Nova Scotia

N.S. Acadian Federation files suit over electoral map

Nova Scotia's Acadian Federation has filed suit against the provincial government over the current electoral map.

Group asking judge to throw out map because it eliminates 3 so-called protected Acadian seats

Marie-Claude Rioux, executive director of Nova Scotia's Acadian Federation, said the group won't try to block an election when one is called despite the fact that vote will be using the boundaries in dispute. (CBC)

Nova Scotia's Acadian Federation has filed suit against the provincial government over the current electoral map.

The group is asking a judge to throw out the map because it eliminates three so-called protected Acadian seats.

Late last year, Premier Darrell Dexter announced that his government would move ahead with Bill 94, the act which would eliminate minority ridings. Bill 94 passed with a final vote of 26 to 22.

The NDP used its majority in the legislature to approve the law, which cut the number of seats in the house to 51 from 52 and merged four ridings intended to represent the province's black and Acadian populations with other ridings.

Marie-Claude Rioux, executive director of the federation, said beyond the court case, her group will be making the map an election issue.

"We will certainly remind our Acadian voters of the position of the province, of this government with regard to Acadian ridings," she said.

"We will ask them questions. We will also ask the Liberal party and the PC party questions and ask them to have a position about the Acadian ridings and we'll go from there."

Rioux said her group is also asking the judge who hears the case to acknowledge that there are enough Acadians in Cheticamp to give them the right to a protected seat too.

"We're including Cheticamp in this because we feel that Acadians from Cheticamp have also the right to an effective representation," she said.

"The Acadians of the Cheticamp area comprises a large group of francophones in Nova Scotia and we feel that they are just as entitled as people from Richmond, Clare and Argyle to have their own representative at the House of Assembly."

Cheticamp is currently in the riding of Inverness County.

Rioux said the federation won't try to block an election when one is called despite the fact the vote will be using the disputed boundaries.

Electoral boundaries undergo a mandatory review every 10 years.

now