North Vancouver’s Lynn Valley could be joining north Burnaby, at least when it comes to federal elections.
New boundaries for federal ridings being proposed by the federal electoral boundaries commission include moving the current boundary of the Burnaby North-Seymour riding further north and west, to include Capilano University and much of Lynn Valley to the south of Lynn Valley Road, including Lynn Valley Centre. The riding would also gain chunks of upper Lynn Valley to the east of Mountain Highway, including the area around Upper Lynn Elementary School.
In addition, part of the eastern-most edge of West Vancouver – including the area around Park Royal Shopping Centre, Sentinel Hill and a part of Ambleside – would be added to the North Vancouver riding, under the proposed changes. That area is currently part of the West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea to Sky Country riding.
The Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish Nation)’s Xwemelch'stn X̱ (Capilano 5 reserve) land would also be switched from the West Vancouver riding to the North Vancouver riding, under the proposed changes.
B.C. to add one riding
The shift, which would push boundaries of the three North Shore ridings north and west, is part of a larger jigsaw puzzle being considered by the electoral boundaries commission as it adds one riding to the province of B.C. The additional riding is needed because of population growth in the province.
The Canadian Constitution requires that electoral district maps be reconsidered every 10 years following the census. According to the commission, the 2021 census reported an increase of about 600,000 residents in B.C. An additional riding is needed in B.C. to ensure that roughly the same number of people – 116,300 – are represented by each federal member of Parliament. The size of populations represented by federal ridings can vary up to 25 per cent.
But the creation of a new riding – Vernon-Lake Country in the southern Interior between Vernon and Kelowna – would also have a domino effect of boundary alterations in other areas of the province, including a number of ridings in the Lower Mainland, as well as in the southern Interior and on Vancouver Island.
Lynn Valley change could hurt NDP
Greg Lyle, president of Innovative Research Group, said the biggest proposed change to the North Shore ridings would be adding Lynn Valley to the Burnaby - North Seymour riding.
In political terms, the change is a disadvantage to the NDP, said Lyle, because “the Burnaby part of that riding is more New Democratic than the North Vancouver part.”
In the 2021 election, Liberal MP Terry Beech reclaimed his seat with 19,445 votes to Jim Hanson’s 14,318 votes for the NDP.
Most of the Lynn Valley polls that could be added to Burnaby - North Seymour voted Liberal last time, Lyle noted.
In West Vancouver, the changes are also most likely to hurt the NDP’s chances, said Lyle.
Squamish Nation polls could move into North Van
Three of the polls being lost in that riding are Squamish Nation polls that voted strongly NDP in the last election, while other polls around Park Royal, Sentinel Hill and Ambleside were a mix of Conservative and Liberal votes.
Liberal MP Patrick Weiler reclaimed his seat in the West Vancouver - Sunshine Coast - Sea to Sky Country riding in 2021 with 21,500 votes to 19,062 votes for John Weston of the Conservatives. The NDP, which had hoped to make gains with well-known candidate Avi Lewis, came third with 16,265 votes.
Public consultations on the electoral map changes recommended will happen next month on the North Shore.
In West Vancouver, the consultation will happen at the West Vancouver Memorial Library on Thursday, June 23 at 5:30 p.m. In North Vancouver, the public will have a say on Monday, June 27 at 7 p.m. at the Pinnacle Hotel. Those wishing to comment must register in advance. Members of the public can also provide comments on the recommended boundary changes by email.