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PostPosted: Wed Dec 20, 2017 9:11 am    Post subject: Cecil Clarke considering Nova Scotia pc leader run Reply with quote

( there has been a couple potential candidates come forward and afew others are thinking about it )

CBRM mayor considering PC leadership run

Published December 20, 2017 - 9:10am
Last Updated December 20, 2017 - 9:29am

Says Sydney port development, municipal budget are priorities

CBRM Mayor Cecil Clarke has confirmed that he is seriously considering running for leader of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Party.


SYDNEY — Cecil Clarke has confirmed he is seriously considering running for the leadership of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservative Party.

The second-term Cape Breton Regional Municipality mayor, who spent 10 years in the provincial legislature as the MLA for Cape Breton North, recently returned from the mainland where he attended the PC caucus Christmas party before holding a series of discussions on the possibility of entering the race to replace present party leader Jamie Baillie.

“I was down on the South Shore, I was in the southwest, the Valley, into Truro the hub, and into Colchester and Cumberland counties for discussions with individuals and groups of individuals who asked me to consider exploring the leadership of the Progressive Conservative Party,” said the 49-year-old Clarke, who was raised and still resides in Sydney Mines.

“I have been doing that engagement, but the rules haven’t been defined, the timeline is not known — but I have said I am willing to have that discussion on my own time and on my own dime.”

Clarke, who during his decade in the legislature served as minister of a number of portfolios along with a year as Speaker of the house, said he plans to take some time to consider a return to provincial politics.

“I will look at it and consider it fully — the holidays are a good time to take stock and to look at one’s future as these are not light decisions or short-term commitments — when you embark upon them you want to make sure you get it right,” he said, once again confirming he will not seek a third term as mayor in the 2020 municipal elections.

“In the last election campaign, I committed to finish what I started and that was to move the port file along. I believe we are succeeding in moving it along but it’s about delivering an opportunity that is significant to our community.”

To date, only East Pictou MLA Tim Houston has announced his candidacy for party leadership.

While it’s speculative to guess as to when Clarke may have been first approached privately about the position, in late November a website (draftcecil.ca) appeared on the Internet calling for his candidacy.

Clarke said while he’s flattered by the attention, much of his time in early 2018 will be spent working on the next budget for the cash-strapped CBRM.

“It is exciting to be approached by so many people from across Nova Scotia and in the new year I will continue to have that dialogue, but it will not take away from my priority, the immediate priority in the new year, which is the budget,” he said.

RELATED: CBRM mayor being courted for PC leadership

Cecil Clarke election history

1997 – lost in federal election as Progressive Conservative candidate for Sydney-Victoria

2001 – won provincial byelection in Cape Breton North

2003 – re-elected to N.S. legislature

2006 – re-elected to N.S. legislature

2009 – re-elected to N.S. legislature

2011 – resigned provincial seat to run in federal election, but lost to Liberal incumbent Mark Eyking

2012 – elected mayor of CBRM

2016 – re-elected mayor of CBRM


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cecil Clarke enters PC leadership race

David Jala (david.jala@cbpost.com)

Published: a day ago
Updated: 21 hours ago
Cecil Clarke shakes the hand of a supporter after announcing his decision to throw his name in the ring for the PC leadership. Clarke made his announcement on Saturday.
Cecil Clarke shakes the hand of a supporter after announcing his decision to throw his name in the ring for the PC leadership. Clarke made his announcement on Saturday. - David Jala

CBRM Mayor makes expected announcement on Saturday in front of several hundred enthusiastic supporters in North Sydney

NORTH SYDNEY - CBRM Mayor Cecil Clarke has entered the race for the leadership of the Nova Scotia PC Party.

The 49-year-old, a political veteran who held a number of cabinet portfolios during a 10-year stint as an MLA, made the announcement on Saturday in front of about 500 supporters, including his parents and his partner, at the North Sydney Fireman’s Club.

The jam-packed hall was abuzz with excitement as one of the largest recent gatherings of Conservative party faithful in Cape Breton waited for Clarke to announce his candidacy.

And, when a smiling Clarke did enter he received a standing ovation that lasted several minutes while he made his way around the room shaking hands and giving out hugs in the hall that included a number of Conservative MLAs and several Cape Breton Regional Municipality councillors.

“I’m putting myself forward, now it’s up to the party members to decide who is best for the job,” Clarke told reporters following his announcement.

“I believe I can do the job, that I’m ready to lead and deal with health care, education, the economy, all the critical things that, right now, Nova Scotians are feeling left out of the process by the government.”

The two-term CBRM mayor, who was raised and still resides on the Northside, said he was completely overwhelmed by the reception he received.

“To see people from all over Nova Scotia show up and show there support shows that this is not a local regional campaign, this is a Nova Scotia campaign in the PC leadership race,” said Clarke, who added he is still focused on his mayoral duties and has set no timeline to resign.

“I will continue to fulfill my duties and obligations under the Municipal Government Act as the mayor – I’ve done double and triple time over the past five years and I have the ability to handle the work I have to do as mayor and I will go around the province and continue to work as a candidate for the leadership race as well.”

Northside-Westmount MLA Eddie Orrell, who acted as host for the Saturday afternoon announcement, said that while he is a huge supporter of Clarke, he has no intention of resigning his seat to allow the leadership candidate an opening into the House of Assembly.

“My plan is not to give up my seat as I just won by the biggest majority ever and it’s hard for me to step aside given the confidence the people have put in me,” said Orrell.

“Cecil’s been a mentor of mine, I took over his seat when he ran federally and he’s been a very good help to us here on the Northside as the mayor, he’s done a lot for us as an island and he’s done a lot as a cabinet minister, so he’s just the natural choice for me.”

