© Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now
Brian Skabar wasn’t able to celebrate being re-elected to Cumberland North but he was able to celebrate retirement with his family, his campaign team and many of the people who voted for him Tuesday night at the Amherst Legion. Joining Skabar is two of his daughters, Margaret (left) and Lauren, and his son Thomas.
AMHERST – Outgoing Cumberland North MLA Brian Skabar stopped by Teazer’s Pub Tuesday night to congratulate Terry Farrell on becoming the new MLA for the riding.
“The voters decided and Nova Scotia spoke loud and clear,” said Skabar outside Teazer’s.
Skabar received 1,943 votes to Farrell’s 2,944 votes.
“Frankly I was surprised as I was watching the results come in. The pollsters say they got it right but the pollsters didn’t get it right,” said Skabar. “They got it right in terms of a Liberal victory but they didn’t get it right with regards to the battering the NDP took, even at the hands of the Conservatives which, again, was a big surprise.”
Skabar said he thought the New Democrats did a good job of governing Nova Scotia but says there are things he would have like to have seen done differently.
“The whole maintenance enforcement issue. That was ill advised,” said Skabar.
The issue had Amherst residents up in arms as the provincial government planned to move the Maintenance Enforcement Office in Amherst and its eight jobs to New Waterford.
“Also, a lot of the vote swing was a consequence of money being spent on big business,” said Skabar.
One controversy the NDP faced under their governance was providing a $304 million loan to Irving Shipbuilding, $260 million of which is a forgivable loan.
Skabar is retiring from politics but said he enjoyed representing Cumberland North.
“It was not without it’s frustrations but it was a trip,” he said. “It was one of the greatest honours bestowed upon me and I took my responsibility seriously as I’m sure Terry will as well.
“To Cumberland North, thanks for giving me the opportunity,” he added. “This is my home now and I hope things continue to progress in the riding.”
Being an MLA takes a person away from their family, “particularly when the legislature is sitting Monday to Friday, and then on weekends you attend one event or another,” said Skabar.
“My youngest (Lauren) is in Grade 11 now. She’s a young woman,” added Skabar. “I’ll spend more time at home, stack the wood and do some things around the house I’ve been putting off for the last six or eight months.”
That’s good news for Lauren.
“I just want my dad back,” she said. “It will be nice to have him home.”