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News release

14th October, 2003 : Fort St. John (Internal)
Citizens' Assembly selects first members

FORT ST. JOHN BC -- The Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform has selected its first four members.

They are:

  • Darleen Dixon of Fort Nelson and Wilf Chelle of Buick BC, both from the electoral district of Peace River North, and
  • Amanda Medley and Max Malthus, both of Dawson Creek BC, from the constituency of Peace River South.
Their names were drawn at random at a public meeting in Fort St. John Tuesday night. Another six members, from the three Prince George ridings, will be selected Wednesday night (Oct. 15) in Prince George.

Dixon, the first selected, is a 65-year-old fabric store owner and retired nursing administrator. Chelle is a 71-year-old rancher. Medley, 31, is an on-call teacher, married and a mother of two. Malthus is a 75-year-old retired school teacher who came to Canada from New Zealand in 1969.

Said Jack Blaney, chair of the Assembly: "It’s really exciting to have the first four members selected. They are part of a history-making, non-partisan project. The Assembly will be working on behalf of all British Columbians. It really is Power to the People."

By Nov. 25, the Assembly will have 158 members from all over B.C. – one man and one woman from each of the 79 provincial electoral districts.

The Assembly will spend much of 2004 examining electoral systems in use around the world, and will decide if they should propose a change to B.C.’s current system of translating votes into seats in the Legislature.

If the Assembly members recommend a change, it will be the subject of a referendum for all voters in the 2005 provincial election. Any change approved by the voters would take effect with the 2009 B.C. election.


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