After a few years of having a single, cohesive voice in the House of Commons, it looks like Langley will once again be divided between two federal ridings.
The Electoral Boundaries Commission for British Columbia submitted a report on Monday that will redraw B.C.'s federal electoral map to include six new ridings - five of them in the Lower Mainland - if it is accepted by Parliament.
For Langley, it means a return to divided representation. In fact, the boundaries in the new configuration are similar to those in place before Langley City and Township were designated together as a distinct and single Langley Riding in the 2004 redistribution (see a map of the proposed ridings with this editorial at www.langleyadvance.com, click on Opinion).
This week's report couples most of Langley Township with a large chunk of Abbotsford, under the title of Fort Langley-Aldergrove - which might create some confusion with the provincial riding of the same name, and might make some Abbotsford residents involved in the transaction feel left out. (The provincial riding does not include any Abbotsford territory.)
The report combines the rest of the current federal Langley riding - all of Langley City plus the part of Langley Township that resides roughly immediately south of the City - with Cloverdale, Clayton, and some more of Surrey into a riding designated Langley-Cloverdale.
Despite splitting Langley, the suggested redistribution makes sense. To maintain a reasonable approximation of equal population distribution among ridings, the lines have to be drawn somewhere, and Langley has grown too populous to continue on its own way (but not yet populous enough to justify two full ridings - maybe next time).
Besides, having two Members of Parliament fighting for us is not a bad thing. Even if the two MPs are from the same party, differences of opinion can be represented more easily, as occasionally demonstrated when Randy White and Val Meredith shared representative responsibility for Langley under the Canadian Alliance Party.