To the Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission - Let Us Use the Best Data

The deadline for written submissions to the commission is Feb. 8th. The date that the Census 2016 data is released is... Feb. 8th. Push back the deadline. Let us use the best data.

The Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission is starting its important work in just a few weeks. 

Our political map is being redrawn and the commission is encouraging public submissions both in person at its many public hearings and via written submission as well. 

However there is a massive problems with how the commission is conducting its work. 

Let us Use the Best, Most Recent Data

The deadline for written submissions to Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission is February, 8, 2017. StatsCanada is releasing the first population results from the 2016 census on February 8, 2017.

The commission needs to push back the deadline for written submissions a few weeks to Feb. 28, 2017 in order to give Albertans the necessary time to consider and analyze the latest data and integrate it into their submissions.

If the commission does not push back its deadline and does not give Albertans the time to analyze and consider the latest census data this first round of written submissions will be of poor quality, of little use to the commission and ultimately a waste of its time and of the time of Albertans who are going to the effort of participating in this critical process.

Especially given that the 2016 census data will be the data that's used by the commission to draw its boundaries it's a disservice to Albertans to force them to rely on outdated 2011 census data for their written submissions. 

From their Frequently Asked Questions page.

The Commission will obtain and consider census information, including that obtained in the 2016 federal census (to be released in February 2017), to determine the current populations of each of the 87 provincial constituencies, and any changes in that population since the last Electoral Boundary Commission review in 2009-10.

Let us use the best, most recent data that the commission itself will be using. Push back the deadline. 

A smaller but still important issue that needs to be addressed is that there is no way to add attachments to a written submission that is submitted through the online form. Without being able to attach anything to your submission there would be no maps, no appendices, no supporting documents. By making it possible for people to add attachments to their online submission the commission can ensure a higher quality written submission. 

What Can You Do

  1. Write an email or letter to the Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission asking them to push back their deadline for written submissions so that we can use the best data. Email them at [email protected] or mail them at Suite 100, 11510 Kingsway NW
    Edmonton, AB T5G 2Y5
  2. Call the Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission and let them know that you would like the deadline for written submissions to be pushed back. If you're in Edmonton call 780.415.2878, if you're outside Edmonton dial: 310.0000, followed by: 780.415.2878
  3. Show up at a public hearing and ask the commission to push back their written submission deadline so that we can use the best data. The list of public hearings can be found here. The first one starts in Edmonton on January 16, 2017. 
  4. Regardless of the decision of the commission on whether to allow Albertans to use the best data you should participate in the Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission's process. Write a written submission or go to a public hearing.
  5. Stay tuned to Progress Alberta for data and arguments to help inform your submission to the Alberta Electoral Boundaries Commission