Mixed reaction to proposed urban-only ridings
There is mixed reaction to the proposed creation of urban-only ridings in Saskatchewan.
"MPs certainly have the capacity to represent both the views of people living in the large cities and in smaller communities in rural Saskatchewan," said Regina-Lumsden-Lake Centre MP, Tom Lukiwski.
A new electoral map has been drafted by the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission, which would separate urban and rural votes in five ridings around the province.
"I think it's a radical change that doesn't serve the province well, quite frankly," Lukiwski said.
The economy of Saskatchewan is so closely linked between rural and urban areas that isolating the issues would be detrimental, he said.
It ends up causing an "us versus them" mentality, "and I don't think that's healthy," he said.
But NDP Candidate Nettie Wiebe, who lost to conservative MP Kelly Block in Saskatoon-Rosetown-Biggar, doesn't agree.
"I live out on the farm and I work in the city -- I'm rooted in both urban and rural Saskatchewan," she said.
There are places in Saskatoon, for example, that have important issues that don't resonate with the country, she said.
"The housing issues in the core neighborhoods, the health issues for First Nations people, they need to be reflected in Ottawa," Wiebe said.
Voters she met while campaigning in Saskatoon felt that their interests weren't properly represented, she said.
Saskatchewan is the only province that does not have any solely urban ridings.
"In that sense, we're more in tune with the kind of boundaries the rest of Canadian voters work within with these changes," said Wiebe.
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