What is a boundary review?
In 2022, all municipal councils in Nova Scotia are required to review their polling districts to ensure that political representation is fair and reasonable.
Reviews must look at the number of polling districts and councillors, and the district boundaries within each municipality.
Colchester County Council must consider:
- Are the number of districts/councillors within the Municipality reasonable given our geographic size, population, and budget?
- How do we compare to other municipalities of similar geographic size, population, and budget?
- Are voters equitably distributed among our 11 districts/councillors within the Municipality to offer adequate representation and do district boundaries reflect communities of interest?
- How do YOU feel about the level of representation that you and your community receive?
Please take a moment to review the following information before completing the survey:
Survey deadline is September 30, 2022.
Colchester County Council consists of 11 district councillors and a mayor at large. In a perfect world, all voters would be evenly distributed among Colchester’s 11 districts/councillors (2706 voters each would be the ideal target). Given our current boundaries, the number of voters in each district varies from 2262 on the lower end (16% variance from the target) to 3059 on the higher end (13% variance from the target). Any district beyond a 10% variance (the four highlighted below) requires a reasonable explanation for why its boundaries should remain the same. For example, despite an imbalance of voter parity between districts, if a community has more in common with one district than another, it may make sense to stay in the district it is in.
|District||Councillor||Area (km2)||Eligible Voters||Voters per km2||% of Electorate||Total Variance||% Variance 2022||% Variance 2014|
Considering geographic size, population, and operating budget, six of the most comparable municipalities in NS were selected to see how Colchester matches up. Of those compared:
- Colchester is 2nd largest geographically and has 2nd largest coverage area per councillor
- Colchester has 2nd largest budget
- Colchester has 2nd largest population
- Colchester has 2nd highest number of citizens per councillor
- Colchester has 3rd lowest council remuneration per capita
- Colchester’s number of councillors/districts (11) is slightly above average (10) of those compared
- Note: Some municipalities have incorporated villages within them that offer additional services beyond what the municipalities provide. Those living within villages may therefore have elected commissioners in addition to municipal councillors representing them on varying issues. Among municipalities listed below, Kings has 7 villages; Colchester and Cumberland have 2; and Lunenburg and Annapolis have 1.
The roles and responsibilities of municipal elected officials range from representing the interests of citizens, and policy making, to stewardship in shaping the future of municipal governance. Councillors determine the services and service levels to be provided to the citizens, approve municipal budgets, and develop policies, by-laws, and regulations that shape the community and its prosperity. The Municipality’s business is carried out in Council Committee and Council meetings that are each held monthly. Additionally, councillors sit on various sub-committees of Council and several other boards and agencies as part of their duties. Such sub-committees and boards meet as needed to carry out their mandate. Currently, there are 24 sub-committees of Council and 10 external boards and agencies to which councillors are appointed. Councillors also attend meetings with the Province and other arms-length organizations to represent Council’s and citizens’ interests on various issues relating to the Municipality.