LEARN
About the Commission
The BC Electoral Boundaries Commission is an independent and non-partisan commission appointed to review provincial electoral districts and to make proposals to the Legislative Assembly on the area, boundaries and names of electoral districts to be used for the next two provincial general elections.
Under the Electoral Boundaries Commission Act, a BC Electoral Boundaries Commission must be appointed within one year of General Voting Day after every second provincial general election. General Voting Day for the 2013 General Election was May 14, 2013. The three members (Commissioners) of the commission were appointed on May 9, 2014, creating the Melnick Commission (named after the Chair of the commission, Justice Thomas Melnick).
The Commission’s Function
The function of the commission is to propose to the Legislative Assembly the area, boundaries and names of the electoral districts in B.C. The Legislative Assembly is responsible for approving or amending the proposals of the commission before they are passed into law. The commission may recommend to the Legislative Assembly up to two additional electoral districts be created, to a maximum of 87 electoral districts. See the Electoral Boundaries Commission Act [s. 9] Determining boundaries for more information and principles governing the commission.
The Commission Timeline
During the fall of 2014, the commission held public hearings in 29 communities throughout British Columbia. The public hearings were open to any person to make a presentation about the area and boundaries of provincial electoral districts. To prepare the Preliminary Report to the Legislative Assembly, the commission considered and reviewed presentations and submissions gathered from public hearings and received through online submissions and by email.

The commission held 15 public hearings on the Preliminary Report through April and May 2015 to gather information about the proposed electoral districts for the preparation of a Final Report.
 
CommissionTimeline
The Commissioners
Under the Electoral Boundaries Commission Act, the Lieutenant Governor in Council must appoint the BC Electoral Boundaries Commission consisting of:
  • A judge or retired judge of the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeal who is nominated by the Lieutenant Governor in Council
  • A person who is not a member of the Legislative Assembly or an employee of the government and who is nominated by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, after consultation with the Premier and the Leader of the Official Opposition, and
  • The Chief Electoral Officer appointed under the Election Act.
Commissioner Justice Tom Melnick (Chair)
Biography
Honourable Thomas Melnick, Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia – Justice Thomas Melnick received his bachelor of laws from the University of Western Ontario in 1967 and was called to the bar of British Columbia in 1968. Melnick began his legal career at Graham and Company in Cranbrook between 1968 and 1970. He subsequently became a partner at Melnick, Carlgren, Erickson until 1980, when he joined Steidl, Kambeitz, Melnick and Donald. In 1985, he joined Shrum, Liddle and Hebenton in Vancouver and was appointed Queen’s Counsel the same year. In 1987, Melnick was called to the bench as a County Court judge in the Kootenay region, and was appointed to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 1990. Melnick has been very active with legal organizations throughout his career and has assumed numerous leadership roles, some of which include being past president of the Kootenay Bar Association, a bencher and chairman of the Professional Standards Committee for the Law Society of B.C., a member of the National Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee, an instructor for the People’s Law School and a guest lecturer for the University of British Columbia law school.
Commissioner
Beverley Busson
Biography
Beverley Busson, former commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police – Beverley Busson joined the RCMP in 1974 as one of its first female members. She has served in a variety of front-line operational positions that included general duty, fraud investigation, drug enforcement and serious crimes investigations. She holds a law degree from the University of British Columbia. In 1999, Busson left the RCMP to head the Organized Crime Agency of British Columbia, and returned in 2000 as the commanding officer of British Columbia. She was promoted to deputy commissioner for the Pacific Region in 2001, while retaining her role as the commanding officer. In 2004, she was invested as Commander of the Order of Merit of the Police Forces and in June 2006, she received the Order of British Columbia. In December 2006, she became the first woman appointed as commissioner of the force, and retired in July 2007. Busson also holds the 30-year long service award from the RCMP and the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal.
Commissioner
Keith Archer, Ph.D.
Biography
Dr. Keith Archer, Chief Electoral Officer for the Province of British Columbia – Keith Archer became B.C.’s Chief Electoral Officer in September 2011. He brought over 30 years of experience in electoral administration research and education to the position of Chief Electoral Officer. Prior to his appointment, he was a professor of political science at the University of Calgary and director of research at the Banff Centre. Archer completed his bachelor of arts and master’s degree in political science at the University of Windsor and a PhD at Duke University. His teaching and research has focused on the study of elections and voting. He is the author, co-author or co-editor of seven books and over 30 articles and chapters in this area.
BC Electoral Boundaries Commission History
Since 1965, eight independent electoral boundaries commissions have been appointed in British Columbia: the Angus Commission (1966); the Norris Commission (1975); the Eckardt Commission (1978); the Warren Commission (1982); the McAdam Commission (1984); the Fisher Commission (1988); the Wood Commission (1999); the Cohen Commission (2008); and, the Melnick Commission (2015). Electoral boundaries commission reports from 1965 to 2008 are available through the Legislative Library of British Columbia. The 1988, 1998 and 2008 electoral boundaries commission reports are also available on the Elections BC website at http://www.elections.bc.ca/index.php/maps/electoral-boundaries-commission-reports/. In 2008, the Cohen Commission submitted its final proposals to the Legislative Assembly of BC. On April 10, 2008, the Legislative Assembly passed the Electoral Districts Act, establishing the current 85 provincial electoral districts. The electoral districts came into effect on April 14, 2009, the day the writs of election were issued for the 2009 General Election.