General information for the 40th provincial general election

ELECTION FACTS (via The Canadian Press)

Facts about the 31-day Nova Scotia election, which will be held on May 30:

Major parties: Liberals, New Democrats and Progressive Conservatives.

Leaders: Premier Stephen McNeil (Liberal), Jamie Baillie (Progressive Conservative), Gary Burrill (NDP).

Ridings: 51

Standings at dissolution: Liberal 34, Progressive Conservative 10, NDP 5, Independent 1, Vacant 1.

Main campaign issues: Labour relations, health care, economy and jobs.

Most recent general election: October 8, 2013

Number of eligible voters in 2013: 720,077


IMPORTANT DATES (via Elections Nova Scotia)

Election Day: Tuesday, May 30

Advance Poll: May 20 to May 27

Nominations Close: May 10


LOCAL CANDIDATES (via Elections NS)

Electoral District Atlantica Green Liberal NDP Progressive Conservative Independent
10 - Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley     Matthew Rushton Janet Moulton Larry Harrison*  
11 - Colchester North     Karen Casey* James Finnie Rebecca Taylor  
14 - Cumberland North Bill Archer    Terry Edward Farrell*  Earl Dow Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin  Richard Plett
15 - Cumberland South     Kenny John Jackson  Larry Duchesne Jamie Baillie*  
30 - Hants East   Jenn Kang  Margaret Miller* Liam Crouse John MacDonald  
39 - Pictou Centre     Jeff Davis Clyde Henderson Paris  Pat Dunn*  
40 - Pictou East       Deborah Stiles Tim Houston*  
41 - Pictou West   Cecile Vigneault  Ben MacLean Shawn McNamara Karla MacFarlane*  
48 - Truro-Bible Hill-Millbrook-Salmon River     Craig Johnson Lenore Zann* Keltie Jones  
             
*Incumbent            

LEADERS (via The Canadian Press)

Name: Stephen McNeil
Party: Liberal
Age: 52
Hometown: Upper Granville, N.S.

Job before politics: Operated appliance repair business in Bridgetown, N.S., for 15 years.

Leadership history: Chosen leader in 2007; won his district in 2003 and 2006.

Notable moment: In 2013 election, he brought the Liberals back to power after 14 years, returning the party to its glory years of the 1990s by winning 33 seats in the 51-seat legislature.

Spotted in his office: A photograph of late U.S. president John F. Kennedy, though McNeil says he is a bigger fan of Bobby Kennedy.

Quote: "I'm proud of the work we've done, we've had to make some difficult decisions. I think Nova Scotians have respected that."

 

Name: Gary Burrill
Party: New Democratic Party
Age: 61
Hometown: Woodstock, N.B. (with family roots in Yarmouth, N.S.)

Job before politics: The social justice advocate and graduate of Queen's and Harvard was ordained as a United Church minister in 1992.

Leadership history: Elected leader in 2016 without a seat; he was an NDP backbencher for Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley from 2009 to 2013.

Notable moment: Beat out two sitting MLAs in the leadership race: Perceived frontrunner MLA Dave Wilson, a former cabinet minister, as well as MLA Lenore Zann.

Spotted in his office: A photo of Jamie McLachlan, a Cape Breton coalminer, union leader and labour advocate, and a photo of the home of Joseph Howe, provincial politician, newspaperman and public servant.

Quote: "We are in a new moment. The best way forward is investing in the real lives of real people."

 

Name: Jamie Baillie
Party: Progressive Conservative Party
Age: 51
Hometown: Truro, N.S.

Job before politics: A chartered accountant, he worked as a senior partner at human resources consulting firm Robertson Surrette; vice-president of finance for CitiGroup Properties; chief of staff to former premier John Hamm; and president of Credit Union Atlantic.

Leadership history: Elected leader in August 2010; was first elected to the legislature in an October 2010 byelection in Cumberland South.

Notable moment: Lost 2013 campaign, but brought the party back to second place with 10 seats after it fell to third when the NDP swept to power in 2009.

Spotted in his office: A small print of the late U.S. president John F. Kennedy sits next to a baseball signed by former Red Sox and Expos lefthander Bill "Spaceman" Lee.

Quote: "We believe we have a vision for where to take this province and a plan of action to make lives better for people."


ELECTION ISSUES (via The Canadian Press)

A look at some of the major issues in Nova Scotia's election campaign:

Balanced Books: The Liberals will portray themselves as good fiscal managers, having balanced the books in the last two years of their mandate and at a time when some governments in Atlantic Canada are running massive deficits. The Progressive Conservatives will counter that the government has done little to grow the economy by way of tax cuts for businesses. The NDP will maintain that more spending is needed in health care and community services.

Labour Relations: The Liberals have gained a reputation as hard-liners when it comes to dealing with public sector unions. The election comes on the heels of a contentious dispute with 9,000 teachers that saw the government impose a contract after the union rejected three tentative deals. There is still no deal with the civil service or with several health-care units. Unions will also point to the unproclaimed Bill 148, which could be used to impose settlements and restrict arbitrated settlements.

Education: Some blowback from the teachers' contract dispute will also be felt as the Liberals move to address classroom working conditions and to address the highly charged issue of classroom inclusion. The Liberals will defend their record, saying they have fulfilled promises to restore an increased level of funding for the system to address such things as classroom caps and revamping the curriculum.

Health: Both the Tories and the NDP will hammer hard on an unfulfilled Liberal promise from the 2013 election of a family doctor for every Nova Scotian. Government figures released in March indicated just over 25,000 people were on the wait list for access to a family doctor or a nurse practitioner, although figures released by Statistics Canada said 11.3 per cent of the population, or just over 100,000 people, did not have access to a health-care provider. The Liberals will counter that another kept promise to merge health authorities has resulted in a more efficient health system. Another contentious issue to be raised will be the government's abrupt shelving of a plan that would have tripled pharmacare premiums for some seniors.

Economy and Jobs: Both the Tories and the NDP will point to a net loss of jobs over the government's mandate as proof the Liberals had no plan for the sputtering economy. The Liberals will point to gains in immigration and to programs aimed at retaining university- and college-educated workers in the professions and trades as proof of some progress in a province facing demographic challenges.

Arts and Culture: The Liberals' move to axe the province's lucrative film tax credit early in its mandate could likely have a lingering effect in the campaign, particularly in some Halifax ridings.

Yarmouth Ferry: Although all three parties support the Yarmouth to Portland, Maine, ferry, the level of taxpayer funding will be raised by the opposition. The Liberals will point to an upswing in the tourism sector as proof the ferry is a much needed economic engine in southwestern Nova Scotia.