© Jonathan Riley
Gordon Wilson will seek the nomination to be the candidate for the Liberal party in the new provincial riding of Clare-Digby.
Wilson had declared his intentions to seek the nomination when the riding was Digby-Annapolis but that all got put on hold when the provincial government changed the ridings this fall.
“The electoral boundary commission was a rollercoaster ride for all of us,” says Wilson. “And then I had to wait and see what Wayne (Gaudet, MLA for Clare) wanted to do. No one was going to run against Wayne; I certainly wasn’t.”
Wilson has filed his papers and says the next few months will be a busy time getting ready for the nomination meeting.
The past presidents of the former riding associations have been meeting to form the new association and Wilson, though not involved, says it is going well.
“They’re having good discussions on that. It’s on a good track,” he says.
The new Clare-Digby riding association should be meeting by the end of February to form an executive and to strike a nomination committee.
Wilson figures the nomination meeting will be held in March.
“Right now there’s not a peep of another name,” says Wilson. “But I’ll be surprised and disappointed if there isn’t another name come forward.”
Wilson says another good candidate will make for interesting debate. He says his biggest concern is outmigration.
“Not just of people but of jobs too,” he says. “We’ve been losing 1 per cent of our population every year for the last six years. That ties into everything else people are talking about—it ties into doctors, the ferry, the fishery.
“When you have lobster fishermen who can’t find crew, when you have a forest industry that can’t find people to go to work I the woods, then you know you have a problem.”
He says there are a million ways to tackle this problem.
“A Liberal government would like to focus on small business instead of big industry,” he says. “And an asset I bring is the ability and an understanding of how to work closely with all levels of government including municipal and federal government. We’re all working for the same thing and we need to make sure we’re working together.”
He says one of the area’s best bet for more jobs is the tidal and renewable resource industry. That could mean work for the shipyards, machine shops and trades people all along the shore here.
“ I want to make sure everyone in government recognizes how important this is and how important it is for the benefits of these projects to stay in Nova Scotia.”