What is the BC Electoral Boundaries Commission?
Under the Electoral Boundaries Commission Act, a commission must be appointed within one year after every second provincial general election.
The previous Electoral Boundaries Commission submitted their report in 2015. Since then, there have been general elections in 2017 and 2020. The 2021 Electoral Boundaries Commission was established on October 21, 2021.
What does the Commission do?
The Commission provides independent and non-partisan recommendations to the Legislative Assembly on the area, boundaries and names of provincial electoral districts. The Commission can recommend creating new electoral districts, as well as changing the boundaries of existing electoral districts.
In developing its recommendations, the Commission considers population change and other geographic and demographic factors.
Does the BC Electoral Boundaries Commission review electoral district boundaries for federal elections in BC?
No. The BC Electoral Boundaries Commission only reviews electoral district boundaries for provincial elections in BC. A separate commission is currently reviewing the boundaries for federal elections. Learn more about the federal commission here.
Is the BC Electoral Boundaries Commission the same organization as Elections BC?
No, they are separate organizations, though British Columbia’s Chief Electoral Officer is a member of the Commission. Elections BC provides administrative support to the Commission.
Who is the Commission?
Under the Electoral Boundaries Commission Act, the Commission is composed of a sitting or retired judge of the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal who is nominated by the Lieutenant Governor in Council, a person who is not an MLA or employee of the government and is nominated by the Speaker after consultation with both parties, and the Chief Electoral Officer of British Columbia.
The members of the current BC Electoral Boundaries Commission were appointed on October 21, 2021:
- Justice Nitya Iyer of the Supreme Court of British Columbia (Commission Chair)
- Linda Tynan, Local Government Management Consultant
- Anton Boegman, British Columbia’s Chief Electoral Officer
When does the Commission conduct its review?
The Commission has one year from the date of appointment (until October 21, 2022) to prepare a preliminary report of its proposals. The Commission then has six months to receive input from the public and current MLAs to produce a final report for the Legislative Assembly.
How many electoral districts are there in BC?
The Commission can recommend creating up to six more electoral districts, or up to a maximum of 93 electoral districts in total.
How can I provide input to the Commission?
There are many ways individuals and organizations can provide input:
- through the Commission’s website,
- at an in-person or virtual public meeting, or
- by writing the Commission directly.
The Commission has scheduled public meetings in communities across B.C. View the schedule of upcoming public meetings here.
Is there a deadline for public input?
For the first phase of public meetings, public input must be provided before 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 31, 2022.
This will allow the Commission time to prepare a preliminary report by October 21, 2022.
Why is the Commission holding public hearings before making proposals?
The Commissioners agreed that hearing from the public first would better inform their decision-making process and facilitate a more-accurate Preliminary Report.
There will also be public hearings after the preliminary report is submitted to the Legislative Assembly to inform the Commission’s final report.
How will the Commission measure success?
Success for the Commission will be the Legislative Assembly’s acceptance of any proposed changes.
Public engagement is vital to the work of the Commission. Providing input to the Commission—through the Commission’s website; at an in-person or virtual public meeting; or by writing the Commission directly—contributes to its success.