News October 23, 2012

Establishment of Electoral Boundaries Commission and Guidelines

YELLOWKNIFE (October 23, 2012) – Two Motions were adopted in the Legislative Assembly yesterday, recommending the appointment of three individuals to the 2012 Electoral Boundaries Commission and providing the guidelines for the Commission members.

Justice Shannon Smallwood of the NWT Supreme Court has been recommended for appointment as the Chair of the Electoral Boundaries Commission 2012.  Mr. Charles Furlong of Aklavik and Mr. Ian McCrea of Yellowknife have also been recommended for appointment.

Once formally appointed by the Commissioner of the Northwest Territories, the Commission will be tasked with preparing a report that contains recommendations respecting the area, boundaries and the name and representation of the electoral districts, for the 2015 general election.

The Electoral Boundaries Commission Act enables the Legislative Assembly to establish guidelines or criteria that shall be taken into consideration by the Commission.  Some of the main guidelines that were set for the Northwest Territories Electoral Boundaries Commission include:

The Commission shall recommend how electoral boundaries should be drawn if the Legislative Assembly comprises (a) eighteen members, or (b) nineteen members, or (c) twenty-one members;
The Commission shall prepare an interim report with proposed electoral district boundaries for review by the public and discussion at public hearings;
The final report of the Commission, complete with recommendations, shall be submitted in English and French to the Speaker and the Clerk of the Legislative Assembly no later than seven months after the Commission is struck; and
The Chief Electoral Officer shall serve as Secretary to the Commission.

“I am pleased with the recommended appointments and confident these individuals will provide us with a quality report using the guidelines set before them,” said Honourable Jackie Jacobson, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly.  “We look forward to reviewing the important work of the Commission in the coming months.”

For more information, contact:

Tim Mercer, Clerk 
Legislative Assembly of the NWT 
P: 867-669-2299 or 1-800-661-0784 

David Brock, Chief Electoral Office
Elections NWT
P: 867-920-6140