Atlin was a provincial electoral district in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It made its first appearance on the hustings in the 10th provincial general election in 1903 and last appeared in the 34th provincial general election in 1986, after which it was merged with the Skeena riding and was succeeded by Bulkley Valley-Stikine.
|Population change, 1903-1986
Always one of the province's largest ridings by area, it was always among the smallest in population, and is often cited as an example of a lack of proper representation-by-population in the BC political system. From the perspective of riding residents, who are spread out in a handful of small settlements from the Nass River to the Yukon border, a riding incorporating larger population centres was unfair to them. Ultimately the pressure to redress lack of equality in voting-weight among BC ridings saw the Atlin riding became merged with Skeena riding.
Because of its small electorate, battles over spoiled ballots were critical in Atlin's electoral history:
Another important factor in the Atlin riding was the dominance of its First Nations population, including the whole of the Nisga'a Nation (Frank Calder and Larry Guno were both Nisga'a). Also in the riding in its entirety was the Tahltan Nation, centred on the isolated towns of Telegraph Creek and Dease Lake. The area of the town of Atlin is part of the Inland Tlingit Nation.
Towns and industry
Another factor in the riding was the dominance of working men in its handful of industrial towns (principally mining).
The main towns in the riding were:
The most notable Member of the Legislative Assembly from Atlin was Frank Calder. A Nisga'a, he originally ran for the CCF, and then the NDP, but in the 1975 election he switched sides to Social Credit, but went down to defeat under that party's banner in 1979 and retired from electoral politics.
Note: Winners of each election are in bold.