Nova Scotia Court of Appeal says abolishing francophone ridings violates Charter

Posted at 9:00 am on January 25, 2017 | Filed Under: News

 Nova Scotia’s highest court has ruled abolishment of the predominantly francophone ridings of Richmond, Clare and Argyle violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  The ruling comes from a reference to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal from the province.  The government sought the opinion of the court on the final report of the Electoral Boundaries Commission, tabled in September, 2012, redrawing the electoral map.
In an interim report the Commission did recommend the retention of the three ridings, but it was rejected by the then-NDP government. The commission was ordered to prepare a new report.  The government maintained the commission did not comply with the terms of reference requiring constituencies be within  25 per cent of the average number of electors.  The commission’s second report recommended the ridings be eliminated
In it’s ruling the court said abolishing the ridings violated Section Three of the Charter that ensures the democratic rights of citizens. As the province only sought an opinion, the government must decide any next steps.