Election boundary location surprises school board

  • Oct. 5, 2005 11:00 a.m.

By Heather Ramsay–Is Miller Creek with Port Clements or Queen Charlotte? That’s the question that rocked the last school board meeting, held September 27 in Sandspit.
Although trustees intended to have Miller Creek residents vote with Port Clements in the new five trustee configuration, the electoral boundary bylaw, as signed by the Minister of Education, forces a different plan.
The matter was brought to the school board’s attention by CUPE president Michael Muller.
“Why are you advertising Port Clements, Tlell, Lawn Hill and Miller Creek together?” he asked, pointing to a boundary schedule from the ministry which indicates the boundary at the north end of the Miller Creek subdivision, leaving residents there lumped with South Graham Island.
The change from seven to five trustees, was supposed to amalgamate two electoral areas: Sandspit with Queen Charlotte and Miller Creek, Lawn Hill, Tlell with Port Clements, a change intended to give the Haida more representation.
But trustees at the meeting were flabbergasted by the revelation and asked for clarification.
“The public needs to know. It sits in the middle of nowhere at this meeting,” said Shirley Hawse, trustee for Queen Charlotte.
The bylaw is written in land survey jargon, so the desired change was missed, according to chief election officer Janet Beil.
Miller Creek has always voted with South Graham Island, she added.
She had been planning for Miller Creek voters to go to the polls at the Tlell Fire Hall or in Port Clements. She has now re-advertised the electoral areas with Miller Creek included in the same area as Queen Charlotte and Sandspit.