March 24, 2006
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The New Brunswick Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission has responded to objections to its final report and has officially completed its mandate.
"This has been intense, but rewarding work for all of us on the commission, and we are pleased to submit the new electoral boundaries map to New Brunswickers," co-chair Justice Margaret Larlee said.
The commission began its work last August. It toured the province twice and held 19 public hearings. It released a preliminary report on Nov. 21, 2005, followed by a final report on Feb. 20, 2006. The commission then had 14 days to receive objections, and up to 30 days to respond, as outlined in the Electoral Boundaries and Representation Act. The last day to file its response would have been April 5, 2006.
"Once again the responses we received from New Brunswickers were thoughtful and showed a deep understanding of their communities," co-chair Justice Brigitte Robichaud said. "We were not able to make all the changes requested, but we responded positively where it was feasible."
A total of 17 objections were filed, but only 15 met the guidelines outlined in the act, and were officially received by the commission. According to the act, objections had to be signed by two members of the legislative assembly, and contain the section of the report being objected to, the reason for the objection, and the manner in which it was proposed that the recommendation be amended.
The commission acted on three of the 15 objections which involved boundary changes for the electoral districts of Kings East and Hampton-Belleilse, and for the electoral districts of Restigouche-La-Vallée, Grand-Falls-Drummond-Saint-André, and Victoria-Tobique.
The other change was to include Machias Seal Island - which was inadvertently left off the new map - in the riding of Charlotte-The Isles.
The complete report and response to objections can be found on the commission's website at www.gnb.ca. (Keyword: electoral boundaries).
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Kilfoil, Communications New Brunswick, 506-444-5070, or 506-470-3178 (cell).