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Big Tory slate in Colchester North

From left, Eric Boutilier, Tyler Fraser, Rebecca Taylor and Michele Toole.
From left, Eric Boutilier, Tyler Fraser, Rebecca Taylor and Michele Toole.

Four candidates are running for the Tory nomination in the provincial riding of Colchester North – three are teachers or retired teachers hoping to run against incumbent Karen Casey, the Liberal Minister of Education.

 

 

Scott Armstrong, co-chair of the central campaign for the Progressive Conservatives, says this is the biggest nomination meeting for his party so far.

“We’ve had some meetings with three candidates but for this election cycle this is the first with four,” said Armstrong. “We’re pretty excited about the meeting. Four candidates will generate a lot of interest and people will be keeping an eye on this riding because of who the incumbent is.”

Armstrong thinks the incumbent may have also been a factor in the large slate of candidates.

“We have three teachers running and it would seem the labour dispute and back-to-work legislation may have inspired some people to get engaged,” said Armstrong.

Michele Toole has been a teacher in the area since 1995; Tyler Fraser worked as a teacher for three years and is now on study leave; and Eric Boutilier is a retired teacher and guidance counsellor. The fourth candidate, Rebecca Taylor, is a Truro business owner.

Armstrong says in a large region like Colchester North, having candidates from various areas also increases interest and helps with volunteer recruitment.

“If you have candidates bringing in a number of people from their own areas, even if their candidate doesn’t win, they get to see and hear the candidates, they establish a connection and that gives whoever becomes the candidate a leg up when it comes time for a general election if more people know them,” said Armstrong. “And more memberships makes it easier to recruit volunteers for the election.”

The Colchester North Progressive Conservatives hold their nomination meeting on April 22 at Valley Elementary School, at 2 p.m.

 

CONFIRMED CANDIDATES

Casey was nominated for the Liberals last fall. She has represented Colchester North as the provincial Member of the Legislature since 2006 when she was first elected as a Progressive Conservative member. She crossed the floor to join the Liberals in 2011, and was re-elected in 2013.

Casey was Minister of Education during the first-ever strike by the Nova Scotia Teachers Union starting last fall and she ended the strike this winter, not through negotiation, but by invoking back-to-work legislation.

The NDP chose James Finnie, president of the Colchester Highland Games and Gathering Society, as their candidate at a meeting Jan. 17.

 

jonathan.riley@tc.tc

 

 

Eric Boutilier is the District 1 Councillor for the Municipality of Colchester. He recently retired from the Chignecto Central Regional School Board where he was both a teacher and guidance counsellor. Eric coached soccer and fastball in the school board for many years, as well as hockey with the Truro and Area Minor Hockey Association.  He has volunteered for Nova Scotia Music Week, the Dutch Mason Blues Festival and Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling. Eric lives in Brookside with his wife Janine and they have two grown children. 

 

Tyler Fraser graduated from NSAC with a Bachelor of Technology and Acadia University with a Bachelor of Education. He taught at E.B. Chandler Junior High for three years and is currently on study leave from Chignecto Central Regional School Board. Tyler also manages his family beef and sheep farm in Tatamagouche.

 

Rebecca Taylor started the award-winning business, Pearl & Daisy Natural Soap Company, seven years ago out of her own home and now her products are in boutiques and gift shops across Canada. In 2011, she was trecipient of an Export Achievement award sponsored by Nova Scotia Business Inc. Rebecca volunteers on the board of directors of Truro Development Corporation Limited, and is a member of the Along the Shore Community Health Board. She lives in Lornevale with her husband Dan and their two daughters.

 

Michele Toole has a Masters of Education in Diverse Learners and Exceptionalities from Mount St. Vincent University and has been a teacher in the Chignecto Central Regional School Board since 1995. She has spent most of her classroom career working with special needs students. Michele chaired the Colchester Drug Awareness Committee, served as a Red Cross fitness instructor and lifeguard and on the Scotia Pool Financial Committee, stood as the Colchester region Special Olympics co-ordinator, and served as a civilian instructor of the Truro Navy Cadets. Michele lives in Brookside with her husband Michael and they have two grown children.

 

WHAT: Colchester North Progressive Conservatives nomination meeting

WHEN: April 22 at 2 p.m.

REGISTRATION: 12:30 p.m.

WHERE: Valley Elementary School, 96 Salmon River Rd.

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