POLITICS

Final report on electoral boundaries in Nova Scotia to be released next week

09/19/2012 04:34 EDT | Updated 11/19/2012 05:12 EST
HALIFAX - After months of heated debate and controversy, Nova Scotia's Electoral Boundaries Commission says it will release its final report next Tuesday.

Under provincial law, a review of all electoral boundaries is required after every 10-year census to ensure each riding has proper representation.

However, the latest review attracted national attention when Premier Darrell Dexter said the commission had violated its terms of reference by initially recommending the preservation of four so-called minority group ridings.

At the time, Dexter said the rules state that the number of electors in every constituency must be within 25 per cent of the overall average — a requirement none of the minority group ridings meet.

The number of electors in each of the minority ridings has been kept considerably below the average for years to ensure Acadian and black voters had more of a say in who represents them in the legislature.

Opposition critics have said the rules could hurt minority rights, but the premier has insisted that one of the main principles of representative democracy is that constituencies should be roughly equal in size.