SHERBROOKE – Guysborough-Eastern Shore-Tracadie MLA Lloyd Hines, who once intimated he’d retire after finishing his current term of office, now says he wants to run in the next provincial election.
“This is politics, right,” the Nova Scotia minister of transportation and infrastructure told the Guysborough Journal. “If the citizens will have me, and if the premier will have me, it’s my intention to seek the nomination.”
The remark seems to contradict his statement in May 2017 when, at the beginning of his present – and second – mandate, he told The Journal, “I think I have one more term in me…I want to go one more term.”
In fact, given his background, the number of civic files underway in eastern Nova Scotia, and a newly redrawn boundary map for his riding, Hines’ change of heart is not entirely surprising.
The new riding of Guysborough-Tracadie – which becomes official the moment the next election is called – is geographically smaller than the existing constituency, which includes a portion of eastern HRM. “That should make it much more manageable for an MLA,” said Hines, a 30-year political veteran.
Beyond this, the former warden of the Municipality of the District of Guysborough, who was first elected as a Liberal MLA in 2013, says he remains keenly interested in his work to improve local services, including hospitals, schools, fire halls, and internet connectivity. Last fall, he also spoke extensively about what he characterized were “promising, new economic opportunities” for the area, including a commercial spaceport in Canso.
“I mean, here we are striving to keep our youth at home,” he said in an interview, published in Saltscapes Magazine. “We’re striving to bring back the young people who have moved away. Why shouldn’t we also strive to be part of the new, vibrant economy that this represents? There’s nothing like this in Canada. Yes, there would be quite a few jobs in the local area as a result of this spaceport going forward, but also the opportunities for the long term are very attractive.”
Still, if the prospect of representing a more cohesive and increasingly dynamic riding has renewed his ambitions, Hines may have to bide his time like everyone else waiting to stump the hustings in this province. Elections Nova Scotia said in November it didn’t have enough money to administer a general vote by April 2021, let alone earlier. Meanwhile, according to some reports, Justice Minister Mark Furey indicated that the costs and complexities associated with the adjustments to electoral boundaries could delay any election call.
For his part, Hines isn’t worried. “Only the premier gets to decide,” he says. “I don’t think he knows necessarily when the election is going to be. If my health cooperates, I hope to be around...Unless it’s 2023.”
At which point, he may choose to rethink his decision once more.