Nunavut 1999
Electoral boundaries to be set

by Jennifer Pritchett
Northern News Services

NNSL (Mar 31/97) - Eastern Arctic communities will soon get their say in the placement of Nunavut's electoral boundaries.

Members of the Nunavut Electoral Boundaries Commission will be travelling in April and June to eastern communities that want to be involved in discussions on the electoral boundaries.

"We will undertake a review of boundaries, names, and representation of new electoral districts to be proposed in Nunavut," said Glen McLean, assistant commission secretary.

"It's to listen to submissions, not to debate."

The commission will also make recommendations with respect to options for 10 or 11 dual-member and 20 or 22 single-member electoral districts.

The future of equal representation for men and women in the first Nunavut legislative assembly (to be decided on May 26) is not part of the commission's mandate.

McLean said that Nunavut residents in all 25 eastern Arctic communities have to ask the commission to visit for the consultation talks.

"We've put public notices in papers and at the hamlets, but the communities have to request a visit," he said.

The commission is accepting requests until April 7 so that it can get visits started around the end of April. Members of the commission will meet during the second week of April to decide on the travelling schedule.

"The commission can visit all communities if requested," he said.

McLean expects the consultations to last four to six weeks.

After all the submissions are heard, the commission will submit its report to the legislative assembly, which is scheduled to occur at the end of June. Then, MLAs will pass an act to legislate Nunavut's electoral boundaries before the 1999 elections.