Reeve concerned about changing boundaries of Drumheller-Stettler riding

A suggestion to shift the boundaries of the provincial Drumheller-Stettler electoral boundaries to the east has irked the County of Stettler council although no official changes have been proposed by the Electoral Boundaries Commission.

At the county council’s regular meeting Oct. 14, Reeve Earl Marshall reported that he was informed by a reliable source that the boundaries commission was proposing to alter the local constituency.

“I don’t’ want our boundaries to change,” said Reeve Marshall.

“We should take this to the commission.”

“It’s pretty good the way it is,” said Reeve Marshall.

After one of the hearings in Drumheller on Oct. 5, he was told that commission is considering a change to local electoral divisions that would remove the Starland County and Drumheller part of the Stettler-Drumheller area and extend the Stettler riding with the County of Paintearth and north to Wainwright.

“We have not made any decisions to propose any changes to the boundaries of any electoral division,” commission Peter Dobbie said in an interview with the Independent.

“This suggestion was likely a response to a hypothetical question.”

Currently the commission is drafting changes to design boundaries for divisions with an average population of 40,583 as it also considers historical connections and future growth, said Dobbie.

Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission recently completed the first round of hearings in a process to increase the number of constituencies to 87 from 83 for the next provincial election.

After this first round of public hearings and other review, the commission will host a second round of hearings next spring to present proposed changes and realignments before the commission is scheduled to present a final report by July 2010.

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