TRURO - Dairy farmer Jim Burrows is the Liberal Party candidate for Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley in the next federal election, widely expected to be later this year.
The 51-year-old Burrows, a political newcomer, scored a resounding victory at a party nomination convention Saturday at Red Cliff Middle School, just outside Truro, over Tracy Parsons of Bible Hill, who had represented the Liberals in the last federal election.
More than 200 party members attended the contested nomination with Burrows winning by a landslide, 175-31. Parsons moved immediately to have the vote recorded as unanimous.
Burrows, who operates Clover Crest Farm Ltd., in Green Oaks, is a former president of the Nova Scotia Federation of Agriculture and a former member of the board of directors of Scotsburn Dairy.
His victory came as no surprise to convention goers, as it was obvious by the number of the delegates wearing Burrows buttons that he had mounted a strong campaign.
In his nomination speech, punctuated with chants of "Jim, Jim,?Jim," Burrows said he had been able "to sign up many new Liberals and brought back former ones to the party."
Dismissing his lack of political experience, Burrows said, "I have always found time to be involved in the community. I have a passion to see that people are well represented."
The riding had been represented by Independent Bill Casey, who scored a landslide victory in the federal election of a year ago.
"Bill Casey is no longer a factor," said convention chairman Dennis James, himself a former federal Liberal candidate, who reminded his audience that 91.7 per cent of the voters in the riding had voted against Prime Minister Stephen Harper in the last election.
Dominic LeBlanc, Member of Parliament for the New Brunswick riding of Beausejour, defended the position of Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff in his plan to defeat the Tories in a non-confident vote in the House of Commons that could come as early as this week.
"In the past, we have propped up the government, forcing (Prime Minister)?Harper to bring forth his economic package, but we can no longer support a government whose policies are not working," said LeBlanc, who delivered the keynote address at Saturday's convention.
"It is apparent that Stephen Harper is more concerned about saving his own job, than the jobs of hundreds of thousand of Canadians who have lost theirs"
While a federal election could come as early as mid-November if the Harper administration is defeated in the House, Cumberland, Colchester, Musquodoboit Valley voters could be involved in a byelection this fall to fill the seat vacated by Casey .
The government is required to call the byelection within six months of Casey's resignation, which would mean sometime in October, but with a federal byelection needed to be called for a British Columbia seat later this month, it was expected the government would announce the dates of three federal byelections when that call is made.
The dates for the byelection can be, by law, six months after the byelection is called.
The calling of a general election would eliminate the need for the three byelections.
Burrows said he is putting a team in place, realizing "a federal election could happen any day."
He announced that Truro lawyer Bob Hagell will be his campaign manager. Hagel represented the party as the candidate in Truro-Bible Hill in the last provincial election, finishing third.