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Canada Final report expected from commission on Nova Scotia’s electoral boundaries

Nova Scotia Electoral Boundaries Commission chair Colin Dodds addressing the media at Province House in Halifax on Nov. 28, 2018.

Keith Doucette/The Canadian Press

A commission looking to redraw Nova Scotia’s electoral map is expected to issue its final report today.

In an interim report released in November the commission called for the restoration of four electoral districts aimed at improving representation for black and Acadian voters.

Those districts include the largely Acadian ridings of Clare, Argyle, and Richmond, and the predominantly black riding of Preston.

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They were eliminated in 2012 when the province’s former NDP government decided there were too few voters in each district.

The changes led to a successful court challenge by the province’s Acadian community.

Today’s report follows a set of public consultations in January and February that presented four alternatives for consideration.

Those alternatives include 51 electoral districts with minor adjustments to existing boundaries, 55 electoral districts including the four formerly protected ridings, and 55 electoral districts with a 56th dual member seat for the Cape Breton riding of Inverness, where one of the two members would represent Acadian voters.

A fourth possibility would see 56 electoral districts including an added district for the Acadian community of Cheticamp in western Cape Breton.

Commission chairman Colin Dodds has said the main challenge is to balance effective representation with voter parity.

The Nova Scotia House of Assembly currently has 51 seats.

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