Manmeet Bhullar village ‘could change name’ in Alberta

Image copyright Calgary Herald Image caption Bhullar was shot and killed by a stranger at a Calgary gas station in 2016

The province of Alberta has proposed changing Calgary’s electoral district name to honour the late MP and former peace officer Manmeet Bhullar.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said this was “a fitting tribute to Manmeet who touched so many people’s lives on a personal level”.

Police said the 28-year-old Sikh Canadian was shot by an unknown assailant at a Calgary gas station in 2016.

The new name would be “Manmeet Bhullar Village” to reflect a voter’s birthplace, according to the proposal.

Cliff Goff, the Progressive Conservative Party leader in Calgary, called the new name a “beautiful tribute”.

“I would like to think it is one that will help inspire others to make Calgary, a city and a community, a better place to live, work and play.”

Media organisations are still working out whether the proposal has the necessary two-thirds majority to be implemented.

Who was Manmeet Bhullar?

Before being elected as MP for Calgary Southwest in the 2015 general election, Bhullar was a Calgary police officer for eight years.

He moved to Canada from the Punjab state of India in 2003. He was a Sikh, and joined the Calgary police after studying at Strathmore’s Athabasca College.

He was killed in the town of Barrhead after a stranger pulled up beside him at a gas station and shot him three times with a handgun.

Theresa Spence, national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, described him as “the hero our communities need”.

What about the name change?

The independent public consultation process has already been put to the vote

Alberta is still the only province in Canada which does not already have a postcode association

Image copyright Jane Daw / Flickr Image caption Some MPs from Calgary protested the proposed name change

The Calgary region has 54 electoral districts, and a proposed reform would see Bhullar’s constituency receive five new electoral boundaries – making it the third largest, in population, in the province, and geographically the largest by area.

The proposal also says that new boundaries be introduced for several districts, including Calgary Chinook and Bowness, which would see them merge into one electoral district.

A ballot paper will go out to Calgary residents to make their voices heard on the issue

Who is eligible to vote?

Residents of each of the 54 Calgary electoral districts have a one-week residency requirement

To vote in an Edmonton riding, they must hold an Alberta citizenship

Image copyright Calgary Herald Image caption All Albertans over the age of 16 can vote

Residents of one of the 54 electoral districts are automatically eligible to vote; if they are currently registered they can still vote

In the case of 25.5 per cent of Calgary riding residents, they must be registered to vote

Registered voters will receive an email asking them if they are currently registered to vote

Each voter will be given two ballot paper options to cast: one would be for the proposed electoral boundary changes; the other would be for the name change

Anyone who would not want to participate will be given an automatic chance to opt out

Removing citizens from the voting process, regardless of whether they are currently registered, would mean that most electoral boundaries would be eliminated

Filling in an official “non-participation” form will entitle them to be sent another ballot paper with the name change on it

An additional question will be added so that no-one can cast a ballot more than once

Pro-separatist parties say it may put them at a disadvantage, because it may make voting a disadvantage

How have UK MPs reacted?

Image copyright ACT

Image copyright Paul Lewis/YouTube

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