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PostPosted: Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:39 am    Post subject: Halifax Needham by-election called for Aug 30 Reply with quote

( there is a provincial by-election in Nova Scotia on august 30th in Halifax Needham in a riding historically held by the ndp , interesting to see if they hold it or if it too goes liberals like rest of east coast )

Halifax Needham byelection to be held Aug. 30

Maureen MacDonald was MLA for the area but retired from politics in April

By Anjuli Patil, CBC News Posted: Jul 30, 2016 10:21 AM AT| Last Updated: Jul 31, 2016 5:45 AM AT

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil announced a Halifax Needham byelection date on Saturday.

Anjuli Patil is a reporter and occasional video journalist with CBC Nova Scotia's digital team.

■ 'Very strong, very capable' Maureen MacDonald steps down as MLA

Premier Stephen McNeil announced Saturday a byelection will be held in the constituency of Halifax Needham on Tuesday, Aug. 30.

McNeil's decision makes a fall election less likely, but not impossible, since a general election call can supersede a by-election.

Maureen MacDonald was MLA for the area but retired from politics in April. MacDonald was first elected in 1998 as an MLA for Halifax Needham. She was re-elected in 1999, 2003, 2006, 2009 and 2013.

The Liberal Party is the only party that has officially registered its Halifax Needham candidate with Elections Nova Scotia.

Who is running?

Rod Wilson Halifax Needham
Dr. Rod Wilson, the Liberal candidate for Halifax Needham, says the community would have a stronger voice if their MLA was a member of the ruling government. (Steve Berry/CBC)

Dr. Rod Wilson was nominated by the Liberals on Monday. He is a family physician and serves as executive director of the North End Community Health Centre. Wilson began canvassing around Halifax Needham on Saturday, shortly after the byelection date was announced.

"It's going excellent. I'm in home turf and getting great support. People are surprised, like 'wait a minute, why is my doctor at my door on a Saturday morning?'... I think this is a great opportunity for Needham," said Wilson.

Bridging government and community

Maureen MacDonald was a great leader while she served Halifax Needham, Wilson said, but the area would have a stronger voice with a representative who is a member of the governing party.

He said he is still working on the finer details of his platform, but it will include thinking outside the box about health care as well as investing in education and opportunities for youth.

"I've been working here in this community on and off for the last 19 years ... I really know a lot of the community and connect with it and I also know the issues in the community," said Wilson. "I think we need to engage with the government and make a bridge between government and the community to get things done."

'A very, very exciting month'

Andy Arsenault
Andy Arsenault, Halifax Needham nominee for the Conservatives, says part of his platform is tackling crime in the area. (Nova Scotia PC Party)

Andy Arsenault, a former RCMP inspector and a north-end Halifax business owner, will carry the Progressive Conservative banner.

"On Monday, I expect to be out there knocking on doors, visiting people and discussing the issues. It's going to be a very, very exciting month. I'm looking forward to it," said Arsenault.

Arsenault said his priorities are rebuilding Nova Scotia's film industry, finding and advancing solutions for affordable housing on the peninsula, making the streets safer and coming up with better solutions for assisted-living facilities.

"I happen to be a senior myself and I think it's critically important because a lot of them are living in situations that they shouldn't be living in," he said.

Arsenault said he would like to work with the municipality and law enforcement to tackle crime in the neighbourhood.

"We've had some shootings, we've had some muggings. We've had a litany of problems with drugs and so on ... I would like to delve into that and see if there are possible ways we could find some commonality and solutions."

'Roots in the north-end'

Lisa Roberts
Nova Scotia NDP Leader Gary Burrill says Lisa Roberts has what it takes to keep Halifax Needham an NDP stronghold. (Nova Scotia NDP)

Lisa Roberts, executive director of Veith House and a former CBC journalist, will try to keep Halifax Needham an NDP stronghold.

"Lisa is a great candidate. She has all kinds of roots in the north end," said NDP Leader Gary Burrill. "She's a neighbourhood and community activist. We couldn't ask for a better person to carry forward the strong tradition that Maureen MacDonald has built there over a number of years."

