Keeping Hants East whole

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SHUBENACADIE: If the recommendations of the Nova Scotia Electoral Boundaries Commission go ahead as recommended, the Corridor of East Hants will lose two of their communities.

The commission’s November 2018 report was to redraw boundaries to reach a better voter parody and better equal representation. As it stands right now, Hants East sits higher than the provincial average by 26 per cent, with 18,632 electors, versus the provincial average of 14, 578.

The proposed change would see the communities shift to Colchester Musquodoboit Valley riding, currently represented by Progressive Conservative Larry Harrison from Hants East, currently represented by Liberal Margaret Miller.

A number of public meetings will be held on this issue, with the next one coming up in Bedford on Monday, January 14 at the BMO Centre. Those interested in speaking, or just attending on record can register to present to the Electoral Boundaries Commission by emailing ElectoralBoundariesCommission@novascotia.ca or calling (902) 424-4056 (Office hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday.)

Many in the community, including local politicians and MLA’s would like to see Shubenacadie and Milford remain in East Hants. The Commission retains the discretion to allow a district to be above or below the +/- 25 per cent threshold in exceptional circumstances (usually tied to minority populations, or geographical, political or historical grounds). The hope is that if enough people provide submissions to the Electoral Boundaries Commission asking for them to use their discretion to “keep East Hants together” Milford and Shubenacadie can remain with the rest of the Municipality in the same provincial district.

Kody Blois, president of the Come Home East Hants Association and others are spear heading a petition and talks to shift the recommendations of the commission.

“Please consider printing copies and asking friends, family, colleagues etc. to sign and these will be submitted to the Electoral Boundaries Commission. You can drop off any signed petitions to the following locations during regular business hours up until Friday January 18, 2019. Furthermore, you can send scanned copies electronically to kody.blois@mcinnescooper.com,” Blois said in an email.

Hard copies can be printed off and dropped off at three locations, Shooters Bar and Grill; East Hants Sportsplex; and Guardian Pharmacy.

Look for this story to be updated with more information, including interviews with local politicians over the coming days.

A copy of the petition is downloadable here:

Petition NS Boundaries Commission