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Yukon needs another MLA, commission suggests

The Electoral District Boundaries Commission says that public consultations revealed a clear need and desire for another electoral district, increasing the number of MLAs from 19 to 20.

The Electoral District Boundaries Commission says ridings should be redrawn, with one added

The Electoral District Boundaries Commission recommends that Teslin be included in a new Carcross-Tagish-Teslin district. It's now part of the sprawling Pelly-Nisutlin district. (Philippe Morin)

Some of Yukon's electoral districts should be redrawn, and another member should be added to the Legislative Assembly, according to a commission's recommendations.

The Electoral District Boundaries Commission, chaired by Yukon Supreme Court Justice Ron Veale, released its final proposals on Thursday. It follows almost a year of research and consultations, and an interim report last fall.

The interim report recommended no change to the number of MLAs, but the final report now suggests Yukon needs another riding, increasing the number of MLAs by one, to 20. The commission says that public consultations revealed a clear need and desire for another district.

The existing district of Pelly-Nisutlin — which now includes the far-flung communities of Faro, Ross River and Teslin — would be re-organized into other districts.

Faro and Ross River would combine with Carmacks to make a new riding, while Teslin would be part of a new Carcross-Tagish-Teslin district. A new Mayo-Pelly district would include the communities of Mayo, Elsa, Keno Hill, Pelly Crossing and Stewart Crossing.

Other significant changes are suggested for the northern part of Whitehorse, to reflect the growing Whistle Bend subdivision. 

The Porter Creek North, Porter Creek Centre and Porter Creek South districts would be redrawn into three new ridings: Porter Creek, Whistle Bend, and Whitehorse North.

According to the commission's population projections, Whistle Bend will have more electors than any other district by 2026, and an estimated 15 times as many voters as the Vuntut Gwitchin riding.

The commission is also proposing some minor changes to several other existing electoral districts, including Klondike, Lake Laberge, Takhini-Kopper King, and Copperbelt South. 

Seven existing districts would see no changes.

The Legislative Assembly will make the final decisions about the commission's proposals. Any changes would be in effect for at least the next two territorial elections.

The electoral district map recommended by the commission. The Legislative Assembly will make any final decisions. (Yukon Electoral District Boundaries Commission)

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