“Electoral Boundaries Process on Bermuda”
with Justice David H. Jenkins
Monday, April 10, 2017 | 7 p.m. | UPEI Main Building Faculty Lounge
The timing couldn’t be better. In keeping with one of the Institute’s goals to see Prince Edward Island through the lens of other islands, PEI’s Chief Justice David Jenkins shared with Prince Edward Islanders what he’s learned as a member of Bermuda’s Constituency Boundaries Commission.
While Prince Edward Island goes through the process of updating its electoral boundaries, over the past several months Justice Jenkins has been on hand as Bermuda underwent a similar process. This is his second stint: in 2009 he was invited to do the same thing based on the jurisdictional similarities between PEI and Bermuda – an island comprised of 36 electoral districts and a population of approximately 65,000 people. Justice Jenkins had also chaired the federal boundaries commission in 2003.
A statement released by Secretary Tenia Woolridge, on behalf of Bermuda’s Commission, described the need for the review. “The Constitution requires that, from time to time, the Commission review the constituency boundaries and report thereon to the House. In deciding whether or not to recommend any changes in the boundaries, the Commission has to ensure that the constituencies contain, as far as reasonably practicable, equal numbers of persons qualified to be registered as electors. This is to achieve equality of votes. The Commission has to consider the constitutionally prescribed factors; as geographical features, natural boundaries and contiguity of constituencies.”
The Honourable Gerard Mitchell, who is chairing Prince Edward Island’s Electoral Boundaries Commission, was on hand to provide the PEI context of reviewing its 27 electoral districts, including the boundaries and the names.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
The Honourable David H. Jenkins is the Chief Justice of Prince Edward Island. After attending Charlottetown schools and Prince of Wales College, he graduated from Dalhousie University with his BCom in 1970 and LLB in 1973. He practiced law in Charlottetown with Scales Jenkins and McQuaid, which became Stewart McKelvey, in a general practice focused on business, administrative law, labour and employment and related litigation. He was appointed as Queens Counsel in 1986, has been President of the Law Society, and has served on national legal organizations including Federation of Law Societies of Canada President (1986), and as Secretary of the Canadian Bar Insurance Association until his appointment as a judge.
He sat as a trial judge in the Supreme Court of Prince Edward Island from 1993 to 2008, when he was appointed as Chief Justice of the province and of the Court of Appeal. He has served nationally as president of the Judges’ Counselling Program, the Canadian Superior Courts Judges Association, and is currently a member of the Canadian Judicial Council.
David has always been involved in the Island and Charlottetown community. He is a Charter member of the Rotary Club of Hillsborough, and a Governor of the Confederation Centre of the Arts.
His involvement as the judicial member of the Bermuda Constituency Boundaries Commission in 2009 and again in 2016 was a volunteer in response to an invitation from the Governor of Bermuda pursuant to the Bermuda Constitution.