After being nominated as the Liberal candidate for Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, Jim Burrows (right) spoke to 40 people at the Knights of Pythias Hall in Springhill about the work ahead if they hope to win the riding in the next federal general election. Burrows was joined by Mike Savage, who is the Liberal MP for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, and Bob Hagell, the secretary for the Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley Liberal Association. Scott Bryson was scheduled to attend the meeting but attended an anti-racist rally after an incident whereby a cross-burning incident occurred in his riding. Dave Mathieson-Amherst Daily News
SPRINGHILL - When the writ is dropped for the next federal election it will be Jim Burrows who will hit the ground running for the Liberal party in the riding of Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley.
Burrows' nomination went uncontested during a nomination meeting Saturday afternoon at the Knights of Pythias Hall in Springhill.
It's Burrows' second kick at the can, as he ran as the Liberal candidate in the riding during the Nov. 9, by-election.
"When I started a year ago I decided it's not just something you jump into then out of," Burrows said. "It's something you have to be in for the long run."
Burrows doesn't think an election will be called anytime soon.
"I hope it's not called for a year," Burrows said. "We need the time to build a relationship in the community and, federally, people are starting to see Michael Ignatieff for who he really is. The more people get to know him the more they will like him."
Mike Savage, who is the Liberal MP for Dartmouth-Cole Harbour, was at the nomination meeting and he agrees with Burrows assessment of Ingatieff.
"I always felt that there was a sense last fall that we need to turn Michael Ignatieff into something that he wasn't," Savage said. "I don't think that's true. We should be proud of the fact that he's intelligent, dedicated, honest, focused and has international recognition."
Burrows said Ignatieff's decision to try to topple the Harper government also hurt him during the by-election.
"We were caught off guard by the reaction to Michael Ignatieff saying we're going to vote against the government," Savage said. "It was a little erratic and that's when Jim had to carry the Liberal banner and did so with great honour and dignity."
During the by-election Burrows was hoping that resentment towards the treatment of Bill Casey would propel him to victory but conservative Scott Armstrong won the riding.
"The dynamics were totally different during the by-election than it would be during a general election," Burrows said. "The conservatives were promising millions of dollars for different projects that would only be delivered if a conservative became a member of the riding.
"It was a unique situation to have that much federal money available for ridings because of the stimulus programs. That doesn't happen every year. The last election was an anomaly."
Now that he's nominated Burrows will focus on raising money and building connections with the community.
"During last falls by-election we spend in the order of $65,000," Burrows said. "I think the maximum you can spend in this riding is the mid-$80,000 range.
"The rules have changed with regards to how you can raise money and now, instead of raising corporate money, money is raised from individuals." Burrows added. "The conservatives continue to win because they have the best funded and best organized campaign, if we want to compete in this riding we need to develop a strong connection with our members."