Boundaries commission comes to Stettler today

Considering that the County of Stettler could be dissected in changes to Alberta electoral boundaries, county officials will address the Electoral Boundaries Commission that visits Stettler for a public hearing April 28.

Considering that the County of Stettler could be dissected in changes to Alberta electoral boundaries, county officials will address the Electoral Boundaries Commission that visits Stettler for a public hearing April 28.

County council plans to express its opposition and suggestions during the hearing set for Stettler Recreation Centre (Conference Room) from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m.

With the entire county currently in the Drumheller-Stettler riding, the commission has proposed a new Stettler-Wainwright division.

“We feel that a better realignment might have the County of Paintearth joining the Drumheller-Stettler constituency as opposed to drawing the boundary lines through our municipality,” Reeve Earl Marshall said in a letter to the commission.

While the commission proposed in its interim report that the majority of County of Stettler north of Highway 594 would become part of the new Stettler-Wainwright riding with the County of Paintearth, areas of Big Valley, Endiang and Byemoor would shift to the new Brooks-Drumheller division.

For equal representation, the commission has set a quotient of 40,880, with Stetter-Wainwright recording 41,678 and Brooks-Drumheller of 43,113.

“We currently have an excellent working relationship with all of the municipalities that we share an MLA with,” said Reeve Marshall.

“We feel that all the municipalities within the Drumheller-Stettler constituency have a lot in common.

With many boundary changes over the decades, the county wants to remain rooted in the current constituency.

“The County of Stettler has been the subject of many boundary changes and each time the boundaries are realigned, the County of Stettler seems to get bounced around to different MLAs, different geographic areas and the county is forced to realign their inter-municipal relationships,” said Reeve Marshall.

“We are a forward-thinking constituency with an open mind and we have all worked very hard to make the partnerships within our boundaries strong and productive.”

“Yet another change in these boundaries will set us all back, as well as present new difficulties that will cost a significant amount of resources to rebuild again.”

After wrapping up hearings around the province until April 30, the commission plans to present final recommendations and report this summer.