Grey Highlands council is not interested in leaving the federal riding of Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.
At its meeting on Sept. 21, council discussed a proposed federal electoral riding boundary change that would see Grey Highlands exit Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound and join a new riding called Collingwood-Blue Mountains.
The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission is considering the change as population growth is giving Ontario an extra seat in the House of Commons. The new Collingwood-Blue Mountains riding would include: Grey Highlands, The Blue Mountains, Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Mulmur, Essa and part of Adjala-Tosorontio.
Council voted in favour of a resolution that would have CAO Karen Govan send a letter to the commission expressing council’s wish that Grey Highlands remain in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.
“(Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound) MP Alex Ruff suggested if we have any concerns that we voice them,” said Coun. Paul Allen. “I do understand they need to keep the ridings fairly close in population.”
Mayor Paul McQueen noted that the municipality needed to let the commission know it wished to comment on the proposal by Sept. 25. McQueen noted that Grey Highlands is part of Grey County, the Grey Bruce Health Unit, and that the hospital in Markdale is part of Grey Bruce Health Services and said it makes sense for the municipality to remain in Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound.
“All that won’t change, but you start to muddy the waters,” McQueen said of a move to a riding largely composed of Simcoe County municipalities. “If you’re going to make the point, you have to make the arguments.”
Members of council also encouraged local residents to express their thoughts to the commission.
“It would be great if there is a loud, large voice,” said Coun. Danielle Valiquette.
More information about the proposed changes can be found here.