Roberts couldn't be reached Saturday afternoon.

The NDP candidate will start canvassing on Sunday, Burrill said.

North-end Halifax has been "short changed very badly" by the McNeil government, he said, adding Roberts will focus her campaign on nursing homes and the province's withdrawal from the Bloomfield affordable housing project.

"There are over 1,500 people on the waiting list in the HRM for rent geared toward income housing," Burrill said. "Those people have been told for two and a half years ... that a major push is coming on affordable housing with the Bloomfield project and everybody was waiting until ... a few months ago. The government said 'no, we've changed our minds."


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Halifax Needham residents to vote in byelection on Tuesday

Published August 28, 2016 - 6:16pm
Last Updated August 28, 2016 - 6:24pm

Halifax Needham residents will head to the polls Tuesday to elect a new member to represent them in the legislature, replacing long-time NDP MLA Maureen MacDonald.

In April, MacDonald, who was also the interim party leader, announced she was retiring in part due to ongoing health issues.

At the time, speculation about a possible summer provincial election was rampant. Premier Stephen McNeil’s promise that her seat would be filled by the fall sitting and his refusal to rule out a general election added fuel to the fire. The announcement of a byelection quieted election rumours somewhat.

RELATED: Who’s running: Halifax Needham byelection candidates

With the possibility of a general election in the next year still front-of-mind for many Nova Scotians, it’s tempting to look at a byelection as a microcosm, but pollster Don Mills of Corporate Research Associates said Halifax Needham is probably not the best gauge of the political climate as a whole.

Mills said despite the Grits’ extremely high popularity in the polls provincewide, it’s not expected that the Liberals will take the seat — unsurprising as it has been NDP for nearly two decades.

“Going into a byelection you’d have to say that the Liberals are in really good shape, but this has been for a long time an NDP riding — a really long time. The pressure is all on the NDP to hold onto that riding.”

The last time Halifax Needham, home to a fairly diverse population, was represented by a Liberal was Gerry O’Malley from 1988 until MacDonald was first elected in 1997. Prior to that, from 1980-88, Tory Edmond Morris held the seat.

Mills said it’s very unlikely the Conservative candidate will see much support. He said the party is likely just hoping for a better showing over the 2013 election,

Though the NDP have the incumbent advantage and an upper hand on their ground game after 18 years, Mills noted that provincially the NDP has lost some popularity since the election of their new leader Gary Burrill.

“The NDP are very low in the polls right now relative to where they’ve been over the previous number of years, so this is really a referendum on their party at the moment, a seat that they’ve held for a long time with a pretty popular MLA,” he said.

“They have a new leader that’s taking the party a little further to the left. I think it will be a real good assessment of whether or not that will have an impact on support at the local level.”

Voting will be open for residents of Halifax Needham from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Halifax-Needham candidates gear up for byelection

The results of next week’s byelection could have implications beyond Halifax-Needhman. CTV’s Sarah Ritchie reports.

CTV Atlantic
Published Wednesday, August 24, 2016 7:49PM ADT
Last Updated Wednesday, August 24, 2016 8:30PM ADT

Halifax-Needham candidates are going door-to-door with hopes of landing former NDP interim leader Maureen MacDonald’s seat.

MacDonald represented the riding for 18 years before retiring. Now, the NDP's new candidate is hoping to secure what should be a safe seat.

“The only newness is a new face, because I'm really looking to build on Maureen MacDonald’s legacy of 18 years in Halifax-Needham,” said NDP candidate Lisa Roberts.

Halifax-Needham byelection
The Greens are pushing for their first ever seat in the Halifax-Needham riding.

As the third party in the legislature, the NDP will face a difficult battle against Liberal candidate Rod Wilson.

He says he'll work from within government – either as an MLA or a cabinet minister – to make change.

“I've been listening to the concerns as a family doctor at the North End Community Health Centre for 19 years, so very well aware of the issues and have great relationships,” said Wilson.

The opposition PCs are hoping to bolster their own ranks in the house this fall, but to do so they'll need to win in a riding they haven't held since 1988.

