Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 156, Number 18: Supplement

April 30, 2022


Proposal of the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for the Province of Nova Scotia


By Order in Council dated November 1, 2021, the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for the Province of Nova Scotia (the Commission) was established pursuant to the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. E-3 (the Act).

The Commission is comprised of three members: Dr. Louise Carbert, Dr. David Johnson and Justice Cindy A. Bourgeois. Both Dr. Carbert and Dr. Johnson are political science professors, at Dalhousie University and Cape Breton University respectively, and were appointed by the Speaker of the House of Commons. Justice Bourgeois sits on the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal and was appointed by the Chief Justice of Nova Scotia. The Commission is assisted in its work by its Secretary, Ms. Carol Moulaison.

The role of the Commission is, in response to the 2021 decennial census, to examine and readjust the boundaries of the federal electoral districts (also known as constituencies or ridings) within the province. There are currently 11 electoral districts and this number will remain unchanged.

The 2021 decennial census documented the population of the province as 969,383. Dividing the total population by 11 gives an average or “electoral quota” of 88,126 people in each district. Section 15 of the Act says that the number of people in each electoral district must correspond as closely as is reasonably possible to that electoral quota. In attempting to achieve this goal, the Commission must consider two factors:

  1. The community of interest, community of identity or historical pattern of an electoral district in the province
  2. A manageable geographic size for districts in sparsely populated, rural or northern regions of the province (subsection 15(1)(b) of the Act)

These factors can also provide justification to depart from the electoral quota in an electoral district. However, the Act provides that, except in extraordinary circumstances, the population in the electoral district must remain within 25% more or 25% less of the electoral quota. For the Commission’s work, this means that an electoral district can have no fewer than 66,095 people and no more than 110,158 unless there are extraordinary reasons to depart from that variance. The Commission has not identified any extraordinary circumstances; therefore, all 11 electoral districts must fall within the population range noted above.

In conjunction with the Act, the Commission’s decisions must also be guided by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, particularly section 3 which guarantees Canadian citizens the right to vote in federal and provincial elections. This right has been interpreted by the Supreme Court of Canada in a manner that sets constitutional criteria for the drawing of electoral boundaries. In what is known as “the Carter decision,” the Supreme Court said that the right to vote means the right to “effective representation,” not just an equality of voting power. The Court ruled “effective representation” requires “relative parity of voting power.” Absolute equality of population size among electoral districts is not required. However, deviations from equality resulting in “relative parity of voting power” for the purpose of accommodating geography, communities of interest or minority representation must be “justified on the ground that they contribute to better government of the populace as a whole.” In other words, the variation from the electoral quota established under the Act must be justified.

The Commission received the 2021 decennial population figures on February 9, 2022, and immediately began its review, guided by the above principles. Table 1 below summarizes the population in each electoral district after the 2012 redistribution was completed, as well as the changes reflecting the 2021 census data. It also shows, as the boundaries currently exist, the electoral quota variation by way of a positive or negative percentage. Several observations were readily apparent to the Commission:

Table 1 – Federal Electoral Districts – Census Population 2012 and 2022
Electoral District Name After Redistribution 2012
(Electoral Quotient 83,793)
Prior to Redistribution 2022
(Electoral Quotient 88,126)
2012 Population 2012 Variation 2022 Population 2022 Variation
Cape Breton—Canso 75,247 −10.20% 71,380 −19.00%
Central Nova 74,597 −10.98% 73,188 −16.95%
Cumberland—Colchester 82,321 −1.76% 82,014 −6.94%
Dartmouth—Cole Harbour 91,212 +8.85% 96,165 +9.12%
Halifax 92,643 +10.56% 107,010 +21.43%
Halifax West 87,275 +4.16% 111,944 +27.03%
Kings—Hants 83,306 −0.58% 87,744 −0.43%
Sackville—Preston—Chezzetcook 85,583 +2.14% 89,524 +1.59%
South Shore—St. Margarets 92,561 +10.46% 94,482 +7.21%
Sydney—Victoria 73,328 −12.49% 72,361 −17.89%
West Nova 83,654 −0.17% 83,571 −5.17%
Total 921,727   969,383  

