McNeil, Hurlock, Spurr running in Annapolis
Annapolis MLA Stephen McNeil, left, at his nomination meeting in April. At right is Progressive Conservative candidate for Annapolis Ginny Hurlock of Bear River. With her is PC Leader Jamie Baillie at her May nomination meeting in Annapolis Royal. Henry Spurr is expected to be nominated for the NDP on September 11.
By Lawrence Powell
Nova Scotians will head to the polls on October 8.
After months of anticipating an election call – including the unusual moves over the past few days when, on September 6, the NDP launched its campaign platform and earlier today, when the Liberal and Progressive Conservative announcements that their campaigns were beginning, before the writ was even dropped – it was finally confirmed this afternoon.
The announcement itself was also unusual, with Premier Darrell Dexter visiting Lt.-Gov. J.J. Grant in Cape Breton instead of Halifax. Dexter was in Port Hawkesbury Saturday for the nomination session for Deputy Premier Frank Corbett and made the call there. Grant was also in Cape Breton Saturday afternoon, staying in Sydney. That's where Dexter met with him to ask Grant to dissolve the House and set an election date.
Grant signed the Order in Council, which had already been signed earlier by Justice Minister Ross Landry.
In the newly expanded riding of Annapolis, incumbent MLA and Nova Scotia Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil was re-nominated on April 21 at The Bridgetown Legion. He will be contested by Bear River’s Ginny Hurlock who was nominated for the Progressive Conservatives on May 25 at the Annapolis Royal Golf and Country Club. The NDP is expected to run Henry Spurr who will be nominated at a meeting on September 11. Spurr carried the NDP banner in the last election.
Stephen McNeil was first elected to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly in 2003. He was re-elected with large majorities in 2006 and 2009. In 2009 he led the Liberals to official opposition status.
At his nomination meeting, McNeil said the Darrell Dexter government has been catering to big business, following Nova Scotia Power’s lead, and making short-sighted cuts to education.
“The NDP has chosen to put the interests of others ahead of the needs of Nova Scotians,” McNeil said. “It’s time to restore faith in our abilities, pride in our people, and hope for the future. It’s time for new leadership. It’s time to put Nova Scotia first.”
Hurlock launched her political career by describing McNeil as a nice guy but questioned what he’s actually done.
“None of the people I spoke to that were so fond of Mr. McNeil could actually tell me anything he had done for this county,” Hurlock said as she accepted the Progressive Conservative nomination. I think that’s rather telling and something to think about.”
Hurlock said that under the Dexter NDP government Nova Scotians saw increased taxes, increased inflation, increased job loss, and high fuel prices – the reasons Nova Scotia lags behind the rest of Canada. She said small business confidence in Nova Scotia is at an all-time low.
The three major political parties have named a full slate of candidates in two of the Kings County ridings, but a third – Kings West – only has two candidates to date.
In Kings South, NDP Minister of Education Ramona Jennex will be challenged by Shane Buchan with the Progressive Conservatives and Keith Irving with the Liberals.
In Kings North, NDP incumbent Jim Morton will face off against John Lohr for the Tories and Stephen Pearl for the Liberals.
In Kings West, Liberal incumbent Leo Glavine has only one challenger so far – PC Jody Frowley. There is no NDP candidate currently nominated, but Bob Landry of Lake Paul is seeking the nomination, a party staffer confirmed Saturday. A nomination date is expected to be set shortly.
With files from Jennifer Vardy Little.