HALIFAX: A local MLA is considering a run at the leadership of his party, while another is remaining neutral.
Last week, Inverness MLA Allan MacMaster told The Reporter he is still considering a leadership bid but refused to comment on when he expects to make a final decision.
On November 1 following a narrow loss in last spring’s provincial election, Jamie Baillie announced his intention to resign as the leader of the Progressive Conservative Party, upon the election of a new leader. MLA’s Tim Houston and John Lohr were the first to announce their candidacies.
Then on January 24, the PC Party announced Baillie’s immediate resignation. Tara Miller, president of the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia and Karla MacFarlane, caucus chair, issued a joint release to explain that a third party investigation into allegations of inappropriate behaviour by Baillie discovered that he breached the Nova Scotia House of Assembly Policy on the Prevention and Resolution of Harassment in the Workplace.
Since then, Cape Breton Regional Mayor Cecil Clarke, MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, and Julie Chaisson announced their bids.
August 13 is the final deadline for candidates to submit their nominations with the leadership convention set for October 27.
Cape Breton-Richmond MLA Alana Paon isn’t backing any of the leadership candidates at the moment.
“I’m very comfortable in remaining neutral currently in the process,” said Paon. “I think that the five candidates that have come forward are quality candidates. It’s great to see that there is going to be some competition around the leadership.
“My stance on it is that I really do not want to give my support to any candidate until I’m truly comfortable with understanding what their policy positions are going to be [and] where they’re going to bring the party forward in the next possibly 10 years or more.”
Paon said she is focused on her constituency work, as well as her legislative portfolio.
“I want to make 100 per cent sure that I am comfortable that I’m backing the right candidate because this is a decision that will affect our party for some time to come,” she added.