The new federal riding of Collingwood-Blue Mountains is considered

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The potential new constituency would encompass Gray Highlands, The Blue Mountains, Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Mulmur, Essa and part of Adjala-Tosorontio.

Constituency boundary changes being considered at the federal level could result in the end of the current Simcoe-Grey and the creation of the new Collingwood-Blue Mountains.

The new constituency would encompass Gray Highlands, The Blue Mountains, Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Clearview, Mulmur, Essa and part of Adjala-Tosorontio. The Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Ontario is considering changing electoral boundaries to accommodate demographic changes that will allow Ontario to gain an additional seat in the House of Commons.

Full information about the process can be found online here.

If the proposal is implemented, it is expected that the provincial constituencies will be adjusted to reflect the changes.

At its Committee of the Whole meeting on September 13, the Blue Mountains Board discussed the changes and the proposal was positively received by Board members. However, Gray Highlands Council expressed concerns at its September 7 meeting and will have a more in-depth discussion at its next meeting on September 21.

The Municipality of Gray Highlands is currently part of the Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound electoral district and under this change would join the Blue Mountains, with the two municipalities in Gray County aligning with their neighbors in Simcoe County.

“Everything is based on population. I don’t know if expressing our concern will do any good,” Gray Highlands County commented. Paul Allen at the September 7 meeting.

The Blue Mountains council saw the proposal in a more favorable light.

Com. Rob Sampson took the issue to the September 13 committee full. Sampson acknowledged there wasn’t much reason for the city itself to comment on the proposal to the commission, but suggested the public be aware as comments are expected by 25 september.

“We’re going to be headliners,” Sampson noted, referring to the fact that “Blue Mountains” is in the suggested name for the new riding.

Com. Andrea Matrosovs said the new constituency is closer to the regional approach the council has often touted in recent years.

“It’s more like South Georgian Bay,” she said. “This aligns with the South Georgian Bay formula and applies to all of our neighbours.”

Com. Paula Hope echoed Matrosovs’ comments.

“It is more in line with our way of thinking and the regional way we want to encourage other municipalities to think. I think it’s working really well,” said Hope, who suggested the Blue Mountains provide the commission with positive feedback and indicate that the town is happy to be included in the riding name.

However, Matrosovs suggested that the city leave the name of the constituency to the commission.

“Leave it to the feds what they’re going to call it. We look forward to working with our southern Georgian Bay neighbors in one riding,” she said.

Com. Bill Abbotts said he was disappointed that the proposed new constituency did not include the municipality of Meaford.

“When I think of South Georgian Bay, Meaford is included,” he said.

Council voted unanimously to receive information on the proposed changes and to encourage local residents to submit comments on the proposal.

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