Group studying whether Nunavut’s electoral boundaries need to change

Nunavut Electoral Boundaries Commission travelling territory, gathering feedback from residents

A group of commissioners is travelling Nunavut right now, talking to people about how they feel about the territory’s 22 electoral boundaries. Their next stop is Iqaluit, on March 25. (Image courtesy of Elections Nunavut)

By David Lochead

A group is travelling across the territory collecting feedback on Nunavut’s electoral boundaries.

“It’s one of the fundamental building blocks of the democratic process,” said Judge Susan Cooper, presiding officer for the Nunavut Electoral Boundaries Commission.

She’s joined by John Maurice, a former teacher, justice of the peace and assistant returning officer for Elections Nunavut; and Michael Hughson, who has held several senior positions in the private sector and is a former manager in the Department of Community and Government Services.

The Nunavut Elections Act requires that a commission be established every 10 years and this commission was established in October.

There are 22 electoral constituencies in Nunavut, each with their own elected member of the legislative assembly.

They are set up to ensure all residents are properly represented, keeping in mind special circumstances any individual community might face.

Cooper said her team does this by considering Nunavut’s varying community’s population, geography, and Inuit knowledge, or Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit. They also consider how boundaries will account for the area’s culture, language and transportation.

In Nunavut especially, transportation is a challenge as each community is remote.

Cooper used the example of the Quttiktuq constituency, where the MLA represents three different remote communities — Grise Fiord, Resolute Bay and Arctic Bay.

So far, the commission has visited Kinngait and Resolute Bay in the Qikiqtaaluk region.

The commission has also visited Kitikmeot and Kivalliq region communities, although consultations in Cambridge Bay and Whale Cove will need to be rescheduled.

Turnout for the meetings has varied from community to community, Cooper said, with some drawing larger crowds than others.

The commission’s next stop is in Iqaluit on March 25 at 2 p.m., where it will hold a community consultation at the Frobisher Inn.

Cooper said Nunavummiut who would like to complete a written submission can also do so on the Nunavut Electoral Boundaries Commission website.

The commission must complete its work by July 3.

After that, its report will be presented to the legislative assembly with recommendations for possible changes to the number, divisions or names of the constituencies.

Final approval for any changes is the responsibility of the legislative assembly.

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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by 867 on

    Be honest barely anybody even votes up here. Another pointless study.

    • Posted by More like… on

      Another pointless comment.

  2. Posted by Paradigm Shift on

    Great… now can we discuss how we can implement a system where Nunavummiut vote directly for their Premier?

    • Posted by Make Iqaluit Great Again on

      They won’t study the option of a direct vote for Premier because that option is too important and would be too much of an improvement to the quality of Nunavut’s democracy. But, most importantly, considering a useful option like this would require too much work.
      This electoral boundaries commission is a useless committee who’s sole purpose is to allow a judge to take an extended vacation from the courtroom, and allow the judge and other committee members to take a few nice junkets and put something nice on the resumes.
      Let’s be honest here, Nunavut is the last place in Canada where tinkering with our electoral boundaries will have any effect on the quality of our democracy

      • Posted by Sam on

        Come on Iqaluit, just more contestants for the Gong Show

      • Posted by S on

        Thanks, MIGA; I appreciate your comments

        In the article:

        “Turnout for the meetings has varied from community to community, Cooper said, with some drawing larger crowds than others.”

        How drole is that?

        Large crowds of locals would be 6 people, at best – most of those there for the coffee and oatmeal cookies. It’d be one of two reasons I’d attend


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