Cochrane and Airdrie will remain in the same federal electoral district after all.

In the final report of the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission, the two thriving communities will anchor the new Airdrie-Cochrane federal constituency.

It will also see Canmore, Banff, and the Stoney Nakoda Nation included in the redrawn Yellowhead constituency that includes many of the mountain parks then extend eastward into Carstairs, Crossfield, Edson, Hinton, Rocky Mountain House, and Sundre. Ghost Lake, Waiparous, and the MD of Bighorn are also part of the new riding.

..Canmore and Banff will become part of the redrawn Yellowhead constituency. 

Several people and organizations in both Airdrie and Cochrane had argued the two communities should remain in the same constituency after they were separated in an earlier proposal.

Among them was Banff-Airdrie MP Blake Richards, who believes it's a win for the entire region.

"I think that they're really logical choices that they made and a good fit. I think it will be pretty positively received."

He says some strong arguments were made during the commission's extensive public engagement on the initial proposal.

"They have a lot of the same interests and a lot of the same challenges and opportunities and there's already a long-established working relationship in so many different areas of the two communities, and I would have been shocked if the commission didn't listen to those really strong arguments. But they have, and that's a really good thing to see."

It does mean he will no longer be representing some communities where he has strong ties. He's been through it before during the last redrawing of the boundaries.

"It's never easy to build up relationships with people over the years and not be able to continue to be their representative."

At the earliest, the changes will come into effect in April 2024. That means a federal election beforehand would be contested using the existing boundaries of Banff-Airdrie.

Richards says, bring it on.

"I'm still hoping that maybe we'll see an election before that for two reasons," says Richards. "One, I'd love to be able to keep the area that I'm representing, and two, I'd love to see Justin Trudeau gone sooner rather than later. Maybe I'll get my wish on that yet." 

The Trudeau Government's recent cabinet shuffle is viewed by some as a strategic move in preparation for an election.

Established in November 2021, this independent commission worked to set boundaries so that each electoral district contains roughly the same number of people while also taking into account communities of interest or identity, historical patterns, and geographic size in sparsely populated regions.

An increase in population saw three new seats added in Alberta.

The final report has been tabled in the House of Commons and is expected to become official in September. The new electoral map will be used in the first general election called at least seven months thereafter.