Sylvan to join Lacombe, Ponoka in new federal district

Highway 11 is the new dividing line of proposed federal electoral districts in the Sylvan Lake area.

Highway 11 is the new dividing line of proposed federal electoral districts in the Sylvan Lake area.

Those people living south of the highway, including those in Benalto, will be in the Red Deer-Mountain View riding while those north will be in the Red Deer-Wolf Creek riding, according to a new electoral map for consideration at public hearings this fall. Currently Sylvan Lake is in the Red Deer electoral district which encompasses all of Red Deer County and the municipalities in the county.

The Red Deer riding is being split in two and sections of other ridings are being added to reach the optimum population for the districts.

The proposal means Sylvan Lake will join Lacombe, Ponoka and five Indian reserves in the reconfiguration. It also includes all of Lacombe County, the part of Red Deer County north of Highway 11 west of the City of Red Deer and a portion of the city, as well as a portion of Red Deer County east of the city.

The changes resulted from an increase in provincial population from 2,974,807 in 2001 to 3,645,257 in 2011. Alberta will gain six electoral districts because of the increase and the redistribution which takes place following each decennial (10 year) census.

“Population shifts and the creation of six new electoral districts have resulted in a new electoral district landscape for Alberta. As one electoral boundary was drawn, an adjacent electoral district was inevitably impacted. In the result, all electoral districts in Alberta have been altered — some more substantially than others,” said the Honourable Carole Conrad, chair of the three-member commission.

Under the Electoral Boundaries Re-adjustment Act, the commission’s main aim in redrawing boundaries is to divide the province into electoral districts as close to the average population as reasonably possible.

Public hearings on the proposals are scheduled for September in various locations throughout the province. In Red Deer, two hearings are planned for Sept. 19, one at 1:30 p.m. and the other at 7 p.m.

More information and copies of the current and proposed districts are available at www.federal-redistribution.ca.