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MP Clarke defends calling proposed riding changes 'gerrymandering'

"No I didn't mean it that way. I meant it to just drive Puma Shoes 2017

The changes opposed by Clarke and other Saskatchewan MPs, involve a re drawing of the riding boundaries that would create new urban only ridings in a province where ridings have traditionally been a rural urban mix. As well, the MPs are concerned about logistical problems they foresee the riding posing to being able to see and represent constituents in different parts of their area.

Moments before, committee member NDP MP Nathan Cullen told Clarke he wanted him to clarify his point about population equity. He said this has caused some reaction, particularly from Lac La Ronge, which Cullen described as a large First Nations community.

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how they're different just from one portion of the province to the next," Clarke said.

He pointed to other First Nations, such as Red Earth and Shoal Lake, and said they aren't part of that economic development in Northern Saskatchewan. "That's where the inequality takes place."

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"No," Clarke replied. "That's preposterous to insinuate that."

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"What I meant, and intended to say is, Lac La Ronge is in Central Saskatchewan. They don't have the same barriers or challenges facing to the First Nations in [the] eastern part of the province. The northern part of the province she's she's perfectly entitled to her opinion. However, she has access to Cameco, she has access to Areva, major mining partnershipsthat would help benefit Lac La Ronge Indian band."

Clarke plays "devil's advocate"

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Objection to boundary changes

"Can you help me out here?" Cullen asked. "Do you understand how that would seem offensive on the surface, that comment?"

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All but one Conservative Saskatchewan MP have filed an objection to the new boundary changes. Liberal MP Ralph Goodale is also objecting to the changes.

When asked if he was concerned that some have taken offense to his statements regarding his comments about the demographics of his riding, he re stated that his riding consists of 70 per cent aboriginals, and said the "same can be said of a different standpoint."

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home the point that all communities aren't treated equally," he said.

"What you're looking at is about economics for Northern Saskatchewan. When you have the Pine Pelican Narrows, you got the Sandy Bays, that have to drive through Smeaton to access Prince Albert, that central trading corridor is very beneficial for southern Saskatchewan into the agricultural areas. They benefit both ways," he said.

Northern Saskatchewan MP Rob Clarke on Wednesday defended calling the proposed Saskatchewan riding boundary changes "gerrymandering" during a parliamentary committee meeting.

"The way they understand that," Dion said during the hearing, "is that you're concerned that you will have too many aboriginals in your riding. It's what they understood. And I must admit that when we read the quote, it give(s) this sense."

He said he didn't mean it as an accusation against the commission.

In his letter, he objected to the report on the grounds it posed difficulties to voter access and fair representation, as well as population equity.

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He used the term "gerrymandering" Tuesday against the electoral boundaries commission for Saskatchewan during the Procedure and House Affairs (PROC) committee hearing while answering a question from Liberal MP Stephane Dion about a letter he filed objecting to the proposed boundary changes.

"What the commission has really done is taken 955 people away from the riding of Northern Saskatchewan or Desnethe Missinippi Churchill River. (Clarke's riding). And what they didn't do is replace or replenish it with any other areas. And what I wanted to show is the economic hubs and Puma High Top Sneakers For Men 2018

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cent are non aboriginal.

Clarke then tried to clarify his comment, saying, "What I'm hoping to say here is I represent all the constituents in Northern Saskatchewan from the Aboriginal to the non Aboriginal."

"People would be upset in the aboriginal population if communities of non aboriginals were added to the riding," he said. "So, I'm just trying to play devil's advocate here and show the difference of people's views."

Clarke wrote a letter Feb. 14 to the standing committee objecting to the Saskatchewan boundary commission report that outlined the new boundary lines. He is one of seven Conservative MPs who have asked to speak to the committee.

His argument about population equity drew sharp criticism from Lac La Ronge Chief Tammy Cook Searson, who wrote a letter to the standing committee, objecting to Clarke's assertion the "riding changes also make the riding population more homogeneous and decrease the influence of the rest of the communities. The already large percentage of First Nations has increased and it diminishes the influence of the rest of the communities."

Dion then re quoted the line from Clarke's letter, prompting Clarke to reply that 70 per cent of his constituents are aboriginal and 30 per Puma Shoes Old

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"Also, what the commission has come out and said is that as an individual Member of Parliament, they can utilize Skype. Well however, in Northern Saskatchewan we don't have access to cell phones in a lot of the remote areas. We don't have web services like every other community, so I think the commission's findings are very wrong."

"So, what I'm trying to say is, you have to represent everyone equally. I was hoping to maintain the status quo. What I found what the commission did is genamandering sorry gerrymandering, in trying to change Puma Shoes White Leather the demographics of the riding."

"We are offended by Mr. Clarke's suggestion that the proposed boundaries also make the riding more homogeneous," the letter from Cook Searson said.

On Wednesday, he said the commission has forced him as a Member of Parliament now to drive an hour to an hour and a half through another riding to get to the northeast section of the constituency.

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