Municipality of the County of Inverness

2022 District Boundary Review

January 2023 Municipal Boundary Review Update:

The initial work plan for the Municipal Governance and Boundary Review was established to enable Council to make a decision on its application to the UARB on December 15, 2022. For a number of reasons, the Municipality requested (and was granted) an extension to March 31, 2023 which will make possible a second round of public consultations.

Section 369 of the Nova Scotia Municipal Government Act requires every municipality in the Province to submit “a study of the number and boundaries of polling districts in the municipality” to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board every eight years beginning in 2006. The last such study was conducted in Inverness in 2015, at which time no changes to the number of councillors or the number and boundaries of polling districts were proposed by the Municipality. That application was upheld by the UARB. In October 2022, the Municipality engaged Watson & Associates Economists Ltd., in association with Dr. Robert J. Williams, to conduct a Governance and Boundary Review Study to meet these statutory requirements.

Since its last application to the UARB, the population of Inverness has grown to approximately just under 13,500, a modest change that still must be taken into account in assessing what the legislation refers to as the “fairness and reasonableness of the polling districts.” Specifically, section 368 (4) of the Municipal Government Act states that “In determining the number and boundaries of polling districts the Board shall consider number of electors, relative parity of voting power, population density, community of interest and geographic size.”

The G.& B.R. consultant team will manage the review at arm’s-length from staff and elected officials but will work within the municipality’s established public consultation process to ensure that residents and elected officials are provided with the information needed to evaluate the present configuration and possible future electoral systems in Inverness and with sufficient opportunities to provide their perspectives on the issues being considered in the Review.

To comply with section 369 of the Nova Scotia Municipal Government Act, a final G.& B.R. report will be completed in time for consideration by Council at its March 2, 2023 meeting.