CENTRAL NOVA: As the federal election is now only five days away, candidates in both Central Nova and Cape Breton-Canso are making the final push in their campaigns.
Katerina Nikas, the Green Party candidate for Central Nova grew up in a politically-driven Greek household and was shaped by the philosophical and political ideas presented at the dinner table every night, which created a strong sense of questioning authority and advocating for justice.
“I am running to advocate for environmental justice and to hopefully increase political activity in youth, across generations,” Nikas told The Reporter. “I have never felt it to be right to speak for anyone, yet I do believe change is a constant in human behaviour, as well as necessary for local development and environmental justice.”
With a background in political science and international development, her experience has allowed her to work extensively in policy development and governmental affairs at home, as well as internationally.
According to her biography, in 2018, Nikas was invited to the United Nations Development Programme through PRATYeK, an NGO she worked for, where she contributed to a lecture based on Sustainable Development Goals.
She hopes to continue the campaign momentum of her uncle, Dimitri Lascaris, the Montreal lawyer, journalist and activist who in 2020, ran and finished second for the leadership of the Green Party of Canada.
Chris Frazer, who is an associate professor of history at StFX University and also a LGBTQ2SIA activist, is once again carrying the banner for the Communist Party, who will put people and nature before profit.
Harvey Henderson is running as an Independent in Central Nova in revolt against the “back room boys” who anoint a candidate of their choice, like what occurred in the previous federal election in the riding, when four local contenders were bypassed for George Canyon, who lived in Alberta at the time.
Henderson is retired and has lived in Pictou County his entire life. Other than working on his family farm, he’s worked alongside his brother and cousin on their lobster boat, has owned and operated heavy equipment and he was a member of the Nova Scotia Teachers College, teaching individuals from Grade 6 right up to university level courses.
He agrees Nova Scotia needs forestry, and according to him, he’s the only viable candidate advocating support for a clean pulp mill.
Additionally, health care is the Independent’s top priority as more family doctors, he said, is the key to starting the repair of the depleted health care system. He supports the primary industries such as farming, forestry and fishing, and supports a $1 to $1 MP pension plan, rather than the current $1 to $15 plan.
Ryan Smyth, who also ran in the provincial election for the Atlantica Party is running for the Rhinoceros Party, a satirical, federal level party, which operates in an entirely different political sphere.
The party promises not to keep any of its promises if elected, every campaign issue is their top priority, they plan to reform the retail lottery scheme by replacing cash prizes with Senate appointments and to create a more egalitarian Canada, all maps will be redrawn so each province is rectangular in shape, like Saskatchewan.
After being requested by the party headquarters to be the representative in Central Nova, Al Muir is once again the candidate for the People’s Party of Canada (PPC).
In 2019, he ran on a campaign of ideas, ideas that would help deal with the long standing problems within Central Nova that never seem to get fixed regardless of how many election cycles occur.
This election it’s no different, as Muir’s primary issues once again surround health care, pensions, regional economic growth, and making government more Canadian-focused.
“Nothing has changed, since the last election,” he told The Reporter. “Nothing ever gets fixed, we stumble from one crisis to another, everything I wanted to do the first time around are still there, nothing has been improved on.”
Across the Causeway in Cape Breton-Canso, Brad Grandy will join Muir as the PPC representative.
Born and raised in Newfoundland, Grandy moved to Nova Scotia to attend Saint Mary’s University, where he took political science for two years, before shifting gears and entering the electrical fray, following in his father’s footsteps.
Since then he has worked over 20 years in the electrical field both in Nova Scotia and in Alberta, and he currently lives in Meaghers Grant in the Musquodobit Valley, with his wife and young son, and spends much of his free time volunteering at the local community hall.
Grandy believes in the party’s platform and the four founding principles of freedom, fairness, responsibility and respect.
Though not from the riding of Cape Breton-Canso, he feels confident he will be able to connect with the voters in the region and wants to ensure every Canadian has the opportunity to vote for the PPC this election.
Canadians go to the polls on Sept. 20.