Armstrong tries to hit the ground running

Jason Malloy
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MP-elect networking with Tory cabinet ministers

TRURO - Scott Armstrong wasted no time getting down to work in his new job.
On Tuesday, the newly elected member of Parliament for Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley called Fisheries Minister Gail Shea regarding the damaged seawall in Advocate Harbour and Infrastructure Minister John Baird regarding Colchester's civic centre project.
"I know I'm only the MP-elect, I'm not sworn in yet, but those are two issues I really want to see delivered for the riding," he said Tuesday.
He also met with Minister of State (agriculture) Jean-Pierre Blackburn at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College regarding young farmers.
"I tried to hit the ground running this morning," Armstrong said. "I have a lot of support from across the riding and I owe it to the people to do my very best for them."
Armstrong took almost 46 per cent of the vote in Monday's byelection for the Conservatives. He has had discussions with parliamentary operation officials regarding how things unfold from here.
He is looking forward to getting to Ottawa and providing representation the riding has been without since Bill Casey resigned in April.
"I definitely want to be sworn in before the third reading of the long-gun registry," Armstrong said.
"That is a strong commitment I made to the riding, and I want to be there to represent the riding on that particular issue."
The private members' bill is in committee, having passed second reading in the House of Commons.
Armstrong will be taking an unpaid leave of absence from his job as principal at Truro Elementary School. He also will be making a decision on his position as the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia president after speaking with interim leader Karen Casey, Colchester North's MLA.
"I think it will be very difficult to continue on in my current role (as president)," Armstrong said.
Monday's election win brings the riding back to the Conservatives. The riding has a long history of voting Tory, dating back to Sir Charles Tupper.
"We are one of the most dominant political organizations in the country dating back to 1867," Armstrong said. "I am humbled to carry the banner for this riding."
The Truro native is seen as someone who can assist in restoring the Conservative brand in the riding after a tumultuous two years that followed after Casey was kicked out of caucus for voting against the Conservative budget.
"I think things have to be put behind us and we have to move forward and Scott is going to help bridge that gap," said Jon Stanfield.
"I know Scott is going to be very good for our community. He's going to be at the table when the Conservative Party makes decision, which is good not only for our riding, but Nova Scotia in general."

Organizations: Nova Scotia Agricultural College, Conservatives, House of Commons Truro Elementary School Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia Conservative Party

Geographic location: Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, Advocate Harbour, Colchester Ottawa Colchester North Nova Scotia

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