Another vociferous Clarke supporter, Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg MLA Alfie MacLeod said he too plans to continue with his duties as the elected representative of his constituency and that he is excited to be involved in what he calls a Conservative resurgence.

“No, I am not interested in resigning my seat – the people of my constituency have a lot of faith in me and they gave me a mandate to go through with it,” said MacLeod, whose enthusiastic preamble to Clarke’s announcement proved contagious to the crowd of party faithful.

“I want to be part of the team that Cecil Clarke puts together.”

While Clarke basked in the glow of support from his fellow Conservatives, he also took time to acknowledge the presence of friends and family members, including his mother, father and partner. Clarke, who just two days earlier made a public statement regarding his sexuality, held his partner’s hand high in the air as the two made their first public appearance together.

“Part of what this past week has represented is that I’m not walking in life alone,” said Clarke.

“Up to this point I’ve always sort of been solo politically and to take the step to go forward in a leadership role, well, I was not willing to just push that aside, I’m very proud of who I am and who I am with in life.”

Clarke’s mother Margaret, who sat near the front of the standing-room only hall, said she’s very proud of her son and that he comes by his political acumen honestly.

“When he was a little boy my father, his grandfather, used to take him to council meetings, so I guess it started there,” she said.

Meanwhile, it wasn’t just Cape Breton Conservatives who showed up to support the CBRM mayor.

David Henderson, the former chair of the Halifax Port Authority and a well-known Nova Scotia Tory, said Clarke’s support extends well beyond the Canso Causeway.

“I think he is the right person for the job - we need somebody with experience and we need somebody who knows the issues in an urban form and I certainly think he’s bring us some seats in the Halifax area,” said Henderson.

Clarke is the third person to enter the race to become the next leader of the NS Conservative. Pictou East MLA Tim Houston and Kings North MLA John Lohr have already announced their candidacies. Other potential candidates whose names have been bandied about include former federal cabinet minister Peter MacKay, Inverness MLA Alan MacMaster and Cumberland North MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin, who is expected to enter the race on Tuesday during a scheduled announcement in Amherst.

Former leader Jamie Baillie resigned late last month amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour. Pictou West MLA Karla MacFarlane is acting as interim party leader.

No date has yet been set for the leadership vote.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cecil Clarke becomes 3rd candidate to enter PC leadership race

Clarke joins PC MLAs Tim Houston and John Lohr as candidates

CBC News Posted: Feb 03, 2018 11:05 AM AT| Last Updated: Feb 03, 2018 6:19 PM AT

Cecil Clarke made the announcement on Saturday afternoon at the North Sydney Firefighters Club and was joined by MLAs, party members and supporters.

Cape Breton Regional Municipality Mayor Cecil Clarke has announced his candidacy for the leadership of the Nova Scotia PC Party and becomes the third candidate to enter the race.

Clarke made the announcement Saturday at the North Sydney Firefighters Club and was joined by MLAs, party members and supporters.

"Nova Scotians are looking for a new government and a new team to lead us through the difficulties and distress and finally put our province on the path to prosperity," he said. "Nova Scotians understand the challenges we face are great and that those challenges require immediate action."

Cross-province tour

Clarke said as part of his decision to enter the race, he went on a cross-province tour to hear what Nova Scotians wanted for their future.

He said people told him it was time to restore public confidence in the health-care system, have high-speed internet and cellphone service in every community and an education system that is focused on education, not bureaucratic squabbles.

Clarke said the province already has the ingredients it needs to be successful, such as universities, natural resources and an expanding port system.

"The only missing ingredient is a government that can lift its people so we all can thrive," he said.

Emotional week

The announcement caps an emotional week for Clarke. On Thursday, he announced he's gay after someone threatened to out him.

In past political campaigns, Clarke said he acted in a solo fashion. For this leadership position, he said he wasn't willing "to push that aside" and go forward alone. Clarke's partner was present at today's announcement.

"I am very proud of who I am and who I'm with in life," said Clarke.

Alfie MacLeod
PC MLA Alfie MacLeod praised Cecil Clarke's experience in provincial politics as making him well suited for the PC leadership job. (CBC)

Alfie MacLeod, the PC MLA for Sydney River-Mira-Louisbourg, said Clarke will unite PC Party members and rival politicians. MacLeod cited Clarke's background in provincial politics that included being in ruling minority governments and his ability to work with other parties.

MacLeod disputed the notion that Clarke is a so-called career politician.

"No, he's a man who wants to give back to his community," said MacLeod.

How the leader's job opened up

The leader's job is up for grabs after former leader Jamie Baillie announced his intention last November to step down once a new leader was picked. However, his departure was sped up when he was forced out in January over allegations of inappropriate behaviour.

So far, Tim Houston and John Lohr have announced they will run for the PC Party's top job.

On Tuesday, the Cumberland North PC Association is holding an event in Amherst where there will be an announcement involving MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin.

The Facebook event description notes the association believes "she is the right choice for the Progressive Conservative Party as we move forward into the next election."

Clarke's political background

Clarke has been the mayor of CBRM since 2012. He is just over a year into his second term, having been re-elected in October 2016.

Before running municipally, Clarke sat in the provincial legislature for 10 years, beginning in 2001, under the Progressive Conservative governments of former premiers John Hamm and Rodney MacDonald.

He served as minister of economic development, minister of energy, attorney general and minister of justice.

Clarke not stepping down as mayor

Clarke's potential candidacy has prompted some groups to urge that he step down from the mayor's chair if he seeks the PC's top job.

Clarke said he will continue to serve as mayor while he participates in the leadership race and will continue to fulfill his obligations under the Municipal Government Act.

"I respect the law and always follow it," he said.

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Cecil Clarke considering Nova Scotia pc leader run

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