TRURO - The time has come for the Harper government to call a byelection for Central and Northern Nova Scotia, says the local Liberal candidate.
Jim Burrows said Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley constituents are not being represented and they need a voice in the nation's capital.
"There are many not being attended to and it is time for the Harper government to stop the delay and get on with the byelection call," he said.
While unable to provide specific examples of people who are not being represented, Burrows contends the need is there.
"The purpose of an MP is to have someone available to people in the constituency when they have individual problems or when there are local problems that have to be addresses and that's not available to them now," he said.
The seat became vacated when veteran MP Bill Casey resigned in late April.
In the interim there are constituency offices in Truro and Ottawa as well as the Speaker of the House, Peter Milliken, is responsible for the riding.
"That's a very indirect way to do it," Burrows said. "People feel much more comfortable talking to someone from their own constituency."
Burrows pointed to two provincial byelections, which have already been called within two weeks of resignations by Angus MacIsaac and Rodney MacDonald. He believes politics are holding up the process as the Conservatives candidate received less than nine per cent of the vote in 2008.
"Mr. Harper and his Conservatives want to allow the maximum amount of time to pass from the tremendous vote of non-confidence in 2008," Burrows said. "This delay is about them, not about our best interests."
Conservative candidate Scott Armstrong said the party is not playing games with the byelection.
"If we were doing it for political expediency we would have called it months ago when we were ready and they weren't," said Armstrong, who was nominated April 28.
He said there are three byelections needed in Canada, including one in British Columbia and another in Quebec.
"I think they're probably waiting until the candidates are in place for all three parties," he said. "I agree with Mr. Burrows, we want to have a byelection as soon as possible so we can have a voice in Parliament."
It is expected the three byelections will be called together by the middle of October.
Some will suggest the reason the vote has not been called is due to the fragile nature of the politic scene in the capital with Opposition parties talking about not supporting the government.
"That's the excuse you'll hear but that's been ongoing for the last five months and will probably be ongoing for the next several months," Burrows said. "I think it's a poor excuse. I think representation of the people is more important."