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PC candidate calls out premier for failing to set date for Truro by-election

Dave Ritcey
Dave Ritcey - File photo
TRURO, N.S. —

Not having an MLA in the Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River riding for the entire fall session of the provincial legislature is “inexcusable,” says Progressive Conservative candidate Dave Ritcey.
“For five weeks this fall, the people in this constituency had nowhere to turn when they had issues with health care or roads or education,” Ritcey said. “People of this community deserve more and a voice at Province House. The Premier must call a by-election in Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River immediately.”
A by-election is required to fill the seat vacated by NDP Lenore Zann when she resigned to run as a Liberal candidate in the October federal election. Zann won the Cumberland-Colchester riding but her provincial seat remains vacant.
Ritcey said three PC MLAs resigned soon after being nominated as candidates in the federal election and Premier Stephen McNeil kept his promise to call immediate by-elections and the new MLAs vigorously represented their constituents during the fall session. But that has not happened here.
Asked about the issue recently during a media scrum at Province House, McNeil said he has not made a decision on a date for the by-election.
But recent announcements in Truro by other Liberal representatives, including Health and Welfare Minister Randy Delorey and Deputy Premier/Colchester North MLA Karen Casey show the area is still receiving attention despite the lack of a sitting MLA, said David Jackson, a spokesman for McNeil’s office in an emailed response.
“There may not be an MLA currently, but that doesn’t mean the constituency is being ignored by government,” Jackson said.
From Ritcey’s perspective, however, that is not good enough.
“The federal election is over. The fall session of the legislature has concluded,” Ritcey said.  “The Premier has no more excuses. It’s time to call the by-election.”
Ritcey is not the only candidate for the riding who has called out the premier on the issue.
Matthew Rushton, running as an Independent candidate, has also said McNeil should call the by-election “sooner rather than later, as the people deserve representation.”
 

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