This Div is a JS Trigger

GTranslate

English Arabic French
English Arabic French

Review of Electoral Boundaries

October 9, 2015

The Halifax Regional School Board is currently conducting a review of its electoral boundaries. The following information is intended to provide context for why this review is taking place:

Legal Requirement for Review

Section 43 of the Education Act requires a school board to apply to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (NSUARB) to confirm or change the number and boundaries of the electoral districts in the school district or region every 8 years. On July 21, 2015, the NSUARB informed the Halifax Regional School Board (HRSB) that this application must be filed by December 31, 2015.

2008 NSUARB Decision

In 2008, the Board applied to the NSUARB to reduce the number of electoral districts and school board members from 12 to 8. (These are the members elected from specific districts and do not take into consideration the African Nova Scotia Board Member or the Mi’kmaq Board Member.)

This Application was granted by the NSUARB. The eight electoral districts were comprised of combinations of the existing HRM municipal electoral districts.

2012 NSUARB Decision

In 2011, the NSUARB reduced the number of Halifax Regional Municipality electoral districts from 23 to 16. This resulted in the need for the HRSB to file an application to adjust its boundaries to match those of HRM.

It is important for HRSB to have boundaries which follow those of HRM for a number of reasons. One of the most significant is the cost of running elections which is minimized by having boundaries that are similar to those of HRM. A second major reason is to avoid confusion in the electorate as to the region represented by the elected board members.

An extensive review and consultation process was undertaken in 2012. A number of options were considered by the elected Board and ultimately the current electoral district boundaries were proposed to the NSUARB

The NSUARB approved those boundaries.

Current Electoral Districts

The Electoral Districts of the HRSB approved by the NSUARB in 2012 are described in the Order of the NSUARB dated May 24, 2012.

The Electoral Districts are as follows:

Electoral District 1 – Eastern Shore/Fall River (Map)
This district is comprised of HRM Districts 1 and 2 – Waverley/Fall River/Musquodoboit Valley and Preston/Porter’s Lake/Eastern Shore.

Electoral District 2 – Cole Harbour/Dartmouth East (Map)
This district is comprised of HRM Districts 3 and 4 – Woodside/Dartmouth South/Eastern Passage and Cole Harbour/Westphal.

Electoral District 3 – Dartmouth Central/Dartmouth North (Map)
This district is comprised of all HRM Districts 5 and 6 – Dartmouth Centre and Harbourview/Burnside/Dartmouth East.

Electoral District 4 – Peninsular South/Peninsular West (Map)
This district is comprised of HRM District 7 and 9 – Peninsula South/Downtown and Peninsula West/Armdale.

Electoral District 5 – Peninsular North/Fairview (Map)
This district is comprised of HRM Districts 8 and 10 – Peninsula North and Birch Cove/Rockingham/Fairview.

Electoral District 6 – Clayton Park West/Spryfield (Map)
This district is comprised of HRM Districts 11 and 12 – Spryfield/Sambro/Prospect Road and Timberlea/Beechville/Clayton Park West.

Electoral District 7 – South Shore/Bedford (Map)
This district is comprised of HRM Districts 13 and 16 – Hammonds Plains/St. Margaret’s and Bedford/Wentworth.

Electoral District 8 – Lower Sackville/Upper Sackville (Map)
This electoral district is comprised of HRM Districts 14 and 15 – Upper/Middle Sackville/Beaverbank and Lower Sackville.

Halifax Regional Municipality Application - 2015

Earlier this year, HRM applied to the NSUARB for minor revisions to its electoral boundaries. The Decision of the NSUARB dated June 8, 2015 describes these changes as follows:

"The following reasons were outlined in the application in support of altering boundaries of the polling districts in three areas:

District 13 Hammonds Plains – St. Margarets and District 14 Middle/Upper Sackville – Beaver Bank – Lucasville
Move approximately 34 votes along Hammonds Plains Road from the Lucasville Road to the Kearney Lake Road from District 14 to District 13, at the request of residents, as issues related to access, traffic and development along the Hammonds Plains Road are shared by residents on both sides of the road.

District 9 Halifax West Armdale and District 11 Spryfield – Sambro Loop – Prospect Road
Two changes are proposed:

1. Move the new development at Long Lake Village, expected to be approximately 200 voters by the 2016 municipal elections and approximately 700 voters at build out, from District 9 to District 11, which has a lower number of voters and results in more rational alignment of the district boundaries in this area.

2. Move approximately 8 voters and the property owned by the Royal Yacht Squadron along the Purcell’s Cove Road from District 11 to District 9."

The NSUARB approved these revisions in the following decision dated June 8, 2015.

HRSB Proposal

HRSB puts forward the following proposal for comment prior to making a decision in respect of the form of application to the NSUARB:

1. Maintain the current number of elected board members at 8
In 2008, the HRSB applied to the NSUARB to reduce the number electoral district school board members from 12 to 8. This was approved by the NSUARB. In the nine years since the reduction of the number of board members, it has been the experience of HRSB that an elected board comprised of eight elected board members, together with the African Nova Scotia Board Member and the Mi’kmaq Board member, has worked well from a governance perspective.

2. Electoral Boundaries
HRSB proposes to maintain the current configuration of electoral districts which reflect combinations of HRM electoral districts. In order to avoid voter confusion and to reduce cost of elections, HRSB proposes to request that the NSUARB approve the minor amendments which were made to the HRM boundaries.

District Maps

3. District Names
HRSB is also requesting the input of the public as to whether it would be of assistance to consider changes in the names of its electoral districts. The options in that regard include the following:

a) Maintain the status quo.
b) Remove all descriptors – i.e. “Electoral District 1”.
c) Use different descriptors – District “A” as opposed to “Electoral District 1”.
d) Use different descriptors which follow the full description of the HRM electoral districts of which the HRSB districts are comprised. For example, Electoral District 1 would be described as “Waverley/Fall River/Musquodoboit Valley/Preston/Porter’s Lake/Eastern Shore.

HRSB will be seeking input from the public in regard to these options.

Summary of Proposed Districts
Utilizing the number of electors on which the NSUARB decision in the HRM application was decided, the electoral districts as proposed by HRSB would result in the following:

The proposed minor revisions would move 34 voters from HRM District 14 to HRM District 13.  This would result in those additional voters being added to HRSB Electoral District  7 and being removed from HRSB Electoral District 8.

Proposed Map

There are two changes which impact HRM Districts 9 and 11, which will result in the movement of approximately 700 voters from HRM District 9 to District 11.  This impacts HRSB District 6 which will gain those electors and District 4 which will lose those electors.

Proposed Map

These changes will not substantially impact the variances amongst electoral districts in the Table of Electors above.

Public Commentary

HRSB welcomes the comments of the public in regard to this proposal. These comments can be provided as follows:

Mail: Natascha Joncas, Acting Corporate Secretary, Halifax Regional School Board, 33 Spectacle Lake Drive, Dartmouth, NS B3B 1X7

Email: njoncas@hrsb.ca

HRSB will also be holding public meetings at which time in person submissions can be made:

November 17, 2015 November 19, 2015

Central Spryfield Elementary
Library, 7 - 9 pm

Kingswood Elementary
Cafeteria, 7 - 9 pm