The independent Nova Scotia Electoral Boundaries Commission released its final report today, April 15. Commission members were appointed in July 2018 by an all-party Select Committee of the House of Assembly and were provided with broad terms of reference, largely drawn from the report of the Keefe Commission. “The key issues confronting this commission are essentially those that challenged the previous commissions,” said chair Colin Dodds. “They are how to balance effective representation of African Nova Scotia and Acadian electors with voter parity and accommodate the ongoing shift of population from rural areas as well as taking account of the geography and communities of interest of the province.” In the November interim report, following a provincewide consultative process, the commission presented four alternatives. These included keeping the present 51 electoral districts, 55 electoral districts, 55 with dual representation for Inverness County, and 56 to include an exceptional electoral district for Chéticamp. These were considered by people in more public meetings held in January. For the final report, the commission’s terms of reference mandated that only one set of boundaries be recommended. Using information from the public meetings and from Elections Nova Scotia, the commission, by majority, is recommending a House of Assembly of 55 seats. The minority view was to recommend Chéticamp as an exceptional district and the rationale for this is in a letter of dissent. However, the report is signed by all nine commissioners. In the proposed House of Assembly there are two additional seats for Halifax Regional Municipality and the restoration of the Acadian electoral districts which are Clare, Argyle, Richmond, and the Preston electoral district. The commission has made changes to many existing boundaries that have been in place since 2012, but has tried to respect municipal boundaries and the interests of communities expressed at the public consultations. The final report can be found online at http://nselectoralboundaries.ca .