2017-05-17

Queens-Shelburne candidates

by Michael Lee

  • <p>MICHAEL LEE PHOTO</p><p>Liberal Party candidate Vernon Oickle.</p>
  • <p>MICHAEL LEE PHOTO</p><p>Progressive Conservative Party candidate Kim Masland.</p>
  • <p>MICHAEL LEE PHOTO</p><p>New Democratic Party candidate John Davis.</p>
  • <p>MICHAEL LEE PHOTO</p><p>Green Party candidate Kathaleen Milan.</p>

John Davis - New Democratic Party

Who are you and where are you from?

“I am from the Ingomar area on the western side of Shelburne harbour … I’ve been a small businessperson for almost four decades. I have also been a long-time community economic development person and a long-time advocate for our renewable resources, particularly ocean resources. I ran a fish plant in Shelburne for many years and have worked in the fishery for a good long period of time.”

“The reason that I’m sitting here with you is because our communities down here on the South Shore just are not getting the attention they deserve from Halifax. We totally have gotten, over the last three years, the short-end of the stick in terms of really important issues that are essential for economic growth down here.”

What do you feel is the single most important issue in your riding and how would you tackle it?

"Well, the issue that I hear on doorstep after doorstep is health care and that is of critical importance. So you tackle it with investment. You don't tackle it by, as this government has done, putting $140 million aside for our hospitals and then only spending seventy of it, and then coming to us in an election time and saying you're going to make investments when over the course of the last three years we've really needed those investments."

What skillset sets your candidacy apart from your opponents?

"Number one, I'm a small businessperson. I've been a small businessperson here in Nova Scotia all of my life. I know what it takes to sign paycheques every week and I know what it takes to make the investments that you need to make to grow a business economy and I believe to grow our community economies, and I think that sets me apart dramatically. I also am a fighter. I have been fighting for resource protection and for community economic development activities for all of my life and that is the skill of advocacy, the skill of having a specific project that you want to get completed and getting it done. That is a strong point that I have and I want to use that to help and support the people in Queens-Shelburne."

Kim Masland - Progressive Conservative Party

Who are you and where are you from?

Kim Masland grew up in North Brookfield, "something I'm extremely proud of," she said, adding her first jobs as a teenager were pumping gas and hauling Christmas trees in the winter.

"We worked very hard and I learned very quickly at a young age about how to take care of each other, and growing up in rural Nova Scotia that's what we do. We certainly look after each other."

Masland studied business in Halifax and worked at the Royal Bank as a customer service representative and personal banking officer. She would leave the bank to work for the former MP for South Shore-St. Margaret's Gerald Keddy, a position she held for 18 years.

What do you feel is the single most important issue in your riding and how would you tackle it?

"In my opinion the most important issue in Queens-Shelburne is health care and that certainly, as I've gone on the doorsteps, that's the message I'm hearing."

"We are in a health care crisis in Nova Scotia. Our health care system is broken. We do not have enough doctors, we have long wait times for surgeries, we have a mental health system that is in dire straits. We need to do things better when it comes to recruiting doctors, especially to under-serviced areas in rural Nova Scotia."

"I have two girls and I have watched the mental health system fail one of them and that's tough for me. And as a parent and as hopefully your MLA, I'm going to fight to the bitter end to make sure that we are receiving the health care, the mental health, the long term care facilities that we need, any type of health aspect that we need, to make sure that we're living healthy and happy."

What skill set sets your candidacy apart from your opponents?

"I had an 18 year career with a member of parliament where I worked in the trenches. I was the constituency person. When people walk through that door with real life issues of wondering if I don't get my sick EI benefits how am I going to pay my mortgage, or how am I going to put food on the table, I was the person that helped them navigate those multiple levels of bureaucracy."

"I know how politics works. It's tough, we all enter this believing we can make a difference, but you certainly need to know how to work and navigate government bureaucracy and I do."

Kathaleen Milan - Green Party

Who are you and where are you from?

Kathaleen Milan was born in Alberta and raised in northern British Columbia. She worked as a travel agent and upon retiring came to Nova Scotia in 2007. She currently lives in Sable River with her husband.

"As for who I am, I call myself one of the original 'tree huggers,' so I've always been interested in the environment and our relationship with that as the human species and how important that is, that if it's healthy then we're healthy."

"I'm not normally involved in politics, in fact I've never really been a person that actually even approves of political parties. I prefer independent-type people. So the Greens actually hit my values and they offer you that opportunity to be as independent as an independent could be, because they are constituents first, party second, which I really relate to."

What do you feel is the single most important issue in your riding and how would you tackle it?

"As a green person, my most important issue is actually raising green values, like getting the Green Party built up, because I think it's where people are actually going to have to go. There's not going to be an option at some point I really don't [think], and I don't see the other parties going in that direction, like looking after our planet and our communities. So with the kinds of resource activity that's going on I see them destroying a lot of what we're going to need for the future. So that I'm really wanting to build the party up."

What skill set sets your candidacy apart from your opponents?

"I used to support the Liberal Party throughout my life, changed to the NDP when the Liberals went into genetically-engineered foods and supporting that heavily and not labelling it for people so that they knew what they were eating. And so then I went to the NDP and I don't see them being any different than the other parties. Like they just sort of turn into the same people when they get into office. So again with the Greens, that also goes back to me being an independent, I speak for the people that are in the community and we want to relate to the people that are in the community and their issues and me be able to be a conduit for that, speak for that."

Vernon Oickle - Liberal Party

Who are you and where are you from?

Vernon Oickle was born and raised in Liverpool and says the roots of his family "run deep in the community going back many generations."

After obtaining a diploma in journalism from Lethbridge Community College, Oickle returned to the South Shore where he worked in the community newspaper business for 33 years. He is the author of 26 books and has served on the boards for the Chamber of Commerce and The Friends of Hank Snow Society.

He said one of his proudest moments was in lobbying for a new middle school. "We fought hard for that 'cause it went through several consecutive governments of passing the buck and refusing to commit to the project, but we persevered and now the school is a prime example of what a modern educational facility should be."

What do you feel is the single most important issue in your riding and how would you tackle it?

"Certainly one of the issues that's emerging as a prime concern for residents, and myself included, is senior housing and I think that should be a top priority for any government, is how we can accommodate the needs of the seniors in the community."

"I'm very disheartened when I hear people say that they've lived their entire life here in the community and that their life gets to the point where they no longer can take care of their homes. They want to stay in the community but there's just no facilities."

What skill set sets your candidacy apart from your opponents?

"I believe in this community, it's my community and when this community succeeds we all succeed and it's important for all of us to come together and work as a team, and we can only do that through communicating and understanding each other's issues. There are many sides to every issue and we need to find common ground to find solutions."

"You can listen, but are you really understanding and hearing what's below the surface? So that's kind of my approach to dealing with the issues. It's an opportunity for me to make a contribution and that's why I'm in this."

Thank you for printing this article from lighthousenow.ca. Subscribe today for access to all articles, including our archives!