The Chinook’s Edge School Division (CESD) board has made an official submission to the Alberta electoral boundaries commission. The move came following the board’s recent regularly scheduled meeting.
In a letter signed by CESD board chair Colleen Butler, trustees called on the commission to ensure that the requirements of rural school divisions are taken into consideration when considering any proposed boundary changes.
“As a large school board representing over 40 rural schools, Chinook’s Edge School Division is concerned about the continued erosion of the rural voice and representation in the legislature,” said Butler.
“By slicing the rural ridings and combining them with portions of the urban centres, the imbalance becomes greater and the rural perspective is not fairly represented.
“We are concerned that a change to the boundaries may result in challenges in accessibility to an MLA who understands rural issues or alternately that too many MLAs may result in party divisiveness.”
The Alberta electoral boundaries commission is examining all 87 ridings in the province, making recommendations for possible changes.
The commission, which includes former Mountain View County councillor Gwen Day, is holding public hearings across the province, including a recent hearing in Olds.
The commission will be taking into consideration the “requirement for effective representation, the scarcity and density of populations and common community interests as well as existing municipal boundaries and geographical features.”
Justice Myra B. Bielby is chair of the commission, which is scheduled to submit an interim report within seven months of its appointment and its final report within five months of the date of its first report.
In other school board news, trustees have authorized a contribution of $1,250 to support the 11th annual Career Expo at Red Deer College on April 27.
The expo will feature 100 booths from post-secondary and industrial institutions, with about 3,700 students expected to attend.
“The event aligns with key Chinook’s Edge goals of enhancing career connections, dual credit programming, high school completion and transition to post-secondary,” said officials.
“Chinook’s Edge will be provided with a booth at the expo to promote these priorities and opportunities.”
“As a large school board representing over 40 rural schools, Chinook’s Edge School Division is concerned about the continued erosion of the rural voice and representation in the legislature.”Colleen ButlerChinook’s Edge School Division chair