PORT GREVILLE – A second candidate has come forward to seek the Progressive Conservative nomination for a byelection in Cumberland South.
Oralee O’Byrne, the seasonal curator/manager of the Age of Sail Heritage Museum in Port Greville, confirmed Monday that she will be seeking the nomination when Progressive Conservatives gather at Springhill High School on March 3 to pick a candidate to fill the vacancy created several weeks ago by the sudden resignation of Jamie Baillie.
“I believe the time is right for me to run for the nomination,” said O’Byrne. “It’s a really good time for women to get into politics and it’s time for the area that we have someone present and someone to stand up for what the people want.”
She is the second candidate to announce their intention to seek the nomination. Oxford fire chief Tory Rushton announced last week that he is also hoping to be the party’s candidate when Premier Stephen McNeil calls a byelection to replace Baillie.
O’Byrne said entering politics is always a big decision, but she has always had a lot of interest in the community through her work with various organizations.
“I’ve volunteered with a lot of community projects and I have worked in the community for many years,” she said. “One of the biggest things for me is that very often you see politicians that come from money or have never had to work in a minimum wage job, be a welfare mother or be on EI. Well, I’ve been there so I know what it’s all about to live that life. Who better to represent the people than somebody who is one of the people?”
She is very familiar with the issues facing the health care system having helped care for a terminally ill family member and she has suffered health issues herself.
She has also worked in the tourism industry and knows about the realities of poor roads and deficiencies in key pieces of infrastructure such as bridges.
O’Byrne has diplomas in law enforcement procedures, adult psychology, counselling and museum and archival training.
Along with her work for Age of Sail Heritage Centre, she has also worked with other museums, Parrsboro Creative and the Cliffs of Fundy Geopark project.
She has been a volunteer with Cumberland County Restorative Justice for 14 years, is on the board for the Cumberland Geological Society and is vice-chair of the Association of Nova Scotia Museums.