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HRM Governance and District Boundary Review Decision

HRM Council approves maintaining current size and adopts measures to improve effectiveness of proceedings

(August 3, 2010)   HRM Council tonight voted to maintain the number of Council seats at 23, plus the Mayor, while approving measures to assist with the effectiveness of proceedings.

Council debate on the issue arose from the recommendations provided in the Governance and District Boundary Review Committee report.

Mayor Peter Kelly, Chair of the Governance and District Review Committee, stated: “the decision to maintain the number of councillors representing the people of the region was not made lightly. The motion to continue with the same number of representatives for the municipality came forward on the basis that councillors should and could continue to maintain the close working relationship that current numbers have allowed between themselves and HRM citizens on the many grassroots and regional issues that fall within their jurisdictions.”

The HRM Charter requires a boundary review every eight years. The last major review took place in 2003 prior to the 2004 election, at which time Council voted to remain with the status quo.

In August 2009, Council struck a committee consisting of the Mayor and a council representative from each community council to carry out the review, which is required under HRM’s Charter. During the public consultation on boundary review, Council heard various opinions on size, along with a consistent view that Council meetings need to be more effective and offer a more regional focus.

Council voted separately on the recommendations intended to improve its effectiveness. These were accepted and include:

- Seeking legislative changes to HRM's Charter so that Council can delegate general authority to community councils for local matters; and

- Approving, in principle, the vesting of authority in Community Councils to set up area rates for enhanced services that are identified as local by Council if within the Charter changes; and

- Adoption of changes to allow for more streamlined debate of items before Council.

With Council's decision tonight to maintain the current number of districts, work will begin on redrafting district boundaries for the 2012 Municipal Election based on changes in the population since the last redistribution. Additional public consultation will be carried out in the fall once the new boundaries are proposed. HRM must complete the boundary review process for submission to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board by December 2010 for final review and approval.

For the complete June 11, 2010 Phase I Recommendation - District Boundary Review Report go to:

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Mayor Peter Kelly, Chair
Governance and District Boundary Review Committee

Above content last modified Thursday, January 28, 2021 at 8:49am.