SPRINGHILL – NDP leader Gary Burrill will make a repeat visit to the area on April 7 as Cumberland South New Democrats meet to select a candidate for the upcoming byelection.
River Philip’s Larry Duchesne, the former leader of the P.E.I. NDP who ran for the party last spring, will be seeking the nomination.
He is active with the Oxford Food Bank Association as board member and regular volunteer, a member of the Oxford Lions and a trustee on the River Philip Community Hall Association.
He has run twice before in Cumberland South.
“I see a real opportunity for the NDP,” Duchesne said. “We’re not going to have a Conservative leader running for the PCs and the Liberals are stepping on their own toes a lot by doing away with the school boards. This really takes away more of our rural autonomy.”
Duchesne said his passion remains poverty and it’s an issue he hopes to bring to the forefront during the campaign when the byelection to replace former MLA and PC leader Jamie Baillie is called.
“My passion is poverty and so is the leader’s. It’s an issue that has to be prominent. There are too many people struggling to make ends meet,” said Duchesne. “I work at the food bank and I see a lot of people who don’t get enough to survive on. I’ll be talking a lot about that.”
Duchesne also feels more of an emphasis needs to be put into rural Nova Scotia. While it’s nice to support the economy of Halifax, he said the province needs to do more to support local economic development in smaller communities such as in Cumberland South.
“Concentrate on local ownership,” he said. “If it’s locally owned it’s probably going to stay here longer.”
Burrill is also concerned with the amount of clear-cutting taking place across the riding. He’s strongly against the use of wood as biomass for the generation of electricity.
“It’s very inefficient and wasteful,” Duchesne said.
Burrill will be the main guest speaker at the nomination meeting.
Candidates for the nomination have until March 8 to come forward.
The nomination meeting will be held at 2 p.m. at the All Saints Parish Hall, 92 Main St., Springhill.
In the event that the nomination is contested, only those who are NDP members as of March 24 can vote.
The public is invited to attend and speak with the NDP leader.
Burrill met with people in Springhill just before Christmas as part of his party’s commitment to connect with rural Nova Scotia. He visited Parrsboro in early February.
The public is invited to attend and speak with the NDP leader. The meeting will be child-friendly, and refreshments will be served.