Federal Liberals ready to celebrate Grit government in Nova Scotia
AMHERST – If Nova Scotia is truly seeing red, as many advance polls suggest, then Ottawa should look out.
© Christopher Gooding photo
Cumberland North Liberal candidate Terry Farrell (left) gave Beausejour MP Dominic Leblanc a tour of downtown Amherst on Wednesday afternoon, where the federal Liberal called on some of his own recollection of the places and names when visiting with family in his youth.
Dominic Leblanc, Liberal MP for the Beausejour riding in New Brunswick, which includes Sackville, Shediac, Moncton and Port Elgin, landed in Amherst to campaign with Terry Farrell on Wednesday afternoon. In Nova Scotia, advance election polls have been largely in favour of the Stephen McNeil Liberals and it's a message Leblanc says can’t be ignored locally, across the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border or at Parliament.
“If the voters in this region reject the narrow vision of Jamie Baillie and the Conservatives, that they recognize on a whole bunch of national issues the Conservatives of Nova Scotia have failed to stand up for people of this province because they’re intimidated by Mr. Harper… if you can replace that with a more positive, hopeful representative like Terry Farrell and a government lead by Steven McNeil that sends a message across the marsh to New Brunswick that the NDP don’t have magic solutions for everything,” Leblanc said.
In the 2010 the provincial NDP gained leadership of the government for the very first time, while a year later the federal party gained official opposition status. The Liberals fell to third-party status. The introduction of Justin Trudeau as the new leader of the federal party rebranded the Liberals, something Nova Scotia Liberal leader Stephen McNeil benefitted from when Trudeau joined him on a whirlwind tour through a number of NDP-held ridings. A Halifax-based polling agency found 38 per cent of respondents felts McNeil would be the more popular Premier, while the party captured 57 per cent of the popular response for forming Nova Scotia’s next government following Trudeau’s visit.
Provincial shifts to the Grits, Leblanc said, are putting the squeeze on the NDP in Ottawa.
“Nationally, the election of Terry here and the election of Stephen McNeil is very, very destructive for Mr. [Thomas] Mulcair, and the NDP in Ottawa,” Leblanc said. “They will have been beaten in six months on both coasts – in British Columbia and then again in Nova Scotia.”
For his part, Farrell says the prospect of becoming the MLA for Cumberland North and having a federal Liberal partner in Leblanc on the other side of the provincial border will be to Cumberland North’s advantage.
“There’s certainly always room to cooperate when you have like minded people who have the interests of their constituents at heart and in mind. We’ve talked about some of those things today and Dominic understands the importance of the [Department of Indian and] Northern Affairs office in Amherst and how it’s a good bargain for the government to have those office in communities like Amherst and how people here are ready and able to do those jobs and on a very effective basis and perform those services here and that’s certainly something we can build on.”
Farrell is campaigning against Cumberland North incumbent Brian Skabar of the NDP, PC candidate Judi Giroux and Green Party veteran Jason Blanch.
Nova Scotia will elect its next provincial government Tuesday, Oct. 8.