PORT HASTINGS: A former Port Hawkesbury town councillor and deputy mayor is the first person to announce their intention to run in the newly restored riding of Richmond.
Today, Dr. Trevor Boudreau announced that he has filed his nomination papers to become the candidate for the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Party in the constituency of Richmond for the next provincial election.
Months after leaving Port Hawkesbury Town Council because he moved outside town limits, Boudreau said it’s important to get out early given the uncertainty of when the provincial election will take place.
“When I did run municipally, eight years ago for the first time, I got out early then because it’s important to me to make sure that I get to talk to as many people as I can to understand what the issues are,” Boudreau noted. “I think I have a good sense of what they are but it’s nice to hear from people.”
Boudreau’s departure left town council in a 2-2 vote, and unable to decide upon a by-election date to fill his vacant seat. Boudreau was the second town councillor forced to leave council after Jeremy White also moved beyond the boundaries of the town.
“It was what it was, I can’t control what had happened,” he noted. “I made the decision to move out of town. We had made a decision that we wanted to live on the water somewhere and so we thought it would take a while to sell our house in town and it didn’t, and it happened quick.”
In the last provincial election, back in 2016, Richmond County was still part of the Cape Breton-Richmond riding, along with the Town of Port Hawkesbury and parts of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.
The PC candidate in that election, Alana Paon, upset Liberal cabinet minister Michel Samson by 22 votes. Paon was subsequently removed from the Progressive Conservative caucus, then a provincial boundary review restored the protected Acadian riding of Richmond which now includes all of Richmond County.
“I’ve certainly had some disappointments and concerns with [Alana Paon’s] performance as well,” he said. “Those are things that I see, so time will tell how people will respond and react to how she’s handled herself.”
Although he has been living and working outside the riding, Boudreau noted he purchased property on the Beaver Dam Lake in Richmond County, is a native of Louisdale and a graduate of Isle Madame District High.
“Our plan is still to build there,” he said. “Our intention is still to build in Richmond County.
“My roots have been firmly in Louisdale and in Richmond County. My business does support many of the residents from Richmond County. As a councillor for Port Hawkesbury, you’re interacting with residents, and councillors, and staff from Richmond County. I understand what’s going on there, it’s not like I’m five hours away, or in another province.”
Boudreau said he has been actively involved in the community since returning home in 2008 to open a chiropractic clinic and start a family with his wife, Sarah. Now 12 years later, the Boudreaus have two wonderful children (Luke and Kate) and he co-owns a multi-disciplinary health clinic in Port Hawkesbury.
Boudreau said he was approached to run for the Tories in Cape Breton-Richmond four years ago, and he felt the timing wasn’t right then, since he was still on town council and had a number of priorities he wanted to see to completion.
Boudreau said he has spent time speaking with people throughout Richmond, as well as with local and provincial NSPC leaders, and believes the time is right for him to take this step.
Although he describes himself as a “fairly progressive person,” Boudreau said representing the Tories was a natural step.
“I have had some difficulties with some of the decisions that have been made provincially by the Liberals,” he noted. “That’s one of the reasons that I looked this way. I’ve had long talks with the leader Tim Houston, and I’ve had talks with some of the other MLAs and some of the leaders in the party, and it seems that some of their thoughts about how we can move forward align with what I’ve been saying. It is a progressive party, Tim is a progressive leader and I think there’s some opportunity there.”
Boudreau is a former vice-president of the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce, a former chair of the board for the Louisdale Community Homes, former chair of the Allan J. MacEachen Airport in Port Hastings, and is currently the co-chair of the Cape Breton South Recruiting for Health Committee to support and recruit healthcare providers to our region.
Having served as a town councillor for almost eight years, Boudreau said he understands the need for collaboration and cooperation between the three levels of government, the business community and community-minded citizens to see opportunities become reality.
Boudreau said he knows the challenges in Nova Scotia, and whether it is reductions in healthcare services, a lack of access to high speed Internet, outmigration and depopulation, or a lack of essential services, he said communities need to work together to not just survive, but thrive.
Boudreau said healthcare – particularly physician recruitment, mental health and Long-Term Care – is an issue that he hears about constantly.
“I would say that would be my main issue,” he said. “In the position I’m in as a chiropractor, that’s the one I see day-to-day.
“Those are things that are pressing issues right now and people have a lot of questions and concerns about. Those are things that I think I have an objective and an important opinion on. I think I can help frame some things that can support our communities.”
Boudreau added that with his experience as a councillor, a business owner and a healthcare provider, he can meet the challenges of being the MLA for Richmond.
“I think I have something to offer,” Boudreau added. “I think those things are attributes that people will say, ‘that’s what we’re looking for in our representative.’”
The deadline to file nomination papers for the PC nomination in Richmond is August 6.