Municipal politicians receptive to changes to Crowfoot’s wings

Known for many years as Crowfoot, the federal riding is slated to become Battle River-Crowfoot

Known for many years as Crowfoot, the federal riding is slated to become Battle River-Crowfoot and expanded to northern areas under electoral boundary changes.

Local municipalities support the new boundaries, which would take effect in the next federal election on Oct. 19, 2015, and encompass the County of Stettler, County of Paintearth, Camrose County and stretching northeast to Wainwright in a plan to increase Alberta’s ridings to 34 from 28.

Currently served by MP Kevin Sorenson of the governing Progressive Conservative party, the revised riding places the MP more central in his home just east of Camrose.

“I think the biggest challenge is when larger centres grow in population and we have to ensure that rural Canada has proper representation,” said Stettler Mayor Dick Richards.

He said the sitting MP, Sorenson, has provided that kind of representation.

“We’re very fortunate to have someone like Kevin to bring our message forward to the House of Commons,” Richards said of Sorenson.

“He is a huge proponent of rural Alberta and fights hard for what’s important to us.”

County of Stettler council agrees that the minor changes won’t hurt the local area.

“I can’t see it will make a whole lot of difference for us,” Reeve Wayne Nixon said.

“I talked to Kevin last week and he told me it won’t make that much difference.”

Bashaw council also hopes its small town doesn’t get ignored.

“I hope it will work for us and I hope we don’t get lost in the shuffle,” Mayor Penny Shantz said.

She also complimented Sorenson for his work in the area.

“Kevin is a wonderful representative for Bashaw and rural communities, and I am confident he will continue to be,” Shantz said.

In the Castor area, at least one municipal leader is pleased with the new boundaries, which basically locate Sorenson’s hometown of Killam in the centre.

“I think it will be better for our current representative,” said County of Paintearth Reeve George Glazier, who farms about six miles north of Coronation.

“For our current MP, this puts him in the middle of the riding and should bring communities more access to him.”

Population shifts and the creation of six new electoral districts have resulted in a revamped electoral landscape for Alberta, said Carole Conrad, who chairs the federal three-member commission for Alberta.

“As one electoral boundary was drawn, an adjacent electoral district was inevitably impacted.”

Boundaries were realigned to represent a quotient of 111,166 people, though Battle River-Crowfoot would have a population of 105,680.