Proposal scraps Carbonear-Harbour Grace district
Spaniard’s Bay happy changes mean one MHA for all residents
Proposed changes to Newfoundland and Labrador’s electoral districts could mean big changes for Liberal MHA Sam Slade.
If approved, Slade’s district of Carbonear-Harbour Grace would be eliminated, with his constituents divided amongst what are now the Port de Grave and Trinity-Bay de Verde districts.
Under the proposed boundaries, residents of Carbonear would join the newly christened district of Trinity-Carbonear. Harbour Grace would be added to Progressive Conservative MHA Glenn Littlejohn’s Port de Grave district and be renamed Harbour Grace-Port de Grave. North River and Clarke’s Beach residents would move into the Harbour Main district under the proposed changes.
Communities west of Heart’s Delight-Islington that used to fall under Trinity-Bay de Verde and Bellevue will now be a part of the Placentia-St. Mary’s district.
While the changes would surely not sit well with Slade — who could be forced to either run against Littlejohn or current Trinity-Bay de Verde MHA and fellow Liberal Steve Crocker — there is one place the changes are welcome.
The Town of Spaniard’s Bay has been split between Port de Grave and Carbonear-Harbour Grace for several years and the changes would see them become whole again.
Spaniard’s Bay Deputy Mayor Paul Brazil called the proposed changes “good news.”
The changes would see the town moved to the district of Harbour Grace-Port de Grave as a whole. Spaniard’s Bay is currently split between the Carbonear-Harbour Grace and Port de Grave districts.
The town council has voiced its displeasure with this arrangement in the past, feeling that it hampered their ability to secure funding not only at the municipal level, but also for other services in the community.
“It will be certainly better than what we had, not dealing with two MHAs” said Brazil. “Dealing with one office and one set of administration makes it easier.
“It is so much easier with less people. I hope the recommendation sticks.”
The Compass attempted to arrange interviews with Slade and Crocker last Friday, but both were unavailable for comment. Districts growing Meanwhile, current Port de Grave MHA Glenn Littlejohn would have to put a few more kilometres on his vehicle under the proposed changes. His district, which currently ends in Spaniard’s Bay, would bring the citizens of Harbour Grace and Bryant’s Cove into the fold.
“Everyone knew there was change coming, but nobody knew where those changes were going to be. When you’re going from 48 electoral districts to 40, there was going to be change,” Littlejohn told The Compass last Friday. “I’m sorry to lose the people in North River, Makinsons and Clarke’s Beach. They’ve supported me very well over the last two elections and I’m sad to see them go.
“We have new challenges. We have to convince the people in the new part of district that I’m worthy of their support, and I’ll do all that I can to make that happen.”
A public hearing is scheduled to take place Thursday, April 23, in Carbonear at Fong’s Motel. Meanwhile, a similar session is scheduled for Wednesday, April 29, at the St. John’s the Baptists Anglican Social Centre in Whitbourne.
The Carbonear session is scheduled to start at 2 p.m., while things get underway at 3 p.m. in Whitbourne.
A look at how the new Harbour Grace-Port de Grave district would look next to Trinity-Carbonear under proposed changes to electoral district boundaries in Newfoundland and Labrador.