2019-04-24

Queens-Shelburne electoral boundaries may be split once again

by Kevin Mcbain

M@KMcBainLHNOW

The Queens-Shelburne electoral boundaries may be separate once again.

The Nova Scotia Electoral Boundaries Commission released its final report April 15 and recommended that Nova Scotia should return to 55 electoral districts, up from the current 51. This includes splitting the two districts by municipality lines once again.

The report will be considered during the fall sitting of the legislature and if approved, the changes would be in place by the next provincial election, expected in 2021.

Kim Masland, Progressive Conservative MLA for Queens-Shelburne commended the commission on their work.

"The commission, I feel, did very good, exhaustive work. They travelled this entire province and listened to the voices of Nova Scotians," she said. "I know our PC Caucus accepts the decisions and recommendations of the commission. But now we have a lot of work ahead of us with boundary changes and reconfigurations."

The last provincial boundary review in 2012 ended up wit the former constituency of Shelburne County split in two and the elimination of the dedicated Acadian constituencies, resulting in the formation of the Argyle-Barrington riding, the Queens-Shelburne riding and the Clare-Digby constituency. This change was something the residents didn't appreciate according to Masland, who lives in Queens County.

"When I campaigned in 2017 in Shelburne County I don't think there was a door that I knocked on that people weren't telling me that they wanted their historical boundary restored," she said. "It was tough for me as a candidate coming from and living in Queens County to be running to represent Shelburne. I was met with quite a bit of resistance. They wanted someone from their own community representing them.

"I respect their passion. I did work very hard, and will continue to work very hard for the residents of Shelburne," she adds. "But that commonality just wasn't there between Queens and Shelburne."

The Commission also recommended the reinstatement of four electoral districts, of largely Acadian residents, of Clare, Argyle, Richmond, as well as that of Preston. Providing a district for Cheticamp was also discussed, but in the end was voted down.

Masland said that she looks forward to the next election and confirmed that she will be seeking re-election.

"I love being and MLA. I think one of the reasons I've been put on this earth is for public service," she said. "I love helping people. It's a fantastic job and yes, I will be seeking the nomination when it happens

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