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Argyle-Barrington Liberal Association holding May 9 meeting to nominate candidate for possible byelection

Charlene LeBlanc.
Charlene LeBlanc. - Contributed
WEST PUBNICO, N.S. —

While no byelection exists as of yet, the Argyle-Barrington Liberal Association isn’t wasting any time in preparing for one in case the need arises.

The association will hold a nomination meeting on Thursday evening, May 9, to nominate their candidate for a byelection that will only be called if the current riding’s MLA, Chris d’Entremont, is successful in his bid for the Conservative nomination in the federal West Nova riding. Should d’Entremont win that nomination he must immediately resign his provincial seat.

As of May 8, Charlene LeBlanc is the sole candidate running for the Liberal nomination for the Argyle-Barrington riding. LeBlanc, a resident of Lower West Pubnico, announced her candidacy on April 25.

“There is a positive air in our rural community and together we have the potential for so much more,” she said about her decision to put her name forward. “I want to do my part and I believe my experiences and knowledge will allow me to do just that as MLA.”

LeBlanc has been an active member of the community for over 30 years. Since 1987, she has owned and operated a residential care facility, and most recently she has been the Community Development Officer for the Municipality of Argyle.

LeBlanc has also been a passionate volunteer with a number of organizations and has served in a variety of roles. In 2016, she coordinated the West Pubnico Legion Chase the Ace, with a team of 267 volunteers, to raise over $650,000. And from 2010-2012 she was the Vice-President of Administrative Services for the 33e Finale des Jeux de l’Acadie, which was held in the Municipality of Argyle. Over the years she has also volunteered with food drives, local schools, trail building, and has served on the board of directors of the Argyle Chamber of Commerce, DeLaTour Cooperative, Yarmouth Regional Business Corporation, and YACRO.

In announcing her candidacy she said it was her passion for the region, her drive for economic growth and her experience in providing services for people who need ongoing care that had motivated her to pursue the nomination.

The association's May 9 nomination meeting will take place at the West Pubnico Legion. It will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Although at this stage a byelection for the Argyle-Barrington riding is still only a possibility, Michael Mercier, executive director of the Nova Scotia Liberal Party, says they do want to be prepared should it become a reality. He said the party feels very fortunate to have LeBlanc as a candidate.

Mercier said no one else put their name forward during the timeframe when the party had launched this as an open candidate race.

Mercier said if a byelection is called for the riding, then LeBlanc will be the party’s candidate for it. If there is no byelection then she will be the party’s candidate for the next general election providing she is still interested when that election rolls around.

He said the party is eager is excited to have LeBlanc be in a position where she can start to prepare for an upcoming vote.

The most recent Electoral Boundaries Commission has recommended that in the next provincial election that the Argyle-Barrington riding cease to exist and instead there be a return to the Acadian riding of Argyle and the former riding of Shelburne. The provincial government has the final say on the recommendations put forth by the commission.

The premier of the province, meanwhile, is the one who decides when to call byelections.

As for the timing of the Conservative nomination for the West Nova riding, which has triggered the speculation of whether there will or won’t be a byelection in the Argyle-Barrington riding, that nomination is expected to take place within a 30-day timeframe of the nomination period ending.

The nomination period for the West Nova riding is now underway for those wishing to vie for the position of Conservative candidate for the constituency of West Nova in this fall’s federal election. The nomination period closes Thursday, May 16. As of May 9 there are three candidates seeking the nomination: Chris d’Entremont, Hannah Dawson-Murphy and Dan Mullen.

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