Based on the above, the Commission is of the view that the existing electoral boundaries require alteration. It is not as simple however, as making a single adjustment to Halifax West to bring it within the 25% permissible variance. Adjusting the boundary or boundaries of one riding necessarily results in the adjustment of adjoining ridings, and this often causes a cascading effect to others. The marked growth in the urban ridings requires that the Commission consider how population can be added to more rural ridings. This results in a number of significant boundary shifts being proposed, while remaining cognizant of communities of interest, historical considerations and geographical constraints.

For the reasons stated above, the Commission proposes a re-alignment of the 11 federal electoral districts for the province, including several changes of name, in accordance with Table 2 below and the legal descriptions and maps of the proposed electoral districts as set out in Appendix 1.

Table 2 – Population Information As It Would Be After the Proposed Boundary Readjustments (Electoral Quota 88,126)
Electoral District Name After Redistribution in 2022 (Electoral Quota 88,126)
2021 Population Variation
Acadian Shore—Shelburne 89,956 +2.08%
Cape Breton—Antigonish 84,999 −3.55%
Cumberland—Colchester 82,014 −6.94%
Dartmouth—Cole Harbour 93,622 +6.24%
Halifax 97,243 +10.35%
Halifax West 90,917 +3.17%
Kings—Hants 87,409 −0.81%
Pictou—Eastern Shore—Preston 88,398 +0.31%
Shubenacadie—Bedford Basin 91,176 +3.46%
South Shore—St. Margarets 91,288 +3.59%
Sydney—Victoria 72,361 −17.89%
Total 969,383  

In this document, you will also find the proposed places, dates and times for public hearings, at which any interested party or parties may make representations in accordance with the rules set out in this proposal. The Commission will also be offering a public hearing in a virtual format to improve the ease of participation.

The Commission looks forward to hearing from all interested parties, either in person, virtually or in writing. We ask that all interested parties pay particular attention to the rules set out herein and check the Commission website ( regularly for any changes of schedule.

Representation to the Commission

Do You Want to Make a Representation to the Commission?

If you wish to make a representation to the Committee about this proposal, please carefully review the rules outlined below. There are several ways to make a representation:

Written submissions can be mailed to the Commission Secretary at the following address:

Ms. Carol Moulaison
Commission Secretary
Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for Nova Scotia
PO Box 70071, RPO Cobequid
Lower Sackville, NS
B4C 2N0

Alternatively, written submissions can be submitted via email to:

Notice of an intention to provide a representation to the Commission at a public hearing can be mailed or emailed to the addresses above.

Notice of Sittings

The Commission is required by the Act to hold sittings to hear representations by interested parties about the recommended changes to the boundaries of the electoral districts. For this purpose, the Commission is scheduled to sit at the following places and times:
Location Place of hearing Date of hearing Time of hearing
Sydney Cambridge Suites
380 Esplanade Street
Monday, May 30, 2022 6:30 p.m.
Antigonish Town Hall
274 Main Street
Tuesday, May 31, 2022 6:30 p.m.
Truro Best Western Truro Glengarry
150 Willow Street
Wednesday, June 1, 2022 6:30 p.m.
Kentville Town Hall
354 Main Street
Monday, June 6, 2022 6:30 p.m.
Yarmouth Rodd Grand Hotel
417 Main Street
Tuesday, June 7, 2022 6:30 p.m.
Bridgewater Best Western Plus Bridgewater
527 Highway 10, Exit 12
Wednesday, June 8, 2022 6:30 p.m.
Cole Harbour Cole Harbour Place
51 Forest Hills Parkway
Monday, June 13, 2022 6:30 p.m.
Lower Sackville Acadia Hall
650 Sackville Drive
Tuesday, June 14, 2022 6:30 p.m.
Virtual hearing The link will be provided to participants Monday, June 27, 2022 6:30 p.m.


