Sept. 20, 2005
FREDERICTON (CNB) - New Brunswickers will soon have an opportunity to give their opinions into changes to the electoral districts, as the commission redrawing the boundaries prepares to tour the province.
The Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission (EBRC), an independent commission established Aug. 22, 2005, has announced its schedule of public hearings.
The commission will visit 12 communities during the month of October to gather input in preparation for its preliminary report, which is due Nov. 20, 2005. The commission will visit:
Those interested in presenting a brief to the commission should contact the office at 506-444-5864 or email@example.com.
The Commission's co-chairs, Justice Margaret Larlee and Justice Brigitte Robichaud, are looking forward to hearing from New Brunswickers.
"New Brunswick's electoral districts have not been reviewed since 1993. Since then, new legislation has been adopted, and it mandates that the population be within 10 per cent of the electoral quotient, compared with the previous 25 per cent deviation allowed provincially," Larlee said. "It is important to us to hear from people in the communities that have been affected by the population shift in the province."
Robichaud added that the commission must not only reflect the population shifts, but also balance such issues as effective representation of rural areas and linguistic communities. "For this reason, we do need to hear from New Brunswickers," she said.
The commission was a key recommendation from the final report of the Commission on Legislative Democracy, and will be the first to redraw boundaries under the new, independent process. It was established by the Electoral Boundaries and Representation Act, which became law in June 2005, with a mandate to redraw the boundaries of New Brunswick's 55 electoral districts.
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Kilfoil, Communications New Brunswick, 506-444-5070; 506- 470-3178 (cell).