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Every 10 years the Nunavut Legislative Assembly is required to create an independent and impartial Electoral Boundaries Commission to review the existing electoral constituencies and determine if they provide Nunavummiut with effective representation in the legislature. Currently there are 22 constituencies in the territory.

The Commission considers aspects like the geography, how population distribution might change, community interests, Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, and other relevant factors, as stated in the Terms of Reference provided by the Nunavut Legislative Assembly to recommend if changes need to be made to constituencies for future territorial elections.

Once the Commission has gathered information and heard from Nunavummiut, it produces a report that is presented to the Nunavut Legislative Assembly describing any recommendations to change the number, divisions, or names of the constituencies to be used for Territorial elections going forward. Any changes are outlined in a draft bill prepared for the Speaker, and the bill is introduced in the Legislature for debate and enactment.


There have been three prior Electoral Boundary Commissions for Nunavut.

The first Electoral Boundaries Commission for Nunavut was established in 1997. The Commission was to make recommendations regarding electoral boundaries for the first election in Nunavut, which was established on April 1, 1999. The Commission’s recommendations would be debated by the Legislative Assembly on the Northwest Territories, which would make a recommendation to the federal Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs and who would make the final decision on electoral boundaries.

The Commission was mandated to consider two options:

  • 10 or 11 constituency, dual-member legislature (10 or 11 constituencies each with 2 members, resulting in a 20 or 22-member legislature):
  • a 20 - 22 constituency, single-member legislature.


The Commission recommended a 20-member legislature. with one member for each constituency. It also considered a third option which, although not specifically mentioned in its’ mandate, it was not prohibited from considering.

The final recommendation of the Commission was for a 17-member legislature, with one member for each constituency.

The Commission’s report was presented to the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories and debated. Following consultation with Nunavut leaders, the Legislative Assembly of the Northwest Territories recommended a 19-member legislature, with one member for each constituency. This recommendation was accepted by the federal Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. Thus, the first Legislative Assembly of Nunavut was a 19-member Legislature, with each member representing a single constituency.

The second Nunavut Electoral Boundaries Commission was established in 2006.

Its report was tabled in the Legislative Assembly and, after consideration and debate, the report was rejected. The 19-member legislature remained.

The third Nunavut Electoral Boundaries Commission was established in 2011. It recommended an increase in the number of members from 19 to 22. Its recommendations were accepted and the number of members in the legislature was increased to 22.

The current Commission is the fourth Electoral Boundaries Commission for Nunavut. Its mandate is set out in the Terms of Reference. The Commission is to consider boundaries for a 22-member legislature and, under no circumstances, is it to consider a legislature larger than 23 members.