Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia government balks at fixed election date

Changes introduced Wednesday to Nova Scotia's Elections Act do not include a fixed election date, which was recommended by the province's chief electoral officer.

Premier Stephen McNeil says fixed election dates don't work

Premier Stephen McNeil initially supported a fixed election date for Nova Scotia, but now says the experience elsewhere shows it doesn't work. (CBC)

Changes introduced Wednesday to Nova Scotia's Elections Act do not include a fixed election date, which was recommended by the province's chief electoral officer.

Premier Stephen McNeil says the fixed dates don't work in other provinces, adding that Alberta and P.E.I. called elections this week well in advance of when they were scheduled.

"What we are seeing is the fixed dates haven't been working, so when we amended the legislation we didn't put one in," he said.

"Legislation across the country hasn't resulted in fixed election dates, that's the issue. We're not in the business of creating legislation that people don't adhere to or wouldn't be adhered to in this province."

Nova Scotia is the only province that doesn't have a fixed date.

Last year, McNeil came out in support of fixed-date elections, saying at the time that a debate was still needed on whether to have elections in the fall or spring.

The government is acting on several other amendments to the law suggested by the chief electoral officer, including the extension of advanced voting from two to seven days, and allowing voters to cast their ballots at any returning office or advanced voting location in the province.

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