Proposed changes to New Brunswick's electoral ridings don't respect geographical or linguistic differences, say some community leaders and organizations.


The Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission has been holding hearings across the province. (CBC)

Harsh comments about the changes were voiced at a hearing of the Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission Wednesday in Fredericton.

Last month, the commission began a second round of public hearings after its report, released in January, recommended reducing the number of ridings from 55 to 49.

"There will be three MLAs in our little district, where we usually have one and it will be confusing. It will even be bad for the MLAs because it would be cut-throating and there would be a lot of backstabbing I would think," said Oromocto Mayor Bob Powell.

Howell said it would be especially difficult for people living on Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, Oromocto's largest employer.

They would be represented by the MLA from Peticodiac under the new system, he said.


Oromocto Mayor Bob Powell says he thinks having three MLAs in one district would be confusing and could lead to backstabbing. (CBC)

"It's so confusing you won't be able to get the right answers. And if they're from a different political party, someone is going to get a wrong answer. So it's definitely a disadvantage for everybody."

The meeting also heard complaints about creating new ridings that would have a mix of rural and urban voters. Opponents said it would leave MLAs divided on who they should be representing.

The final public hearing will be held Wednesday night in Fredericton.