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MPP says northern electoral boundary revision process too rushed to get it right

Chris Marchand

Chris Marchand served as editor of the Dryden Observer from August 2009 to April 2018.

By Michael Christianson

During question period at the end of September Sarah Campbell voiced her concerns over the proposed Bill 152, an act to amend the Representation Act, 2015 and certain other Acts.

Campbell said that fourteen years of this Liberal government’s ignorant northern policies have fostered renewed calls for northern separation which will not be undone by the creation of two new northern ridings.

“It’s a step in the right direction but I believe fundamentally what we need to do is consult northerners, we need to have more time spent on consultation to help us shape what our ridings would look like and which communities will be included in which riding,” said Campbell. “Three months is just inadequate. We also need to make sure that once this decision is made and it’s passed and becomes law that there’d actually a fair chance at completing the necessary political steps to make sure that the candidates have a fair shot, anything less is really a case of gerrymandering.”

Campbell said the reality is a tall order; the government expects candidates searches to be conducted by each party, fundraising to take place in an area where the unemployment rates can be 50 per cent or more in many of these communities, and then candidates to campaign in an area that will rival the country of Germany in terms of size, and to do so at a time when travel by road is non-existent.

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