Government has established an independent commission to consult with Acadians, francophones and African Nova Scotians to determine what effective electoral representation could mean.
The Commission on Effective Electoral Representation of Acadian and African Nova Scotians will travel across the province to consult with individuals and groups and make recommendations to government by Nov. 1.
“As a proud Acadian, I greatly respect the commitment and passion that the Acadian and African Nova Scotian communities have shown on the issue of electoral representation,” said Michel Samson, Minister of Acadian Affairs and Francophonie. “This commission will go beyond looking at electoral boundaries and help determine the ways minority groups could be engaged in and represented in the electoral process.”
The commission will help determine what would encourage minority representation and what effective representation could mean for Acadians, francophones and African Nova Scotians.
“The voice of African Nova Scotians is important and needs to be heard,” said Tony Ince, Minister of African Nova Scotian Affairs. “I’m very pleased that the work of this commission will include both the Acadian and African Nova Scotian communities. Being more inclusive of both minority groups will no doubt provide extremely valuable insights.”
Doug Keefe, independent consultant and former deputy minister of Justice with the province, will chair the commission. He is a lawyer and has been involved in a number of judicial public inquiries including those on the Marshall wrongful conviction, the Westray mine explosion and the Nunn youth justice report.
The commission’s Acadian member is Kenneth Deveau, a vice president at Université Sainte-Anne. Mr. Deveau has done extensive research on the overall vitality of Acadian and francophone minority communities in Canada and co-authored a book on school and cultural autonomy.
Sharon Davis-Murdoch is the African Nova Scotian member. She is co-president of the Health Association of African Canadians and the health lead for the local immigrant partnership. A social justice champion, Ms. Davis-Murdoch was a public servant for more than 20 years and helped to develop the first Provincial Guidelines for Culturally Competent, Primary Health Care.
The final report and recommendations will inform the next Electoral Boundaries Commission which will be established by Jan. 31, 2018.