“I've bought into the plan that Jamie Baillie has brought to the table. Jamie's got a lot of initiatives, starting with mental health,” said PC candidate Andy Arsenault.

Rounding out the roster is Green Party interim leader Thomas Trappenberg. The Greens have no representation in the legislature.

“I think it's time that we ask ourselves, should we try something else? And other people have done it, even in the Maritimes,” said Trappenberg

The candidates say they're hearing about health care, housing and the film industry at the doorsteps. No surprise to political scientist Jeffrey MacLeod.

“Health care, the economy, those are always issues on voters' minds,” he said.

MacLeod calls byelections the ultimate political poll, and says next week's results could have implications beyond Halifax-Needham.

“I expect a strong performance from the NDP. If they don't then that's a very bad sign. And if the Liberals are able to take this riding then I think they'll be pretty thrilled,” said MacLeod.

Voting takes place on Tuesday. Advance polls are open daily until Saturday.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Sarah Ritchie.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

it appears the ndp have held the riding rather easily , guess there not dead yet on the east coast . looking at the numbers ir doesn't appear it was even that close and ndp candidate might get 50% of the vote , the liberal candidate doesn't appear to have even been close to taking the riding for liberals


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lisa Roberts wins Halifax Needham for Nova Scotia NDP in byelection

Published August 30, 2016 - 10:21pm
Last Updated August 31, 2016 - 7:58am

Roberts retains Halifax seat held by ex-party leader, captures 51 per cent of vote

Newly-elected MLA for Halifax Needham Lisa Roberts. (Facebook)
Newly-elected MLA for Halifax Needham Lisa Roberts. (Facebook)


Halifax Needham will stay orange as the NDP’s 18-year hold on the riding remained firm Tuesday with the election of Lisa Roberts.

Roberts, a community builder and former journalist, won in Tuesday’s byelection handily, taking half again as many votes as her nearest rival.

With all polls reporting, Roberts had 2,519 votes, to Liberal candidate Rod Wilson's 1,662.

Tory Andy Arsenault trailed with 600 votes and Thomas Trappenberg of the Greens had 161.

Roberts didn’t claim victory early, but with a few polls left the official NDP Twitter account tweeted: “This victory is about all of us together reaching for the kind of world we want to live in.”

Supporters at the NDP campaign headquarters chanted as Roberts’ victory was called.

The winner showed support for volunteers and voters on her Facebook by posting a simple “thank-you.”

In the 2013 election, the NDP took 43.99 per cent of the vote, followed by the Liberals at 40.40 per cent and the PC party and Greens at 10.82 and 4.79 per cent respectively.

Voter turnout was extremely low at 25 per cent, not surprising for a late-summer byelection.

The Halifax Needham vote was called at the end of July after longtime MLA and NDP interim leader Maureen MacDonald announced several months prior that she was retiring in part because of ongoing health issues. Gary Burrill has since taken over as the party’s leader.

Though Roberts will be a rookie as MLA, she has ample experience serving the community through her work with various organizations and projects such as the North End Opportunities Fund, a non-profit helping low-income youth attend summer camp and the North End Community Circle, which aims to build relationships between neighbours. Recently she served as executive director of Veith House.

Roberts told reporters Tuesday night that she plans to use her connections in the riding to bring about a stronger community where “people aren’t left out.”

She also asked her constituents — who have been without an MLA since MacDonald stepped down — to have patience while she transitions into her new role.

Halifax Needham, a riding of about 20,000 people in the city’s north end that is home to a diverse population, has been represented by the NDP since 1998 when MacDonald was first elected.

Before that, it was represented by Liberal Gerry O’Malley for a decade. From 1980-88, Tory Edmund Morris — a former Halifax city mayor — held the seat.

The mood at the Liberal HQ was tense early in the evening as the first results showed hope for Wilson. He was quickly left behind as results poured in.

Wilson, a long-time physician and the executive director of the North End Community Health Centre, told supporters Tuesday night he was disappointed but has only gratitude and no regrets.

Speaking to the Chronicle Herald after his loss, Wilson said that "I have no regrets."

