The bigger story lurking behind the UCP election victory last week is in the numbers. Going by the list of registered voters, Lesser Slave Lake saw a drastic loss in population between 2015 and 2019.

According to Elections Alberta, LSL had 14,343 people eligible to vote this time around. Two years ago, it had 18,766. The Wikipedia article on Lesser Slave Lake says over 20,000 people were on the list in 2015. And that was before Calling Lake was added in 2017.

Lesser Slave Lake’s special status was confirmed in the 2017 Boundary Commission review. It is considered an exception to the rule that electoral districts should not vary from the average population by more than 25 per cent, either way. LSL is (or was) something close to 50 per cent below the average.

It could be a problem with statistics. It’s hard to believe the population as dropped that much. There haven’t been any changes in eligibility criteria, says Elections Alberta, so that explanation is out.

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