The 20012-13 Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission has completed its mandate. In accordance with section 4(2) of the Electoral Boundaries and Representation Act, with the Commission’s mandate, having been completed, it is now dissolved.
Anise Hébert Hollies
Allan E. Maher
Dr. Condé R. Grondin
Margaret Susan (Sue) Murray
James E.A. Stanley
Frequently Asked Questions
- Who are the members of the Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission?
The Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission was composed of 2 co-chairs plus 4 members, for a total of 6. The members are all New Brunswickers, from diverse areas and backgrounds.
- How were the members of the Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission chosen?
The Electoral Boundaries and Representation Act required that the Lieutenant-Governor in Council appoint the members of the Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission on the recommendation of the Legislative Administration Committee (LAC). LAC is an all-party committee of the Legislative Assembly. It unanimously recommended the 6 members of the Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission.
- How long is the mandate of the Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission?
The Electoral Boundaries and Representation Act set timeframes for the work of the Commission. The Commission had 150 days after its establishment to hold public hearings and prepare a preliminary report. After the filing of the preliminary report, the Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission had another 90 days to hold a second series of public hearings and prepare its final report. This was followed by a 14-day period for written objections that had to be signed by two Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs). Thirty days after the period allotted for objections, the final report was to be filed with the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly and the Chief Electoral Officer.
The Commission is disbanded after it has completed its mandate.
- How many electoral districts would there be?
The Electoral Boundaries and Representation Act prescribed that the number of electoral districts in the Province would be decreased from the existing 55 to 49.
- What role do politicians have in the Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission?
An all-party committee of the Legislative Assembly recommended the members of the Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission. The MLAs were able to give their opinions to the Commission at the same time as the rest of the population of New Brunswick, by brief, by making a presentation at the public hearings, by fax, mail or online through the website. The Electoral Boundaries and Representation Act stated that after the Commission filed its final report, written objections which were signed by 2 MLAs would be considered.
The only changes that the Legislative Assembly could make to the final report were amendments to the name of an electoral district or to correct an error in the legal description of the boundary of an electoral district. The Commission therefore operated independently and it had the final say on the boundaries of each electoral district.
- What is an electoral quotient?
The Electoral Boundaries and Representation Act described the electoral quotient as being established by dividing the total number of electors in all electoral districts in the Province, as determined by the register of electors, by the total number of electoral districts.
The total number of electors in the Province divided by 49 electoral districts provided an electoral quotient of 11,269. This number could be subject to some small adjustment before the work of the Commission was completed.
- What was the deviation allowed in the drawing of the new boundaries?
Subsections 12(3) and 12(4) of the Electoral Boundaries and Representation Act prescribed that the population of each electoral district be as close as reasonably possible to the electoral quotient, 11,269. Electoral districts should not exceed the electoral quotient by more than 5%, or in extraordinary circumstances, the number of electors in the electoral district could deviate by no greater than 25% from the electoral quotient.
- When will the new boundaries take effect?
After the Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission filed its final report in June, the Lieutenant-Governor in Council made a regulation prescribing the boundary description and name for each of the electoral districts. The new boundaries would be used for the provincial general election of 2014.
- What did the Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission consider when drawing the new boundaries?
The Electoral Boundaries and Representation Act prescribed that the electoral boundaries had to be as close as possible to the electoral quotient of 11,269.
The Electoral Boundaries and Representation Commission could depart from voter parity in order to achieve effective representation of the electorate as guaranteed by section 3 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and based upon the following considerations:
(a) communities of interest;
(b) effective representation of the English and French linguistic communities;
(c) municipal and other administrative boundaries;
(d) the rate of population growth in a region;
(e) effective representation of rural areas;
(f) geographical features, including the following:
(i) the accessibility of a region;
(ii) the size of a region; and
(iii) the shape of a region; and
(g) any other considerations that the Commission considers appropriate.
The Commission had the authority to deviate from the electoral quotient by no more than 5% of the electoral quotient or, in extraordinary circumstances, by no more than 25% of the electoral quotient.
- Is this the usual process the province has in reviewing the electoral districts?
Yes. The Electoral Boundaries and Representation Act came into effect in 2005. The current Commission was the second to be established under the Act. Another Commission will be established within 24 to 25 months before every second scheduled general election after September 2014. This means the next Commission will be established in August or September of 2020.