Keystone Agricultural Producers has asked the Manitoba Electoral Divisions Boundaries Commission to change its recommendation that would see one seat removed from rural Manitoba and an additional seat created in Winnipeg.
The recommendation was made in the commission’s interim report, which recommended changes to the province’s electoral divisions due to population changes since the last review in 2008.
“We recognize the commission is bound by the Electoral Divisions Election Act to make some changes, but it could have realigned the boundaries and kept the same balance between seats in Winnipeg and the rest of Manitoba,” said KAP president Bill Campbell.
KAP contends that farmers and others who live outside Winnipeg already feel deprived of effective political representation because of the concentration of political power within Winnipeg.
“It is the opinion of many KAP members that the issues of people who live outside the perimeter highway are ignored,” said Campbell.
KAP will be presenting a number of recommendations to the commission for revising the report, including consultation with political and legal experts on the issue of effective political representation.
KAP also criticized the commission for holding important public consultations on boundary changes during harvest. KAP is nonetheless asking its members to make an effort to attend and voice their concerns at the consultations in their communities. A list of locations can be found at boundariescommission.mb.ca. Consultations are taking place now through September 20.