YARMOUTH, N.S. – After 15 years in provincial politics, Chris d’Entremont is looking to make to make the jump to the federal scene.
In a media release he sent out at 5:21 a.m. on Nov. 20 – before starting out his day – d’Entremont said he’s ready to represent West Nova in the Parliament of Canada.
The bilingual, five-term MLA, who spent six years at the cabinet table, said he was ending weeks of speculation by confirming his bid to seek the Conservative nomination in West Nova.
But in truth, this is a decision that d’Entremont has been mulling over for years.
Asked what was hard and what was easy about the decision, d’Entremont said the easy part is wanting to make a difference of another sort for people in this part of the province.
“What made it an easy decision is there are a number of projects I have not been able to complete as MLA because they are federal in nature,” he said in an interview. “If I’m going to complain on my end, I might as well try to jump up and try to solve it.”
What makes it difficult, he said, is the constituents he represents and works for.
“I’ve already signed up with constituents to represent Argyle-Barrington and I don’t want to be seen to abandon them, because I have a duty to them as well,” he said. “It’s going to be rough in the next bit as a try to do a little of everything, but I’m also going to make sure that should I be successful in getting the nomination, that we are successful in finding a good (provincial) candidate to represent the area.”
There is no West Nova Conservative nomination meeting on the horizon and d’Entremont says until the time of the nomination he will continue to be the MLA that people expect him to be. It will also be business as usual through his constituency offices. If he does win the nomination he’ll have to resign as MLA.
“I think West Nova is ready for a change, not because of the work of Colin Fraser (the Liberal MP for West Nova who has announced he won’t be reoffering in the next federal election),” said d’Entremont, “it’s just that they see the federal government is not caring enough about South West Nova.”
He feels he has the experience necessary to deliver on “big, important files,” he said in his media release. “I will bring my fifteen years of legislative experience, and knowledge gained at the helm of some of our most important government departments, with me to Ottawa. I will be a strong, effective advocate for the people of West Nova.”
“Justin Trudeau promised the people of West Nova their voice would be heard, but instead he has ignored Atlantic Canada and taken us for granted,” he said. “Working alongside Andrew Scheer, I’ll undo the damage done by the Trudeau Liberals and make sure families in West Nova are able to get ahead.”
D’Entremont was first elected to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly in 2003. Under premiers John Hamm and Rodney MacDonald he served as the minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Health, Acadian Affairs and Community Services at various times. He briefly served as Nova Scotia’s Minister of Finance in 2009. Since 2010, he has been the Official Opposition House Leader. He is the MLA for the Argyle-Barrington region.
One thing d’Entremont has fought hard for is the reinstatement of Acadian ridings in the province. If these ridings are reinstated in the next provincial election and he’s not running provincially, he’s asked if this would be bittersweet.
“I think I’m just happy I’ve been able to participate in that process, being able to make that change and finally be heard,” he said. “The next MLA, I’m hoping, will be an Acadian MLA to represent Acadians in the House of Assembly. It would be nice for me to do but I’ve done provincial politics for 15 years, 20 if you look at my time as an executive assistant. It’s time for a change and I think federal politics is sort of the next logical step.”