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Report to redraw electoral boundaries in Nova Scotia expected today

The number of representatives in the provincial legislature may increase, depending on recommendations expected today
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(Meghan Groff/HalifaxToday.ca)

A provincial commission looking to redraw Nova Scotia's electoral map is expected to deliver its final report today with an eye to improving representation for black and Acadian voters.

Today's release follows in the wake of public consultations last year, and as recently as January and February of 2019.

The commission presented four different options for consideration in an interim report released in November of last year - three of them recommended bringing back four electoral districts for black and Acadian voters.

Those include the predominantly Acadian ridings of Clare, Argyle, and Richmond, as well as the largely African Nova Scotian riding of Preston that were eliminated in 2012 by the NDP government at the time because there were too few voters in each riding.

That decision was successfully challenged in court by Acadian groups.

One of the proposals is a relatively straightforward adjustment to the existing electoral map of 51 ridings while a second one includes reinstating those four historical ridings axed seven years ago for a total of 55.

A third proposal suggests using that expanded map, but also adding a 56th dual member seat for the Cape Breton riding of Inverness, and one of those two members would represent Acadians in the legislature.

The final option proposes going to a full 56 districts by adding a riding for the Acadian community of Cheticamp in western Cape Breton.

Also, in an effort to address population growth in the Halifax Regional Municipality, the larger seat of Bedford may be split in half, to Bedford South, and Bedford Basin.

In addition, the commission says changes to Cole Harbour Dartmouth would also help mitigate the impact of growth in the existing districts of Dartmouth South and Cole Harbour - Portland Valley.

Chairman Colin Dodds says two additional concepts did not receive much support during public consultations, that of members-at-large, and the use of non-contiguous constituencies to increase effective representation.




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