Deeper dig on Trinity-Car­bon­ear

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - An­drew Robin­son is The Compass’ edi­tor. He can be reached ate­d­i­tor@cb­n­com­

At first glance, pro­posed changes to elec­toral bound­aries in the Trinity Con­cep­tion area leave Car­bon­ear and Vic­to­ria ge­o­graph­i­cally as only a small part of the new Trinity-Car­bon­ear dis­trict.

As was sug­gested in last week’s ed­i­to­rial, such a sce­nario could make it tough for cur­rent Car­bon­ear-Har­bour Grace MHA Sam Slade to keep a seat in the House of As­sem­bly, as­sum­ing he’d need to face off against fel­low Lib­eral and cur­rent Trinity-Bay de Verde rep­re­sen­ta­tive Steve Crocker for a nom­i­na­tion.

There’s an old say­ing in jour­nal­ism that re­porters should strive to dig deeper in or­der to iden­tify what’s truly hap­pen­ing with any given story. In the case of Trinity-Car­bon­ear and the like­li­hood of whether or not Slade can win that seat, to sug­gest the odds are stacked against him might be a pre­ma­ture call to make.

In fact, the num­bers are pretty evenly split in Trinity-Car­bon­ear when you look at el­i­gi­ble vot­ers rep­re­sented from the present dis­trict. The by­elec­tions that Slade and Crocker won were al­most ex­actly a year apart. Tak­ing into ac­count el­i­gi­ble vot­ers and those who were sworn in at polling sta­tions, Trinity-Bay de Verde would have 6,003 peo­ple el­i­gi­ble to cast bal­lots in the re­drawn dis­trict. That cov­ers Heart’s De­light-Is­ling­ton up to Bay de Verde and down along the North Shore, end­ing in Salmon Cove.

Com­mu­ni­ties that Slade cur­rently rep­re­sents — Fresh­wa­ter, Vic­to­ria, Car­bon­ear and Bris­tol’s Hope — would ac­count for 5,812 el­i­gi­ble vot­ers in the new dis­trict.

With less than 200 vot­ers sep­a­rat­ing those two ter­ri­to­ries, it’s safe to sug­gest a Lib­eral nom­i­na­tion battle for Trinity-Car­bon­ear would be a tight race if Crocker and Slade both went for it.

Slade, who was a very popular mayor in Car­bon­ear for many years be­fore en­ter­ing pro­vin­cial pol­i­tics, has a more than rea­son­able shot at at­tract­ing votes in the Trinity South and North Shore ar­eas. His back­ground as a fish­er­man would cer­tainly help.

For Crocker, steal­ing Lib­eral votes from Slade in Car­bon­ear could prove to be a dif­fi­cult task. One clear ad­van­tage for Crocker is that Slade’s cur­rent share of the pro­posed dis­trict is small ge­o­graph­i­cally, so the amount of leg­work it will take to knock on new doors in th­ese towns will be com­par­a­tively less than what Slade will face ven­tur­ing into Crocker’s turf. Crocker, as men­tioned ear­lier, is also work­ing with a slight ad­van­tage when it comes to el­i­gi­ble vot­ers.

If public hear­ings sched­uled to start this week fail to al­ter the course set by the bound­aries com­mis­sion, we should be in for a very in­ter­est­ing battle in Trinity-Car­bon­ear.

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