Pro­posal scraps Car­bon­ear-Har­bour Grace dis­trict

Spa­niard’s Bay happy changes mean one MHA for all res­i­dents

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

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.

IM­AGE COUR­TESY OF NL ELEC­TORAL DIS­TRICTS BOUND­ARIES COM­MIS­SION

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.

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