Halifax-Needham candidates gear up for byelection
Published Wednesday, August 24, 2016 7:49PM ADT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 24, 2016 8:30PM ADT
Halifax-Needham candidates are going door-to-door with hopes of landing former NDP interim leader Maureen MacDonald’s seat.
MacDonald represented the riding for 18 years before retiring. Now, the NDP's new candidate is hoping to secure what should be a safe seat.
“The only newness is a new face, because I'm really looking to build on Maureen MacDonald’s legacy of 18 years in Halifax-Needham,” said NDP candidate Lisa Roberts.
As the third party in the legislature, the NDP will face a difficult battle against Liberal candidate Rod Wilson.
He says he'll work from within government – either as an MLA or a cabinet minister – to make change.
“I've been listening to the concerns as a family doctor at the North End Community Health Centre for 19 years, so very well aware of the issues and have great relationships,” said Wilson.
The opposition PCs are hoping to bolster their own ranks in the house this fall, but to do so they'll need to win in a riding they haven't held since 1988.
“I've bought into the plan that Jamie Baillie has brought to the table. Jamie's got a lot of initiatives, starting with mental health,” said PC candidate Andy Arsenault.
Rounding out the roster is Green Party interim leader Thomas Trappenberg. The Greens have no representation in the legislature.
“I think it's time that we ask ourselves, should we try something else? And other people have done it, even in the Maritimes,” said Trappenberg
The candidates say they're hearing about health care, housing and the film industry at the doorsteps. No surprise to political scientist Jeffrey MacLeod.
“Health care, the economy, those are always issues on voters' minds,” he said.
MacLeod calls byelections the ultimate political poll, and says next week's results could have implications beyond Halifax-Needham.
“I expect a strong performance from the NDP. If they don't then that's a very bad sign. And if the Liberals are able to take this riding then I think they'll be pretty thrilled,” said MacLeod.
Voting takes place on Tuesday. Advance polls are open daily until Saturday.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Sarah Ritchie.