MPs blasts electoral map for removing ‘heart of Coquitlam’

The proposed New Westminster-Coquitlam riding. image supplied

A proposal that splits Maillardville into two provincial ridings is inexplicable and may destabilize a community, according to two Members of Parliament.

Port Moody-Coquitlam MP Bonita Zarrillo and New Westminster-Burnaby MP Peter Julian were each critical of the redrawn riding, which was included in the B.C. Electoral Boundaries Commission’s final report released in April.

Historically, Maillardville is the French centre of B.C., Julian said during an April 18 procedure and house affairs meeting.


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The proposed Coquitlam-Maillardville riding.

“Inexplicably, the Boundaries Commission is proposing wrenching it apart. That makes no sense,” Julian said.

Previously, the Coquitlam-Maillardville reached as far west as North Road. The newly-drawn Coquitlam-Maillardville extends to Blue Mountain Street, about 1.8 kilometres short of the previous boundary.

“[Maillardville] is the heart of south Coquitlam,” Zarrillo said. “They’ve taken the heart of Coquitlam out.”

Zarrillo said she was “shocked” to see the proposed boundary.

“These changes are opposite of what was proposed and have already had an effect of destabilizing my community,” she said, describing a lack of consultation with municipal and provincial representatives as well as the Indigenous community.

“The local MPs office is now outside of the riding,” Zarrillo said.

The change would affect the Legion, non-profit groups, schools and businesses, she said.

“It does not respect the well-established municipal and First Nation boundaries,” Zarrillo said.

Julian concurred.

“Maillardville should be with Port Moody-Coquitlam,” he said.

The commission is essentially an advisor, leaving the final decision with the Legislative Assembly to accept all, some, or none of the riding recommendations.

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