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Report keeps Nelson-Creston boundary and name changes

The final report of BC’s electoral boundaries commission maintains a proposal to move Nakusp, New Denver, and Silverton from the Kootenay West riding into the Nelson-Creston riding and rename the latter Kootenay Central.

“This brings the population of Kootenay Central within the usual deviation range and keeps the communities in the northern part of the Slocan Valley together,” the commission wrote.

However, the move is being panned by Slocan Valley regional district director Walter Popoff, who would prefer all of his area fall within a single provincial riding.

“I’m really disappointed,” he said. “It’s very inconsistent. They’ve carved up Area H, which I’m not too happy about. If you’re going to move it, move all of it.”

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Popoff said he provided input to the commission in writing, but to no avail.

He is also critical of a proposed change to the federal riding boundaries that would see the Slocan Valley lumped in with a Vernon riding. He said it has been convenient for his constituents to have an MP with an office in Castlegar, and he hopes if someone from Vernon is elected they will establish a satellite office in the Slocan.

The provincial boundaries commission is also proposing adding the Monashee area, including Cheryville, to Kootenay West, which would be renamed Kootenay-Monashee.

“Cherryville shares a transportation corridor with Upper Arrow Lakes communities,” the commission wrote. “This boundary adjustment also better balances the population of
Kootenay-Monashee with the adjacent riding centred on Vernon.”

The changes still need the approval of the BC legislature before they are enacted for the next provincial election.

Nelson-Creston has been the name of a riding since 1933, and included the Slocan Valley and Arrow Lakes in previous configurations.

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