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2019 federal election: Conservative Martha MacQuarrie running in Kings-Hants

Martha MacQuarrie has been announced as the Conservative Party of Canada’s Kings-Hants candidate for the 2019 federal election.
Martha MacQuarrie has been announced as the Conservative Party of Canada’s Kings-Hants candidate for the 2019 federal election. - Ashley Thompson

KENTVILLE – Card-carrying Conservative Martha MacQuarrie is ready to step out from behind the scenes.

The Kentville resident was recently announced as the Conservative Party of Canada’s Kings-Hants candidate for the 2019 federal election.

“We’re an interesting riding,” said MacQuarrie in an interview July 17.

“People need help here and they’re having a hard time accessing it.”

MacQuarrie, manager of the constituency office for Kings North PC MLA John Lohr, started backing the federal and provincial Conservative parties as a volunteer more than 20 years ago. She’s answered phones, campaigned door-to-door and worked her way up with time.

She felt compelled to throw her hat in the ring for the next federal election.

“Last year when the Liberal government had the proposed income tax changes I could see what it was going to do to small businesses. It seemed to be an attack on entrepreneurs and it infuriated me, really,” she said.

“We need job creation. We need to make it easier for small businesses to thrive and flourish.”

MacQuarrie stressed that she is in favour of reducing red tape that puts an added strain on small businesses and, on a separate issue, she is vehemently opposed to carbon taxes.

“Nova Scotia has been taxed enough,” she said.

“We can’t afford a carbon tax.”

She vows to continually advocate for policies that recognize the crucial roles small businesses and entrepreneurs play as economic drivers throughout the country. She admits that issues impacting small business hit close to home.

Three generations of MacQuarrie’s relatives have operated a family-run pharmacy business her grandfather started in Truro 98 years ago. MacQuarrie vividly remembers her parents stressing the importance of buying local and volunteering when she was growing up.

“They really modelled for us the importance of giving back to the community,” she said, noting that her 87-year-old mother still volunteers for multiple organizations.

MacQuarrie, 50, volunteers as the chairperson of the Landmark East Foundation and serves as a Rotarian. In the past, she’s been a director for the Annapolis Valley Health Authority’s board and chaired a federal tribunal overseeing Employment Insurance appeals.

MacQuarrie has lived in Kings County for 16 years. She is the widow of veteran Kentville firefighter Capt. Brian Kingsbury, who passed away in 2015. They jokingly referred to themselves as the Brady Bunch when their union brought her three children, and his three, together as a blended family with three boys and three girls.

The first-time candidate is running for election in a riding long held by Kings-Hants MP Scott Brison, a Liberal member serving as the President of the Treasury Board of Canada under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.  

“I will never forget that if I’m successful, it is the people of Kings-Hants that made it that way for me. I work for them; I don’t necessarily work for the leader of the party,” said MacQuarrie.

“I want what’s best for everyone in this riding.”

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