Nova Scotia Electoral Boundaries Commission

Posted at 9:44 am on January 12, 2018

A provincial commission says minority francophones and African Nova Scotians should have more say in some ridings.  The committee did stop short of recommending the re-establishment of “exceptional” ridings to make it easier for francophone and black candidates to get elected.   It says that decision should be left up to the Electoral Boundaries Commission that will be set up later this year.  It also recommends the discretion to create exceptional ridings by the Boundaries Commission should be enshrined in law.

One of the committee members Doug Keefe says it also heard concerns from rural voters worried about effective representation as the geographical size of rural ridings get larger as populations decline.



The recommendations come almost a year after the province’s highest court ruled the abolishment of the primarily francophone ridings of Richmond, Clare and Argyle by the then NDP government in 2012 violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Posted at 9:00 am on January 25, 2017

 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.