The Commission makes the following rules in accordance with section 18 of the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. E-3.

1. These rules may be referenced as the “Rules of the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for the Province of Nova Scotia, 2022”.

2. In these Rules:

3. Unless the Commission decides otherwise, only one person or a designated spokesperson shall be heard in the presentation of a representation at a sitting.

4. A person giving notice shall state therein at which of the places designated in the advertisement they wish to make a representation, their contact information, the official language in which they will present and any accommodation needs they may have.

5. If a person giving notice fails to comply with the provisions of rule 4, the Secretary shall attempt to ascertain from such person the place at which such person wishes to appear to make a representation and the official language in which it is to be made. For this reason, it is essential to provide contact information in the notice.

6. If it appears to the Commission that no one requests to make a representation at a place designated by the advertisement as a place of sitting, the Commission may cancel the sitting at such place.

7. In the event that multiple notices are received requesting to provide representations at a given sitting, the Commission may, in its discretion, set time limits on the length of each presentation. The Secretary will advise persons who have provided notice, in advance of the sitting, of any time limits set by the Commission.

8. Two members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum for the holding of a sitting.

9. If a quorum cannot be present at a sitting, the Commission may provide for the hearing of representations by one member of the Commission pursuant to section 18 of the Act, or may postpone the sitting to a later date.

10. The Secretary shall inform any person who has given notice, but has not been heard, of a postponement. Public advertisement of a postponement may also be given by the chairperson or the Commission by such means as the chairperson or it considers adequate.

11. When the hearing of a representation cannot be completed within the time allotted, the Commission may adjourn the sitting to a later date at the same or another place.

12. The Commission will consider any written submissions received at the Commission’s office prior to May 23, 2022.

13. The Commission shall have the power to waive any procedural requirement where the Commission deems there to be a defect in form and not in substance.

14. The Commission will require all persons in attendance at sittings to adhere to all public health directives which may be in place at that time.

Given the pandemic situation and the increased expectation from the public with regard to online services, the Nova Scotia Commission will hold a virtual public hearing. In addition to the principles applied for in-person public hearings, the following procedures and requirements will apply for virtual public hearings:

15. The link to the virtual public hearing is not public and is only shared with participants or observers who have registered with the Commission and to members of the media.

16. A moderator will manage the agenda, speaking time and microphones of the participants.

17. Participants will have the option to share their screen.

18. The use of a headset by presenters is recommended.

19. The video feed from the presenters is optional and they may simply participate by phone.

APPENDIX – Maps, Proposed Boundaries and Names of Electoral Districts

There shall be in the province of Nova Scotia eleven (11) electoral districts, named and described as set out below, each of which shall return one member.

In the following descriptions:

The population figure of each electoral district is derived from the 2021 decennial census.

Acadian Shore—Shelburne

(Population: 89,956)
(Map 1)

Consists of:

Cape Breton—Antigonish

(Population: 84,999)
(Map 1)

Consists of:


(Population: 82,014)
(Map 1)

Consists of the counties of Colchester and Cumberland.

Dartmouth—Cole Harbour

(Population: 93,622)
(Map 2)

Consists of that part of the Halifax Regional Municipality described as follows: commencing at a point in Halifax Harbour at the intersection with the Atlantic Ocean at latitude 44°33′43″N and longitude 63°30′00″W; thence generally northwesterly along said harbour (passing to the west of McNabs Island and to the east of Georges Island) to the A. Murray Mackay Bridge (Highway 111); thence northeasterly along said bridge to Highway 111 (Highway of Heroes); thence northeasterly, easterly and southeasterly along said highway to Highway 7 (Main Street); thence northeasterly along said street to a transmission line (933 Main Street) approximately 200 metres west of Riley Road; thence southerly along said transmission line to an unnamed brook flowing southerly from Broom Lake; thence generally southerly along said brook to Cole Harbour (approximate latitude 44°40′25″N and longitude 63°27′47″W); thence generally southeasterly along said harbour to a point in the Atlantic Ocean at latitude 44°35′32″N and longitude 63°21′48″W; thence westerly in a straight line to the point of commencement.


