James Lunney fully intends to have his name on the ballot when voters go to the polls in the next federal election. The big question mark though is where.
Lunney, the Nanaimo-Alberni MP, said the decision by the Federal Boundaries Commission to re-jig existing central Island ridings didn’t go the way he had hoped.
“We have enough population on Vancouver Island to support seven ridings with the target of 105,000 people per riding,” he said. “We have 750,000-plus on the Island and we didn’t think it was necessary to add (the) 25,000 people (of) Powell River, which created a big distortion on the mid-Island.”
Lunney and three other Island MPs lobbied against the proposed new regimen, which has a new Courtenay-Alberni riding which will incorporate Courtenay, Baynes Sound, Denman and Hornby Islands, Cumberland, Port Alberni, Qualicum Beach, Parksville, Tofino and Ucluelet.
The new North Comox-Powell River riding will include Comox, Powell River, Black Creek, the Pentledge Indian Reserve, the Comox Indian Reserve and Port Hardy. As well, a new riding is going to be created to the south, to be known as Lantzville-Ladysmith.
“Courtenay-Comox didn’t want to be split and Powell River didn’t want to be attached to the Island,” Lunney said. “We made a recommendation we felt was more reasonable to solve the issue. However, the commission has the authority to make the decision and they decided to stick with their plan.”
Lunney said hasn’t made up his mind where he plans to run, but suggested he will make a decision relatively soon.