Richmond County needs a new boundary review

The current mayhem in Richmond County is directly attributable, in my mind, to the flawed Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board (UARB) boundary review of 2014-2016 which resulted in downsizing council from 10 to five councillors.

At the time the URB was warned by many of us that such a downsizing would lead to an imbalance of power, and as we are seeing, abuse of power by many of the same proponents of the downsizing.

In fact, the municipality felt so strongly about the injustice of the flawed judgement that it appealed to the Nova Scotia Court of Appeals in August 2015 only to have it turned down in February 2016.

I believe that a new boundary review, scheduled ASAP, will correct the imbalanced representation, presumably, by increasing the number of councillors. The results of their flawed review are obvious.

Seventeen ex-councillors of the Municipality of Richmond are exploring remedies to the current crisis.

I have just spoken with Bruce Kiley, Chief Clerk of the UARB, who advised me about the 1999 law on scheduling UARB boundary reviews (every eight years) and said that shortening up the period for a new review would be up to the government, that the UARB itself was in no position to do such a thing.

So, let’s get the government to reschedule the boundary review ASAP to get some more representation for Richmond residents. Maybe not 10 districts but surely seven districts would get us better representation and remove the current temptations for extra-legal coalitions, and chicanery.

Vicki Jenssen

Whiteside