The most recent review of federal election boundaries could slice up Langley, Cloverdale, and Abbotsford into new configurations, and change which MP represents local residents.
A proposed map created by the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission has been released, showing a plan to increase the number of ridings in the Lower Mainland.
While the changes may not be popular, they are far from final, and the chair of the B.C. boundaries commission said he welcomes public input.
"I'm sure that we weren't perfect," said John Hall, the commission chair and a judge with the B.C. Court of Appeal.
The new proposed boundaries would create a new Langley-Cloverdale riding, including a sizeable piece of Surrey, from 88th Avenue to Zero Avenue, ranging as far west as 160th Street, and taking in all of Langley City, plus Brookswood and South Langley west of 216th Street and south of 56th Avenue.
The remainder of Langley would become part of a new Fort Langley-Aldergrove riding, which would include the remainder of Langley plus a large section of rural Abbotsford, as far east as Mount Lehman Road.
The current Langley riding was created a decade ago and includes just Langley City and Township.
Since then, Langley and the rest of the Lower Mainland has seen a population boom, and the number of residents in each riding has been swelling.
That population boom meant more ridings for B.C., and that meant what Hall called a "domino effect" as ridings expanded and pushed up against one another.
"You start with the proposition that we have six new ridings in B.C.," Hall said.
"Ultimately, we decided that four of the ridings were going into that area south of the [Fraser] River, west of Chilliwack," he said.
Richmond, Delta, Surrey, Langley, and Abbotsford have all seen significant changes to their ridings, far more extreme than those seen in Vancouver.
"It has just been very heavy for growth," said Hall.
He trusted that both the residents, and local MPs like Mark Warawa in Langley and Ed Fast in Abbotsford, will have some things to say this fall.
"Some of it may be good, bad, or indifferent, but that's what we'll hear at the public hearings," Hall said.
If ridings are not redrawn periodically, ridings with shrinking populations will wield more power in the House of Parliament than those with growing populations.
Ridings in Canada's major urban areas, including in Metro Vancouver, are generally underrepresented at present.
Langley will have a public hearing on Sept. 18, at the Coast Hotel and Convention Centre on Fraser Highway on the shape of the new ridings.
After the hearings this fall, a Parliamentary committee will make recommendations on the proposed plan, likely in the spring of 2013. The entire process should be completed by the fall of next year.
Whatever new boundaries are decided, a new system will be in place for the next scheduled federal election in 2015.
@ Copyright 2013