Argyle CAO Alain Muise talks to council about the boundaries during the last meeting. TINA COMEAU PHOTO
By Tina Comeau
It was decided there weren’t enough councillors present at the last monthly meeting of Argyle Council to have any meaningful discussion on a municipal boundary review pertaining to the size and number of electoral districts.
The municipality is examining the number of electors in its nine polling districts to determine if there should be changes. The discussion could include making adjustments to districts to achieve the variances that are expected by the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board. In the past there’s also been discussions as to whether the number of districts themselves should be reduced.
Only five of the nine councilors were present at the Dec. 10 meeting. Most of those absent were out lobster fishing.
According to a report presented during the meeting, there are 6,281 electors in the municipality. There are nine districts with the average number of electors per councilor standing at 698.
The Utility and Review Board expects variances for relative parity between polling districts to be within plus/minus 10 per cent. It only allows variances up to plus/minus 25 per cent in extraordinary circumstances.
In the Municipality of Argyle, District 7 (Pubnico Head, East Pubnico) has the smallest amount of electors at 541 and may need to expand into other districts to meet the variances set out by the Utility and Review Board (UARB). It’s variance stands at minus 22.5 per cent.
Argyle CAO Alain Muise told council that when submitting proposals to the UARB, the board will want to see that more than one option is being considered when it comes to municipal boundaries and also that more than one option for any given scenario has been presented to the public for feedback.
The number of electors in Argyle’s polling districts as they now stand:
• District 1 – 781 (Tusket, Hubbard's Point, Abram's River, Gavelton, Pleasant Lake, Little Egypt, East Kemptville)
• District 2 – 810 (Plymouth, Upper Wedgeport, Wedgeport, Melbourne, Little River Harbor, Comeau's Hill)
• District 3 – 775 (Lower Wedgeport, Wedgeport)
• District 4 – 643 (Amirault’s Hill, Sluice Point, Surette’s Island and Morris Island)
• District 5 – 792 (Ste.-Anne du Ruisseau, Eel Brook, Belleville, Bellneck, Springhaven and Quinan)
• District 6 – 634 (Glenwood, Robert's Island, the Argyles)
• District 7 – 541 (Pubnico Head, East Pubnico)
• District 8 – 677 (West Pubnico, portion of Middle West Pubnico)
• District 9– 628 (Lower West Pubnico & portion of Middle West Pubnico)