We’ve blogged about this before, and the big day is finally here.
After enduring ten years of federal elections in which results tended to be skewed toward a certain political party because of riding configurations in the Regina and Saskatoon area that lumped rural and urban constituents together and created conditions where it was possible for the former to outweigh the latter, people in Regina will have an opportunity to comment on a proposed rerig of the ridings that would see three urban ridings created in Saskatoon and two exclusively urban and one partially urban riding created in Regina. The remaining eight seats would be parcelled out in the remainder of the province.
The consensus at prairie dog, I think, is that this is a good idea. After the 2011 election, I recall an interview that was conducted with a rural Saskatchewanite in which the person said that, for him, the two most pressing issues were the long-gun registry and the elimination of the Canadian Wheat Board’s monopoly on the marketing of wheat and barley.
I’m sure for him, those were important issues. For me in Regina, though, they weren’t really top of mind. Instead, I’m interested in initiatives to address our infrastructure deficit, improve public transit, ease the housing crunch, offer better protection for the environment, invest in arts and culture, etc. I’m not saying that everyone in Regina and Saskatoon would agree with my concerns. But urban and rural interests, while not necessarily in conflict, are often different, and both segments of Saskatchewan society deserve to have their voices heard in Ottawa.
The Regina hearing into the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission’s proposed changes to the 14 federal ridings goes today at the Ramada Hotel (1818 Victoria Ave.) starting at 9 a.m.*
* Update: Because of the number of requests to present that the Boundary Commission received a second day of hearings has been added in Regina and Saskatoon. So if you’re interested in this issue, you can also mark Saturday, Sept. 22 on your calendar in Regina. Beginning at 9 a.m. there will be a second round of hearings at the Ramada Hotel and Convention Centre (1818 Victoria Ave.)