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LETTER: Langford should be moved to different electoral riding

I am writing regarding the redistribution of federal electoral districts. My suggestion is to move Langford to the Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke riding, then move Esquimalt to the Victoria riding. The Gulf Islands could then be removed from the Saanich riding and become part of the Cowichan-Malahat riding. Basically a counter-clockwise shift of the electoral districts, with the exact riding boundaries determined by population.

There are several good reasons for this shift. Langford, Colwood and Sooke are very close in proximity as well as having close connections in commerce, culture and community. We interact frequently and many of us have long ties to the other communities. Meanwhile, Langford has nothing in common with Duncan/Cowichan. We are divided by the Malahat which acts as a barrier.

The Gulf Islands have community ties to Cowichan and have easy access to the area. Esquimalt has close ties to the City of Victoria, not just as a bedroom community but they also have a joint police department. An Esquimalt resident also serves on Victoria council.

Our current MP has only had one public community meeting in Langford in the past seven years. That meeting was at the same time as a municipal candidates meeting in Langford. His office in Langford is rarely open, has no parking and is difficult to get into and out of. Langford is the largest municipality in the riding and receives second-rate service. I think that this poor service would continue regardless of party affiliation unless we elected someone from Langford, and then Cowichan would receive bad service. This poor service is more attributed to geography than the individuals involved.

This is not a political suggestion since I have no doubt that our MP would still be NDP.

This also is to the advantage of Sooke and Colwood since the riding currently stretches from west of Sooke to Quadra Street in Saanich, a distance of many kilometres. This makes it difficult for the constituents to have reasonable access to their MP.

It will allow the ridings to be more geographically central.

Norman Arden