Shelburne County denounces electoral boundary changes
The Nova Scotia government will be tabling a bill on Thursday to formally accept the recommendations of the Electoral Boundaries Commission, but not without the continued ire that has chafed the commission for the last year.
Residents in Shelburne County gathered at the high school in Barrington Monday night to express their frustrations with the commission's recommendation to split their constituency.
The commission is recommending the House of Assembly merge four minority ridings into nearby electoral districts.
Shelburne's boundaries are being redrawn because the protected Acadian seat in Argyle did not meet the criteria to be within 25 per cent of the average number of voters.
Clark's Harbour Mayor Leigh Stoddart said he wants things to stay the same.
"Everyone was happy with that. Our Acadian friends in Argyle in Clare and everyone's happy with the way it was. Leave us alone. We're fine," he said.
Local NDP cabinet minister Sterling Belliveau is against the proposed changes. It's his government that forced the issue by insisting every constituency in the province needed to be roughly the same size.
"It was never discussed. Each time it was talked about remained the same and this was totally out of the blue, this recommendation, and to me the process has failed Shelburne county," he said.
Belliveau said if the new map is the final map he'd vote against it when it comes for ratification in the House.
Overall, the commission recommends dropping one seat, bringing the total to 51 ridings in the province. Cape Breton would lose one constituency and Clare and Argyle would become larger. The riding of Queens would be absorbed in a new riding called Queens/Shelburne.
The Halifax area would gain two, Fairview Clayton Park and Sackville.