giving the outlying communities to Calgary-Hays and creating a new “Calgary-McKenzie” made good sense, but apparently the locals disagreed. Likewise with the splitting of Woodcreek into 2 ridings (Fish Creek and Lougheed) – the locals cried foul, and the Commission made the change.

It’s nice to know the AEBC was honestly open to feedback, and not just paying lip-service.

Of course, not everything is roses and sunshine…

The outlying communities around Calgary, particularly to the West and South are in for a huge change, as the riding boundaries and names get all shuffled around – neighbours who are 5 minutes from each other now find themselves in 2 diferent ridings – ones that neither was in before.

I imagine the folks in Grande Prairie are less than enthused that their call to keep the community in one single constituency went unheralded, but you can’t win ’em all.

I’ll give it more of a look later – provided the Fiscal Update doesn’t distract me, and the Oilers don’t trade the first overall draft pick. 🙂

NEWS RELEASE – For Immediate Release

WILDROSE ALLIANCE CAUCUS QUESTIONS FAIRNESS OF

ELECTORAL BOUNDARIES REPORT

EDMONTON, AB (June 24, 2010): Today, the Wildrose Alliance Caucus questioned the fairness of the Electoral Boundaries Report in light of the Government of Alberta’s blatant interference with the process. The Final Report released today contained dozens of changes that match the recommendations presented to the Commission by Deputy Premier Doug Horner on his official government letterhead in April

“I would have thought that appointing a majority of members to the Commission would have satisfied this government,” said Paul Hinman, Wildrose Acting Legislative Leader and MLA, Calgary-Glenmore. “But once again they displayed their disrespect for democracy in Alberta and fear of losing the next election by pressuring the Commission to make the changes that they believe will favour the PC Party.”

“Although the Deputy Premier apologized in the House for submitting a government response to this non-partisan panel,” stated Rob Anderson, Wildrose Alliance House Leader and MLA, Airdrie-Chestermere, “the apology obviously meant nothing as it did not reduce the final effect it had on the Commission and on the whole process. While there are some reasonable changes in this version, it seems that the majority of the government’s partisan requests for particular boundary adjustments still made it into the final version. I’m confident Albertans will ensure this democratic manipulation and gerrymandering backfires in the next election.”

When the Deputy Premier released the government’s version of what the new boundaries should be in April, the Wildrose caucus called on the government to disclose whether or not taxpayer resources were utilized to prepare the partisan document. “Albertans are still concerned that government resources were used to research and compile the PC Party’s proposal,” noted Hinman.

– 30 –

For further information or to arrange an interview, media are invited to contact the Wildrose Caucus at:

Barb Currie
Wildrose Alliance Caucus
Ph: (780) 638-3505

Can someone transpose the poll results from 2008 onto this new proposed map and show which ridings could go which way?

Also with Edmonton-Calder coming back from the dead, where is David Eggen going to run, Calder or Glenora?

Lastly, any truth to the rumour that a few former Edmonton liberal mlas are planning a collective comeback? I heard Bruce Miller, Mo Elsalhy, Rick Miller and Welsyn Mather. Any others?

For the most part, all they did was name “Edmonton Northwest” back to “Edmonton Calder.” I think Eggen should remain in Glenora.

Sam: I believe that David Eggen lives in the new Glenora boundaries, so he’ll have to decide.

As I noted in this post, Mo Elsalhy already has his website launched for his next campaign. I’ve heard rumours about Rick Miller running again in Edmonton-Rutherford (or maybe Mill Woods). I have also heard that Bruce Miller is luke-warm to the idea of running again. Not sure about Weslyn Mather.

I think we’ll start to see more of the former Liberal MLAs make up their minds after the summer months when the Liberals start nominating candidates in the fall.

Jane: It actually kind of does look like a buffalo. I know the two maps aren’t at the same scale, but downtown Calgary looks much more dense than downtown Edmonton (I imagine it is).

A non-partisan cheer to Brian Mason for not reflexively making the gerrymandering argument. Opposition politicians are often too quick to shout, “Fire!” After a while, you stop responding, even when there’s the smell of smoke drifting in the air.

Edmonton Meadowlark is still Edmonton Meadowlark without actually having the community of Meadowlark in it. What happened to the change to Edmonton LaPerle from the first report?

[…] The Wildroses also announced that it has organized local associations in all 83 constituencies, which is a status that the Liberals and New Democrats would have a difficult time legitimately claiming. With organizations being built on the ground, a large challenge will be for the party to prove that it can attract strong candidates across the province (in 87 new constituencies). […]

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