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Queens-Shelburne MLA throws support behind Houston as PC leader

QUEENS COUNTY – The MLA for Queens-Shelburne is throwing her support behind Pictou County’s Tim Houston as the next leader of the Nova Scotia PC party.
Kim Masland announced her endorsement publicly at the Queens-Shelburne PC Party annual general meeting in Liverpool Feb. 1. The community room at Queens Place was full for event.
Last November, Houston, the MLA for Pictou East, was the first candidate to declare he would be running for the leadership of Nova Scotia’s PC Party. No date has been set yet for the leadership convention to replace Jamie Baillie, who had announced in the fall he was stepping down but has since been ousted from the party after reports of “inappropriate behaviour.”
Also running for the leadership are Kings Centre MLA John Lohr and Cape Breton Regional Municipality mayor Cecil Clarke, who announced his intentions to run Feb. 3.
“Tim grew up in the community of Fairview in Halifax. Tim didn’t dream of career politics, doesn’t have a political science degree hanging on his office wall, and you won’t find his name etched in any high school model parliament tributes,” said Masland.
Masland said Houston didn’t go looking to become involved with politics. Instead, politics found him.
“Ladies and gentlemen, tonight it is not only a privilege for me to introduce my colleague, my friend, Tim Houston to you, but in front of my family, in front of you my friends, I would like to offer my personal endorsement to you, Tim Houston, in your quest to be a leader of the Progressive Conservative Party,” said Masland.
Following the announcement, Houston took the podium. He began by saying people were at the AGM because they care about Nova Scotia and where the province can go.
Since Houston announced his run for leadership, he’s been travelling across the province speaking with various groups about their observations of Nova Scotia.
“I will tell you that on balance, people are not happy. This is not a happy province,” he said.
People aren’t happy about their access to healthcare, they’re worried about the education system and they’re worried about housing, he added.
Houston talked about taking a tour of Queens General Hospital and meeting a doctor who said something that left an impression.
“He said, ‘My health is being impacted looking after the health of others,’” recounted Houston.
He said the PC Party isn’t driven by ideology; it’s driven by a wish to make Nova Scotia better.
Houston said his goal – and Masland’s goal – is to listen to and engage Nova Scotians in the process.
“And tell them that their perspective matters, and tell them that we want them here in this province.”
He added that it’s time to “shake things up” and move the province forward.

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