The Municipality of the District of Yarmouth performed their last Boundary Review at the end of 2014, which was completed by the internal Municipal Planner. Therefore, the Municipality of the District of Yarmouth Boundary Review is now due. The application for any changes to the polling District or Council composition must be filed by the end of 2022 and will come into effect for the 2024 municipal election. After the Boundary Review study for Yarmouth is completed, before the end of the year after our study takes place, Council shall apply to the board to confirm or to alter the number of Councillors as well as the boundaries of polling Districts.
The Municipality of the District of Yarmouth currently has 7 Districts and a Warden governance system. The population of the Municipal District of Yarmouth currently resides at 10067 people (2020, Census Data), this represents an increase in population since 2016. In 2016 the population of the Municipality of The District of Yarmouth was 9845, according to stats Canada. This represents a 2.3% increase in population. This growth has led to some of the Districts falling outside of the required parity guidelines. Currently, the average population represented by each Councillor is 1438 constituents.
C + D Community Design has prepared an Initial Findings and Background Report <https://acrobat.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:9897322f-944b-314b-bc48-51ad959ede1e> for this project, which has been approved by Council and is available to the public for further information. Council is currently considering two scenarios for consultation with the public; Scenario 1: Status Quo with Parity and Scenario 2: Reduction to six (6) Councillors and a Switch to a Mayor System. For more details on the proposed boundary changes, please review the Initial Findings and Background Report.
What is a Boundary Review?
A Boundary Review is a part of the Municipal political process that is overseen by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board <https://nsuarb.novascotia.ca/mandates/municipal-boundaries>. The process is mandated by Section 369 of the Municipal Government Act <https://acrobat.adobe.com/link/track?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:0a64f4ea-5d6c-35b0-b500-704cdde84961>.
The purpose of a Boundary Review is to evaluate the boundaries of the Municipality’s polling districts and the number of Councillors. The reason this process is a regular requirement for Nova Scotia Municipalities is to ensure the best representation for their residents. The Boundary Review considers the number of electors within the Municipality and the number of electors within each District and then considers the relative voting power. It is recommended that the number of electors within a District be within +/- 10% of the overall voter parity. Simplified, the goal is to ensure that the number of electors in each District is close to the same amount to ensure that the number of potential voters for each Councillor, and thus the number of electors they represent is similar.
C + D Community Design will be hosting two public meetings within our community as part of this process.
An Evening Meeting: August 4th at 6:00 pm at the Hebron Rotary Centre. C+D community Design will be hosting a more traditional style public meeting that will include a short presentation on the Boundary Review and a discussion about the two proposed scenarios. The public will be invited to speak at the meeting but will also be provided with comment cards which they can use to write their feedback and submit at the end of the evening. We hope all who are interested will attend.
A Daytime Town Hall Style Meeting: On August 5 from 10 – 2 pm at the Dayton Red and White. C+D Community Design will be set up chatting one-on-one with community members and answering questions about the Boundary Review process. We welcome participants to stop by in their own time and share their feedback on the process. All are welcome!
An online survey is open to the public and available at the following link <https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/W9CWM9P>. If you are a resident of the Municipality of the District of Yarmouth, please take the time to complete this important survey and share widely with your friends and neighbours. All responses will play an important role in determining your community’s district boundaries as well as the number of Councillors to represent your Municipality in the next election.
A final report with boundary revision recommendations will be submitted to Council in September 2022. A public hearing will be held by Council in the Fall of 2022 to hear the community’s final thoughts on their final Boundary Review Application to the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board.
We invite residents to stay engaged throughout this process. If you wish to receive updates on meetings, reports and presentations to Council please subscribe to our mailing list <http://eepurl.com/h5_pYD>