Colton LeBlanc will represent the Progressive Conservatives in the upcoming byelection in the provincial riding of Argyle-Barrington.
LeBlanc secured the nomination Thursday evening at École secondaire de Par-en-Bas in Tusket, where party supporters packed the gymnasium to pick their candidate.
A date for the byelection has yet to be announced, but in his acceptance speech LeBlanc assured everyone present that he and the party’s team in Argyle-Barrington will be prepared.
“We will be ready,” he said.
A 27-year-old paramedic from Quinan who is involved in various volunteer activities, LeBlanc had been vying for the PC nomination along with Craig Prouty.
Over 600 people attended the meeting, a party official said, and when it was over, LeBlanc was declared the winner, but specific numbers were not released.
Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Houston said he was very impressed with the turnout for the July 25 session.
He welcomed aboard LeBlanc as a PC candidate and tipped his cap to both LeBlanc and Prouty for seeking the party’s Argyle-Barrington candidacy.
“It takes tremendous courage to put your name forward for public office,” Houston said.
LeBlanc succeeds Chris d’Entremont as the Tory candidate in Argyle-Barrington. D’Entremont, who is stepping away from provincial politics to run federally for the Conservatives in West Nova, was first elected in the former constituency of Argyle in 2003 and was re-elected in every provincial election since then.
LeBlanc expressed thanks to d’Entremont for representing the area for more than a decade-and-a-half.
“To the people of Argyle-Barrington, I will continue Chris’s legacy by working hard for the people in this area,” LeBlanc said.
“I’m proud to represent the Progressive Conservative Party led by Tim Houston. He listens to people and wants to work with them.”
LeBlanc cited health care in particular as an issue of major concern to many people.
“Hospital closures and doctor vacancies are at an all-time high and the Liberal government refuses to admit there’s a crisis in health care,” he said. “We need an MLA who will build solid recruitment strategies and work with our communities. Voting PC in this byelection is the only way to ensure we have an MLA fighting for better health-care in Argyle-Barrington.”
Houston said LeBlanc has the passion, drive and commitment to be an MLA.
“Colton’s first-hand knowledge and experience with the health-care system will be an asset around the caucus table,” Houston said. “He is an experienced first responder who will fight for better health care for Argyle-Barrington.”
Meanwhile, as for the other parties, so far only the Liberals have picked a candidate for the Argyle-Barrington byelection. Charlene LeBlanc will represent them.