He likened elections to running marathons, saying that it was important to shoot for his personal best and that he felt "physically tired" after running the campaign. He also congratulated Roberts on her win.

"My hopes are that I get to sleep for the next 10 days," said Wilson.

As for the next election, he had not yet thought so far ahead.

"I'd just like to thank my team," said Wilson.

Arsenault said connecting with his community, and learning about the issues of the riding — especially concerns raised by seniors — was an eye-opening experience for him.

The retired RCMP inspector offered a huge thanks to his volunteers.

“They have really made this election happen for me, they’ve kept me focused and pointed me in the right direction all the time and were here side-by-side to help with information that I wasn't aware of in some cases,” he said.

Both Wilson and Arsenault say they will remain active in their community as volunteers and advocates, and their time on the trail helped them understand new issues and gain a better understanding of their neighbourhood.

In an emailed statement, Trappenberg thanked the substantial number of residents of Halifax Needham for sharing their concerns and vision for the riding.

“This is not easy in a system, where traditional parties rule everything and the media is still slow to report our ideas. We should all feel good that we clearly state our wish for a modern inclusive and sustainable society that gives more importance to the environment than big business interests,” he said.

Trappenberg added that a voter turnout of less than 30 per cent is illustrative of a weakening democracy.


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

'We're back:' NDP take convincing win in Halifax Needham byelection

Lisa Roberts won with 50.97 per cent of the vote according to unofficial results from Elections Nova Scotia.

Lisa Roberts and NDP leader Gary Burrill celebrate after winning a provincial byelection in the riding of Halifax Needham Tuesday night.

Zane Woodford / Metro Order this photo

Lisa Roberts and NDP leader Gary Burrill celebrate after winning a provincial byelection in the riding of Halifax Needham Tuesday night.

By: Zane Woodford Metro Published on Tue Aug 30 2016

Lisa Roberts walked into her campaign headquarters Tuesday night with a can of Orange Crush – and the results in Halifax Needham to match.

Roberts, the executive director of Veith House and a former CBC journalist, took 2,519 of the 4,492 valid votes cast in Tuesday’s byelection, a commanding 50.97 per cent according to unofficial results from Elections Nova Scotia.

Liberal candidate Rod Wilson, executive director at the North End Community Health Centre, trailed well behind with 1,662 votes, 33.63 per cent of the vote. After Wilson came PC candidate Andy Arsenault with 600 votes, 12.14 per cent, and Green Party candidate Thomas Trappenberg with 161 votes, 3.25 per cent.

After the chants and cheers from her supporters subsided, Roberts told reporters the win was a strong message from voters.

“Overall, I think voters chose to keep a strong opposition at province house,” she said.

“I think Maureen MacDonald did a great job of representing this riding and the concerns of residents in it, and I think the McNeil government requires a strong opposition. So I think when voters decided to stick with the NDP, in large part they were deciding that they want a strong opposition at province house and they want a strong NDP.”

NDP leader Gary Burrill held up the win as a sign of the resurgence of the party after disappointing results in last year’s federal election, and Nova Scotia’s 2013 general election.

“It is a major moment for us to register that in fact this trajectory of disappointment has been arrested, has been halted,” Burrill said.

“We’re back, and the message that we’re back with is that people need to live and we need a government in Nova Scotia that has more ideas in its head than cutting back.”

Burrill shot back at critics who’d downplayed the importance of an NDP win in Halifax Needham, given the party’s 18-year reign in the riding under MacDonald.

“It’s a huge, big deal for us to have won in this election,” he said, naming off a list of obstacles to the party’s success, including a Liberal candidate “of greater stature than they are customarily used to,” and the late summer timing of the election.

Roberts praised the other candidates, and the level of discourse during the campaign, notwithstanding its timing.

“I think it was a good campaign, and an interesting one, maybe especially because it was a byelection, so it felt like even though a lot of people were at the beach, there was also an opportunity to have some more substantial conversations at the level of candidates,” she said.

Voter turnout reflected the timing of the election, coming in at just 32.5 per cent, compared to slightly more than 50 per cent in riding in the last general election.

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Halifax Needham by-election called for Aug 30

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