Feb. 20, 2006
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The boundaries of 20 of the 55 New Brunswick electoral districts have been revised as a result of input received during the second round of public hearings held by the Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission.
The recommendations are contained in the final report released today by the commission.
"We were impressed with the persuasive presentations that we heard from New Brunswickers during our second round of public hearings in January, particularly when speaking about the strong ties certain communities have with each other," co-chair Justice Margaret Larlee said.
Co-chair Justice Brigitte Robichaud said the hearings provided valuable information for the commission.
"Although not all requests could be accommodated due to a variety of factors, which we have explained in the report, we did listen and we did make changes wherever possible," Robichaud said.
In addition to reworking 20 electoral districts, the commission also changed the names of nine electoral districts as a direct result of public input.
Major changes were made in the Moncton-Dieppe area, and in western New Brunswick in the electoral districts of York, Woodstock, Carleton, and Victoria-Tobique.
The commission reworked a number of boundaries in the Moncton-Dieppe area after hearing strong arguments in favour of the city of Dieppe having its own electoral district. As a result, instead of creating a new electoral district called Codiac, as originally proposed, the commission is recommending a new electoral district called Dieppe Centre. The change means an increased number of people in the new district will be from Dieppe, and fewer from Moncton.
In western New Brunswick, the commission made several changes to accommodate the communities of interest. As a result, as requested, the villages of Canterbury and Meductic, and the parishes of Canterbury and North Lake will remain in the electoral district of Woodstock.
In addition, the commission changed its original proposal to transfer nearly 1,500 people from the proposed electoral district of Carleton to the proposed electoral district of Victoria-Tobique. Instead, the transfer will now only involve the communities of Upper Kent and Maplehurst, a population of 386.
Minor changes to boundaries were also made to the outskirts of Saint John and the area of Madawaska-Restigouche.
As stated in the Electoral Boundaries and Representation Act, the commission will receive written objections for the next 14 days. Objections must 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 is proposed that the recommendation be amended.
The commission expects its work to be completed by late March.
The complete report may be viewed on the commission's website at www.gnb.ca (keyword: electoral boundaries).
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Kilfoil, Communications New Brunswick, 506-444-5070, cell: 506-470-3178.