11/02/2012 11:49 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Nova Scotia committee likely to hold boundary hearings next week, minister says

HALIFAX - Nova Scotia's justice minister says the legislature's law amendments committee will likely hold public hearings on proposed electoral boundary changes in Shelburne next week.

Ross Landry says he wants to have the hearings next Thursday and Friday.

But Landry says before the dates are set, a bill to legislate the changes has to pass second reading — likely on Monday — and then the committee would have to meet to confirm the dates.

The government announced last week that the committee would be dispatched to the riding because voters there were caught by surprise by the proposed redrawing of voting boundaries by the province's Electoral Boundaries Commission.

Premier Darrell Dexter said that was unfair and the people of the riding should have been consulted.

The riding is held by Fisheries Minister Sterling Belliveau, prompting opposition accusations that the government is interfering in the process in an attempt to save the cabinet minister from electoral defeat.