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Dartmouth – The Acadian Federation of Nova Scotia (FANE) seeks to conduct a survey of political parties at the start of an election campaign in the province. A questionnaire divided into five main topics was sent to the provincial political parties, who have until July 31 to respond.
This questionnaire appears to be timely because FANE’s director general, Marie-Claude Rioux, believes that Acadians were never present during a provincial election in Nova Scotia.
“I visited the sites of three political parties and then I saw a large number of candidates, more than twenty candidates, who had advertised themselves as Francophones. To my knowledge, this is when I had the most ,” says Ms Rioux.
FANE wants to know whether political parties know Nova Scotia’s Acadian and Francophone communities, as well as the importance of using the French language to communicate with French-speaking voters.
She wants to know the position of the parties regarding the demography and economy of the Acadian regions, as well as the modernization of Nova Scotia’s French Language Services Act.
FANE is also asking political parties for the lessons learned from the pandemic regarding the health and safety of the Acadian regions.
Finally, the questionnaire invites each party to vote on the creation of an Acadian electoral district in the north-west of Cape Breton Island that would cover the region and bear the name of Châtikamp.
This will bring the number of Acadian ridings to four, as the 2021 election in Nova Scotia also marks a return to the three Acadian ridings abolished a few years ago by Darrell Dexter’s government.
“It is a return with the election of the former (Acadian) electoral districts of Clare, D’Argyle and Richmond … and Preston for the Afro-Nova Scotians,” comments Marie-Claude Rioux. “And what is interesting is that of the four ridings, the only candidates are the Acadian candidate for Acadian riding and (candidate) Afro-Nova Scotian for Preston,” she says.
In his opinion, this confirms that the concept of effective representation is well understood by the government and the population.
“So that means all the work we have done in the last eight years to make the government aware of the importance of effective representation, at the same time, make the population aware of representation. The dominant of these groups, who are marginalized At the level of the candidates presenting themselves, we see in a very convincing way that the message has been heard.”
Nova Scotian voters are due to elect their next government on Tuesday, August 17.
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