(Population: 97,243)
(Map 2)

Consists of:

Halifax West

(Population: 90,917)
(Map 1)

Consists of that part of the Halifax Regional Municipality described as follows: commencing at the intersection of Highway 103 (Fishermen’s Memorial Highway) and Hammonds Plains Road; thence northeasterly along said road to the northwesterly boundary of Wallace Hills Indian Reserve No. 14A; thence northeasterly and southeasterly along the westerly and northerly boundaries of said Indian reserve to Hammonds Plains Road; thence generally easterly and southeasterly along said road to Bedford Highway; thence southerly along said highway to Moirs Mill Road; thence easterly in a straight line to a point in Bedford Bay at latitude 44°42′52″N and longitude 63°39′51″W; thence generally southeasterly along said bay to a point in Bedford Basin at latitude 44°41′33″N and longitude 63°38′16″W; thence southerly to the southernmost extremity of Fairview Cove (approximate latitude 44°39′50″N and longitude 63°37′51″W; thence southeasterly in a straight line to the intersection of Bedford Highway with the Bedford Highway off-ramp situated northwest of Main Avenue; thence easterly along said highway to the Canadian National Railway; thence generally southerly along said railway to Bayers Road; thence westerly along said road to the northbound split of Highway 102; thence southwesterly along said highway to Joseph Howe Drive; thence generally southerly and southeasterly along said drive to St. Margarets Bay Road (Highway 3) at the Armdale Rotary; thence generally westerly and northwesterly along said road to the intersection of Nine Mile River; thence southerly along said river to Highway 103 (Fishermen’s Memorial Highway); thence generally northwesterly along said highway to the point of commencement.


(Population: 87,409)
(Map 1)

Consists of:

Pictou—Eastern Shore—Preston

(Population: 88,398)
(Map 1)

Consists of:

Shubenacadie—Bedford Basin

(Population: 91,176)
(Map 1)

Consists of that part of the Halifax Regional Municipality described as follows: commencing at the intersection of the northern limit of said municipality with Highway 102 (Veterans Memorial Highway); thence generally southwesterly along said highway to Highway 118; thence southerly along said highway to Highway 107 Bypass (Forest Hills Extension); thence generally easterly and southeasterly along said highway to Highway 7 (Main Street); thence generally southwesterly along said highway to Highway 111 (Highway of Heroes); thence northwesterly, westerly and southwesterly along said highway and the A. Murray Mackay Bridge to the midpoint of said bridge; thence generally northwesterly along The Narrows and Bedford Basin to a point in Bedford Basin at latitude 44°36′35″N and longitude 63°32′53″W; thence generally northwesterly along Bedford Basin and Bedford Bay to a point in Bedford Bay at latitude 44°42′52″N and longitude 63°39′51″W; thence westerly in a straight line to the intersection of Moirs Mill Road with Highway 2 (Bedford Highway); thence generally northerly along said highway to Hammonds Plain Road; thence generally westerly along said road to the northeast limit of Wallace Hills Indian Reserve No. 14A; thence northwesterly and southwesterly along said reserve limit to Hammonds Plain Road; thence southwesterly along said road to Stillwater Lake; thence northerly along said lake to its northernmost extremity at the mouth of East River; thence northwesterly in a straight line to the mouth of Pockwock River at Wrights Lake; thence northerly in a straight line to the westernmost extremity of Ponhook Cove in Pockwock Lake; thence generally northerly along the westerly shoreline of said lake to the northerly limit of the Halifax Regional Municipality; thence generally northeasterly along said municipal limit to the point of commencement.

South Shore—St. Margarets

(Population: 91,288)
(Map 1)

Consists of:


(Population: 72,361)
(Map 1)

Consists of:

Map 1 — Nova Scotia

Map 1 Nova Scotia

Map 2 — Halifax

Map 2 Halifax