Smith-McCrossin was sworn in during a special session of the Nova Scotia legislature on Friday, taking her place in the 17-member Progressive Conservative caucus under party leader and Cumberland South MLA Jamie Baillie.
“It was great, I wasn’t too nervous,” said Smith-McCrossin, who becomes the riding’s first Progressive Conservative in a decade. “Now I’m anxious for the real work to get started.”
Speculation is the legislature won’t be called into session until September with a throne speech and a new budget by the Liberal government of Stephen McNeil. Smith-McCrossin admitted she’d prefer to get going right away because there’s so much to do.
“There are a number of issues I would like to see addressed, things I heard during the election campaign that require action,” she said.
Smith-McCrossin has been busy since the May 30 election when she defeated incumbent Liberal MLA Terry Farrell. Now that she’s officially the MLA she hopes to have an assistant in place and an office location selected during the next week.
For now, people can reach her at email@example.com .
She said health care and getting the economy going will be her priorities, as will fixing roads across the riding – some of which haven’t seen paving work in 30 years or more.
“I feel we’ve been left behind the last 10 to 12 years and we need to be very vocal and a strong part of the province again,” she said.
Smith-McCrossin said she will be meeting with Nova Scotia Health Authority representatives to discuss health care concerns in Cumberland County and she will be looking for an update on the Pugwash hospital project.
Just prior to calling the election, Premier McNeil was in Pugwash to announce a request for proposals for a design consultant.
She also intends to push the government on its promise to remove the toll from Cobequid Pass by 2019 and will follow up on a pledge made by her predecessor to increase the speed limit on the former Trans-Canada Highway through the Wentworth Valley.
Baillie, who also took his seat in the legislature on Friday, said he has been working on that file for at least three years. He feels it’s a big issue for Cumberland North and Cumberland South.
“I have raised it on numerous occasions with the minister and have had numerous commitments from the minister but their inaction on this shows their word is worth nothing because they have done nothing,” Baillie said. “We need to judge this government by their actions and not their words.”