New boundaries in place for next federal vote
Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley MP Scott Armstrong is accepting changes to his riding that will see the Musquodoboit Valley portion moved to Central Nova after the next election.
OTTAWA – While he’s going to miss the friendships he made, MP Scott Armstrong is welcoming coming changes to the size of his riding that will see the Musquoboit Valley portion returned to neighbouring Central Nova.
Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley will revert back to Cumberland Colchester later this year following a recommendation from the Federal Electoral Boudaries Commission for Nova Scotia. The federal chief electoral officer is expected to make it official in the fall.
“The riding will be returning to its historic boundaries,” Armstrong said. “This is necessitated by the fact the eastern ridings Central Nova, Cape Breton Canso and Sydney Victoria all have a lower population than required. That caused the eastern ridings to expand to the centre of the province and resulted in Musquodoboit Valley being moved into Central Nova.”
The new riding was created in 2003, joining the old ridings of Cumberland Colchester and Sackville Musquodoboit Valley Eastern Shore, to create North Nova in time for the 2004 federal election.
The riding was changed to its current name in time for the 2006 election.
Presently, Armstrong is responsible for one of the largest geographic ridings in the Maritimes. The present boundaries extend from the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border to Robert Stanfield International Airport near Halifax.
“There’s no doubt my riding was one of the most difficult to get around in Nova Scotia. Losing a little bit of geography does make it easier to serve because it was difficult to represent both Advocate Harbour and the small community of Dean at the same time. There was a four-hour drive from one to the other and that was a difficult challenge,” he said. “Being able to get to a few more community events and spending less time on the highway and more time meeting constituents face to face is a benefit.
Armstrong said having a riding of that size makes it challenging to get to all areas
The electoral boundaries commission was created in February 2012 to set boundaries so that each electoral district contains roughly the same number of people, while also taking into account communities of interest or identity, historical patterns and geographic size in sparsely populated areas.
After considering views of the public, the commission submitted its report to the House of Commons. With no objections being filed, the report is now final and the commission’s office in Halifax has closed.
The new electoral map will be used for the next federal election, expected in 2015.
“What’s sad is that part of the riding has moved several times over the years, but now they will be back in Central Nova, which is where they were in the 1980s when Elmer MacKay was the MP,” Armstrong said. “The commission did a great job in Nova Scotia. There were no interventions by any MPs from any party and that’s reflective of the work of the commission. Although I’m sorry to lose a section of the riding that I’ve worked hard to serve, it’s neat to see the riding return to its historic boundaries.”
Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley
Bill Casey, PC 22,439
Gary Richard, Liberal 10,299
Margaret Sagar, NDP 8,944
Bruce Farrell, Green 910
Rick Simpson, Ind. 524
Bill Casey, Ind. 27,303
Karen Olsson, NDP 4,874
Joel Bernard, PC 3,493
Tracy Parsons, Lib 3,344
Rick Simpson, Ind. 550
Scott Armstrong, PC 11,167
Mark Austin, NDP 6,267
Jim Burrows, Lib 5,193
Jason Blanch, Green 807
Jim Hnatiuk, CHP 778
Kate Graves, Ind. 149
Scott Armstrong, PC 21,041
Wendy Robinson, NDP 9,322
Jim Burrows, Lib 7,264
Jason Blanch, Green 2,109
Jim Hnatiuk, CHP 375