Acadian, African Nova Scotian voters should have greater say in some ridings, Nova Scotia told

A provincially appointed committee says Nova Scotia's minority Acadian and black populations should have a greater say in certain ridings when elections are held.

However, the independent committee has stopped short of recommending restoration of four "exceptional ridings" that had smaller-than-average populations to make it easier for francophone and black candidates to get elected.

The committee, appointed by the province last April, says that decision should be left to an independent boundaries commission, which will be appointed later this year.

As well, the committee says the ability of the commission to create exceptional ridings should be enshrined in law, as in many other provinces.

The recommendations come almost a year after the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal decided the province's former NDP government was wrong to force a previous electoral commission to redraw three predominantly French-speaking ridings to have them include a larger, English-speaking population.

In 2012, then-NDP premier Darrell Dexter declared that equal representation in the legislature had to take precedence over providing a voice to minority groups because voter parity is a fundamental principle of democracy.