The new Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola riding includes a portion of Kelowna (see inset).

Election 2015: Federal election riding boundaries changed in Central Okanaagn

As of this election, some voters living in Kelowna will vote in the new riding that includes West Kelowna, Summerland and Keremeos.

Where do you live?

The question may seem odd during this federal election campaign, but thanks to a change in boundaries affecting the Kelowna-Lake Country riding on the east side of Okanagan Lake and the new Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola riding—the majority of which is west of Okanagan Lake—the question is important for some Kelowna residents.

That’s because in addition to a vast swath of the southern Interior that includes such diverse communities as West Kelowna, Keremeos, Merritt, Princeton, Summerland and Logan Lake, the sprawling new Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola riding also includes part of the city of Kelowna.

While Okanagan Lake was used as eastern boundary for the former Okanagan-Coquihalla riding the last time riding borders were reconfigured 10 years ago, this time population, not water was used to separate the two ridings that cover the Central Okanagan.

So, a triangular area with the lake on one side, Harvey Avenue (Hwy 97) and Dilworth Drive on another side and Mission Creek on the third side has been added to the ridings formerly known as Okanagan-Coquihalla. The apex of the triangle is the corner of Springfield Road and Dilworth Drive in Kelowna, across the street from Orchard Park Shopping Centre.

There, residents  living east of the intersection are in Kelowna-Lake Country, while residents living to the west, between Harvey Avenue and Mission Creek, are in the new Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola riding.

And that has already lead to some confusion for voters trying to figure out who the candidates are that they will to chose from come Oct. 19.

In an attempt to clarify who is running where, Conservative Dan Albas, Green Party candidate Robert Mellalieu (Central Okanagan-Similameen-Nicola) and Conservative candidate Ron Cannan (Kelowna-Lake Country) teamed up last month for a news conference to try and make it clear.

At the time, both Albas and Mellalieu said they had already encountered some confusion by residents about which riding they now lived in.

In recent days, with campaigns shifting into high gear now that summer is basically over and more election signs popping up, the delineation between the two ridings in Kelowna has become clear along Harvey Avenue.

There, drivers pass by signs for Kelowna-Lake Country candidates on one side of the road and signs for Central Okanagan-Simikameen-Nicola candidates on the other side.

The inclusion of the area of Kelowna south of its downtown core, including the area around Kelowna General Hospital and south Pandosy, came about after former Kelowna mayor Walter Gray made an impassioned plea to the federal redistribution commission when it held a hearing in the city in 2013.

At that time, the commission was proposing to include downtown Kelowna and part of Glenmore in the new riding, a move Gray said would tear the “heart” of his city out of a federal riding that included the rest of Kelowna. He suggested keeping downtown in the Kelowna-Lake Country and making Harvey Avenue the northern boundary for the portion to be included in the  of the new riding.

The commission agreed, saying it could meet its population quotas for both ridings by adopting Gray’s suggestion. It said Kelowna-Lake Country would have just over 110,000 residents, while Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola would have just over 104,000 residents.

“By transferring a portion of the City of Kelowna to the new district of Central Okanagan—Similkameen—Nicola, the commission has been able to maintain the north and east boundaries, as well as portions of the west and southern boundaries of the existing Kelowna—Lake Country electoral district,” said commission’s final report.

As for the impact the changes will have on voting patterns, that remains to be seen.

In the 2011 federal election, incumbent Conservative Ron Cannan took 58 per cent of the vote, while his NDP challenger Tricia Kalmanovitch took 21 per cent, Liberal Kris Stewart 11 per cent and Green Alice Hooper eight per cent.

For more information about the two ridings, go to Elections Canada’s webpage ( and type in your postal code. That will pull up information about the riding and a map of the riding boundaries.


Just Posted

Kelowna facing serious housing challenge

Report to city council shows major issues with the city’s housing situation

Flaggers unite on Okanagan highway

Traffic Control Personnel respond to colleague hit in Lavington

Freezing rain expected on the Coquihalla

Wet weather expected to cause issues on B.C. highways

New Central Okanagan school district office behind schedule

New building now expected to be completed by February 2018

Basement fire quickly extinguished

Fire crews quickly extinguished a basement fire at a home in Kelowna

Accident at Highway 97 near airport

Fire crews and ambulance officials have responded to the scene

Conservatives call for ICBC reform

Leader Scott Anderson of Vernon calls ICBC ‘national embarrassment

LGBTQ advocates want military, RCMP to take part in apology

“These are all the organizations that perpetrated past discrimination against the LGBTQ community.”

Canadians are getting bad advice from the taxman

An auditor has found that Canadians are getting bad advice from the taxman, when they can get through

B.C. mining company stakes claim in Australia

Copper Mountain is set to purchase Cloncurry Copper Project in a $93-million deal.

Serious home invasion reported in Kamloops

Two people are in hospital with serious injuries following a home invasion

Annett finishes season on the podium at Ironman Arizona

Penticton triathlete sets new course record on the bike

Cash donations create purchasing power

Salvation Army and food banks stretch a donated dollar a long way

Hergott: A pedestrian’s legal obligation

Lawyer Paul Hergott questions the moral obligation of pedestrians and motorists

Most Read