A redraw of federal ridings in Alberta is proposing some big shifts and additions to districts in the province, especially in the Calgary area.
The overview from the committee in charge of these reviews suggests moving Banff and Canmore into separate ridings, rejigging rural ridings, adding a new district in Calgary's northeast and two more on the outskirts of Alberta's two major cities.
The independent, non-partisan commission is assigned to examine the riding boundaries based on the 10-year census. Alberta's panel was also tasked with suggesting locations for three new ridings, bringing the total number of federal seats up to 37.
The commission takes into account population growth, communities of interest and the history of the area when proposing new geographical boundaries. Alberta's population grew from 3,645,257 in 2011 to 4,262,635 in 2021, according to Statistics Canada.
The proposal would put Banff in the riding of Yellowhead with places like Jasper and Hinton, and leave Canmore in a district with Cochrane and Olds.
"We thought it was odd that we would be separated from Canmore," said Corrie DiManno, mayor of Banff.
"We like to say that we are one community with two towns."
DiManno said she sees the benefit of being attached to Jasper, the other national park town, or the potential to have two MPs representing the Canmore and Banff region.
Banff's submission for upcoming hearings on the proposals will include a query about having Jasper, Banff and Canmore potentially included in the same riding.
The decision around Banff/Canmore was made largely based on division of population, according to Justice Bruce McDonald, the commission chair.
"There has been certainly some expression that Banff and Canmore do have a lot in common, and perhaps Banff has more in common with Canmore than it does with Jasper, even though they're both in national parks."
In 2021, the Conservatives won that seat (currently called Banff-Airdrie) with 57 per cent of the vote.
"When you put Banff and Canmore into the same district, we don't see the same kind of conservative dominance as we do in other ridings," said Lori Williams, a political scientist at Mount Royal University, explaining how shifting the riding boundaries could change the dynamics.
The commission is also proposing three new ridings: Calgary-McKnight, Airdrie-Chestermere and Spruce Grove-Leduc.