Acadians may challenge electoral changes
Proposal could lead to minority ridings losing status
The executive of the Acadian Federation of Nova Scotia will meet Tuesday to consider legal action over a proposal that would change how provincial electoral boundaries are set.
Ron Robichaud, federation president, said Acadians won't be well-represented if the changes are made.
"It will be incrementally much more difficult for an Acadian to be elected, but also for the needs of the Acadian community to be presented in the legislature. That's really the issue here — the effective representation of minority groups," he said.
"We think that is a cause worth fighting for. We are absolutely astonished that the government sees fit to do this at this time."
On Friday, an all-party committee of the legislature recommended new rules that would require all ridings to have roughly the same number of voters.
The NDP members of the committee voted in favour of the proposal, while oppostion MLAs were opposed.
Right now, the three predominantly Acadian ridings — Clare, Argyle and Richmond — have much smaller populations than most others.
According to population information as of Dec. 13, Argyle is 54 per cent smaller than the average riding size, Clare is 52 per cent smaller, while Richmond is 45 per cent smaller.
Opposition MLAs said the proposed changes would also threaten the Preston riding, which is predominantly African Nova Scotian and is 44 per cent smaller than the average riding size.
Last week's report sets the terms of reference which will guide the Provincial Boundaries Commission.
The commission is expected to report to the legislature in the fall.