The final report of the Electoral Boundaries Commission is in and, against all reason, MLAs Chris D’Entremont and the normally responsible Michel Samson are arguing that the result favours the NDP.
The report keeps Liberal Yarmouth intact, and cuts NDP cabinet minister Sterling Belliveau’s seat in two. Samson declared that the NDP “got rid of ridings they couldn’t win” despite the fact that both Queens and Shelburne are held by the governing party. Cape Breton Nova, the seat on the island set to disappear, is held by the NDP as well. These rulings are simply not favourable to the NDP.
Hopefully this is just partisan bluster by the opposition MLAs. Speaking out against the creation of seats in the capital is a strange way to win favour of those voters.
We are concerned that one of the Liberals on the commission, Paul Gaudet, refused to sign the report. If he was unwilling to work within the guidelines set out by the Legislature, he could have resigned. That would have been a just move, especially after considering Jill Grant seemed to be pushed out for trying to follow the 25% variance rule during the first draft stages.
Now that the final report is in, we would like to thank the members for restoring Pictou’s three seats from their revised draft report that gave us two and a half.
Here are the 5 smallest seats in the province the commission worked hard to protect:
Richmond: (-25% variance)
East Nova (-24% variance)
Hammonds Plains – Lucasville (23% variance)
Preston (-23% variance)
Pictou West (-22% variance)
Here are the 5 largest seats the commission was less concerned with:
Fairview – Clayton Park: (+25% variance)
Bedford: (+25% variance)
Hants East: (+24% variance)
Clayton Park West: (+23 % variance)
Sydney: (+22% variance)
As we wrote earlier, if you want more minorities in the Legislature, whether they have a different skin tone, speak a different language, or worship in a different church, political parties need only nominate them as candidates.