Dunvegan vital to region: Falher Mayor

While the Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission visited Peace River on June 27 on its final stop in a series of public hearings, Town of Falher Mayor Margaret Tardif submitted the following letter:
The Town of Falher has recently discussed the Electoral Boundaries Review and submits the following comments for your consideration.
Council deems that the present boundaries of the Dunvegan constituency should remain as it current exists.
This constituency already covers a wide geographical area and, because of vast distances between communities, our MLA must spend a considerable amount of time and effort to maintain an effective liaison with his constituents.
Our total area of 38,971 square kilometers has a ranking of nine on the overall rating of electoral divisions in Alberta.
With a total of 29 elected bodies, we hold the highest ranking of 10 in this category.
Even with a lower-than-average population of 24,657 (2001 Census) and a ranking of five, the Electoral Boundaries Commission should not increase the size of the Dunvegan constituency.
The Town of Falher, along with other municipalities in the Smoky River region (co-terminus with the Municipal District of Smoky River) must remain as an integral component of this district.
Communties in this region hold numerous common socio-economic interests which must not be isolated by a divisive change of electoral boundaries.
Our municipalities have a long history of regional programs and services that continue to exist and prosper.
Examples of such inter-municipal agreements include:
Smoky River Ambulance Service
Smoky River Fire Protection
Smoky River Family and Community Support Services
Smoky River Waste Management Committee
Smoky River Historical and Genealogical Society.
Municipalities in the area have jointly applied for funding through the Alberta Municipal Affairs – Regional Partnership Program to evaluate further regional opportunities.
On a larger scale, we feel that our area must continue to be part of the north Peace block.
Our communities continue to support and depend on services provided by regional authorities.
We refer specifically to structures such as the Peace Health Region, Peace River Emergency Measures Services, Peace Country Development Corporation, Northern Alberta Development Council, and the Mackenzie Municipal Services Agency.
As these services are located in the Town of Peace River, it is imperative that we continue to be identified as part of the north Peace region.
In conclusion, we wish to reiterate our concern with the already-large geographic area served by the Dunvegan constituency.
An increase in area due to population changes or other economic factors will be detrimental to the effective representation of our electors.

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