Three new electoral areas established in School District No. 57

Dianne St. Jean

Decision in response to appeal for better rural representation

Over the last few years, members from the communities of McBride, Dunster, Valemount and the District of Mackenzie have presented their concerns to School District 57 regarding representation of rural areas within the District.

The drive behind the request are the unique challenges that rural schools face and that many believe were not, or could not, be addressed within the existing form of representation.

Mayor Pat Crook from the District of Mackenzie had led the charge for rural representation, going as far back as 2014.

In a release earlier this week, it was revealed that the application by the District of Mackenzie and the Robson Valley for variation in the order of which SD57 trustees are to be elected has finally been approved.

The application requested a system in which one trustee is elected in the Mackenzie area, one trustee elected in the Robson Valley (for McBride, Dunster and Valemount), and the remaining five trustees elected in Prince George.

These changes will become effective for the next general school trustee election to be held on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018.

The District of Mackenzie, representatives from the Robson Valley, the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George and SD57 all worked collaboratively toward meeting this goal.

In a statement Mayor Crook said, “Recognizing that Mackenzie, the Robson Valley and the City of Prince George are unique, the establishment of three new electoral areas for School District No. 57 will ensure that rural schools will be fairly represented.”

He added that the District of Mackenzie wishes to thank MP Bob Zimmer, MLA Mike Morris, the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George, the Village of Valemount, and the Village of McBride for their dedicated support in this initiative.