Incumbent taking nothing for granted

Jason Malloy
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'I am not overconfident' - Armstrong

EDITOR'S NOTE: Second in a series of Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley candidate profiles running in the Truro Daily News this week and next. Tomorrow, watch for Liberal candidate Jim Burrows.


TRURO - While some pundits are forecasting another Conservative victory in central and northern Nova Scotia, incumbent Scott Armstrong is taking nothing for granted.

"As a coach in basketball, I'd rather play with a lead, but the game is not over until the buzzer sounds, to (use) a sports analogy," the high school coach said.

Armstrong has been Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley member of Parliament for about 500 days since garnering 46 per cent of the vote in the November 2009 byelection.

Some pundits say it is Armstrong's election to lose this time around with at least one website forecasting he will receive upwards of 50 per cent of the vote. Armstrong admits to looking at polls but will continue working hard knowing he is campaigning against good opponents.

"I am not overconfident," he said. "We don't sit back on our laurels - we're going to campaign hard."

During his victory speech two years ago, Armstrong committed to working to get federal support for the civic centre in Truro and to rebuild the Advocate Harbour seawall.

He said the proposed Hilden interchange and energy projects in Cumberland County are on his to-do list, if re-elected.

Campaigning in downtown Truro on Friday with incumbent Central Nova MP Peter MacKay and Truro Mayor Bill Mills, Armstrong stopped and talked to Darcy Pittman. The 28-year-old Truro resident said politicians are not targeting the youth vote.

"A lot of young people nowadays ... don't vote because they see no appeal there for them," continued Pittman, noting young adults don't see politicians speaking to issues that directly affect them.

Pittman is on a fixed income after a forestry accident a decade ago left him disabled and is looking for help in getting back into the workforce.

"I try everywhere to find jobs and I just can't find a job in this town," he said.

The politicians said programs might exist to assist him. Pittman later admitted to being a Jack Layton fan, but said the Conservative trio said some good things that spoke directly to him.

"They're giving me a lot of things to think about," he said.

During the visit in downtown Truro, a familiar subject also came up. It was the disdain some people still have for Conservative Party Leader Stephen Harper dating back to his comments that there was a "defeatist attitude" in Atlantic Canada and his treatment of the riding's former member of Parliament, Bill Casey.

For his part, Armstrong said he is not hearing it much as he campaigns this time around.

"In the byelection we did hear a lot of it. It was a communication challenge for me as a candidate," he said. "I think people have moved on ...

"We are now progressing forward. We're focused on jobs and growth and things we can do in the future."

Organizations: Armstrong's, Conservative Party

Geographic location: TRURO, Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, Northern Nova Scotia Advocate Harbour Cumberland County Atlantic Canada

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