Member of the Legislative Assembly Colin Piquette paid a visit to Redwater Town Council to talk riding changes.
 
There's three less seats in rural Alberta with the proposed riding border changes, something that concerned Redwater councillors.
 
"We believe it will negatively affect us because a majority of the population [in the proposed riding] will be urban [residents]," said mayor Mel Smith of the proposed changes. "Between Sturgeon Valley and St Albert, you're probably looking at 40,000 people there."
 
Everyone, including Piquette who currently represents the Sturgeon-Athabasca-Redwater riding, agreed the changes would dampen the voice of rural Alberta.
 
"There's a big difference between rural thinking and urban thinking, we have different beliefs, different wants and needs," explained Smith.
 
Piquette used schools as an example to help explain the difference between urban and rural issues. He said while schools are overcrowded in urban centres, rural schools are having trouble filling their classrooms.
 
The MLA sided with council in saying the new boundaries are far too big to fairly cover and give equal attention. Piquette's new riding would stretch from Athabasca all the way to the south end of Fort McMurray and Conklin.
 
The changes are being proposed to even out the constituency numbers to about 46,000 per area. Piquette commented they didn't necessarily take land area into consideration.
 
Redwater's councillors voted unanimously to draft a letter to urge the government to keep the electoral boundaries how they currently are, a move that earned the praise of their representative in the Legislature.
 

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