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Central Okanagan MLAs calling for new provincial riding in Kelowna

Click to play video: 'Central Okanagan MLA’s calling for new provincial riding in Kelowna' Central Okanagan MLA’s calling for new provincial riding in Kelowna
WATCH: Central Okanagan MLA’s calling for new provincial riding in Kelowna – Apr 9, 2022

Local MLA’s in the Central Okanagan are saying another provincial riding needs to be added to the Kelowna area.

“The population over the last few years has boomed, and it is projected to continue to boom at around 3 per cent a year,” said Norm Letnick, Kelowna-Lake Country’s MLA.

“With that population growth, we anticipate the boundary commission will look favourably on the ask.”

The three local MLAs, Norm Letnick, Ben Stewart and Renee Merrifield, have all posted on their social media pages in favour of the new proposed boundaries that will add a fourth riding to the area.

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Currently, the ridings include Kelowna-Mission, Kelowna West and Kelowna-Lake Country.

The proposal would see downtown Kelowna become its own riding, with the other three slightly altered.

Kelowna West, which currently includes part of downtown Kelowna, would encompass West Kelowna to Fintry, while Kelowna North would stretch far down Highway 33 to include Lake Country.

Kelowna Central, the proposed new riding, would include downtown Kelowna and the Glenmore area. Kelowna South would include almost everything south of Harvey Avenue and Highway 33, including Big White.

“It will always be the decision at the end of the day of government. The boundary commission will make its report as a recommendation to the government and the government will have to make that final decision,” said Letnick.

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The Electoral Boundaries Commission proposes changes to areas and boundaries for electoral districts, taking into account information given to them by MLAs, businesses and residents.

The commission then creates a report, which is given to the B.C. government with recommendations. The newest report is expected to be published in the fall of 2022.

Kelowna’s Chamber of Commerce also supports the idea of adding a fourth riding in Kelowna.

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Executive Director Dan Rogers cited the rapidly growing population and developments within the city as an argument for a new riding.

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