In Canada, every few years the electoral boundaries are redrawn by an independent Electoral Boundaries Comission (EBC). For BC, it is after every 2nd general election. The process is generally good and mostly non-partisan and gerrymandering doesn't usually impact the results strongly. Redistricting is actually incredibly hard to do - if you doubt this, I encourage you to play with Election Atlas's Riding Builder tool. One of the critical parts is public feedback both before a draft is done and after.
BC's EBC is currently in the process of boundary redrawing, and has a draft proposal up. There are now public hearings, both online and in person, with the closest one to Sooke being Victoria on October 31st. While I very much understand the hard work involved, I don't think the current proposal is adequate for the south end of the island particularly the old CWV (Cowichan Valley), LJF (Langford - Juan de Fuca) and ESM (Esquimalt - Metchosin ridings. Personally, I feel there is very little connection between Sooke and Mill Bay/North end of the Malahat. Below you'll find my thoughts on an alternate proposal. As you get further from Sooke/the Westshore my thoughts become progressively less locally informed but regardless this is one way to balance the numbers and I think much better. That said, draft EBC proposals are rarely changed much. If you agree with me please join me at the in person meeting, or online, or by mail.
I introduce you to the Juan de Fuca - Malahat Riding as proposed by the EBC. Pros: fairly decent shape, demographics similar. Cons: very limited community connection between different sides of the Malahat - which to my mind is much more important.
Similar to the current draft EBC Proposal, I'm adding 1 new riding to Southern Vancouver Island. Depending on how you look at it, new riding is either Langford-Highlands or Colwood-Juan de Fuca. To make numbers work at all, this lead to having to make significant adjustments a bunch of south island riding boundaries. Even with this, Colwood-Juan de Fuca is sub-standard population but is faster growing than average so longer term shouldn't be a problem. The riding builder tool I was using can't quite do what I want in a couple instances, but where important, will note that in riding levels comments.
# Colwood - Juan de Fuca
Biggest difference between this proposal and EBC's draft.
West/North boundaries same as old LJF. on the east, takes Colwood and Metchosin and a sliver of western Langford.
Demographically and connection wise this makes a lot of sense to me as someone who has lived in a lot of the sections of the riding. How much connection do I feel for North of the Malahat? Pretty low. Colwood? High.
Population -18.2% deviation.
# Victoria Ridings
Old Esquimalt-Metchosin riding. Still all of Esquimalt and view royal. Spreads into Saanich a bit along the NE. Everything W of View Royal moved into Colwood - Juan de Fuca.
Population deviance: -7.5%
Finally a riding keeping the same name. Western edge taken by Saanich-Esquimalt. Adding Vic West and a bit of N edge of Victoria to keep population reasonable.
Population deviance: -3.1%
Oak Bay - Gordon Head
Losing a bit on the SW corner to Victoria Beacon Hill, Gaining a bit between Gordon Head and Blenkinsop.
Population deviance: -1.9%
# Saanich South
# Saanich North & The Islands
# Cowichan Valley
# Nanaimo North Cowichan
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