Political experts have been predicting a heated campaign as leaders move along the election trail in Nova Scotia, but it appears three of the party leaders could work out some of their differences on a basketball court.
It turns out Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie, New Democratic Leader Darrell Dexter and Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil all share a passion for the sport.
Dexter is a self-proclaimed avid fan, having played basketball in university.
"I still play in the Masters league,” he said. “I follow it religiously during the year.”
Dexter also spends his free time courtside as a season ticket holder for the Halifax Rainmen.
“I enjoy watching great athletes.”
On the Liberal team, shooting hoops is a part of McNeil’s history.
“I think we, as a family, are competitive by nature,” said McNeil, who has 16 siblings.
“There was lots of hockey games and lots of basketball. We’ve had a chance to do that — not only as kids — but as adults we’ve participated in sporting events together."
For Baillie, basketball represents family time.
“Both my girls are into basketball,” he said. “The best way to come home after a hard day is to meet your kids in the driveway, where we have a basketball net set up.”
But Baillie said unwinding with his kids now isn’t quite the slam dunk it used to be.
“My problem is they’re getting better than me now, so two-on-one doesn’t work like it used to. By that’s how many days end for me when I get home now," he said.
As for Dexter, he said he’ll jump at the chance to go face-to-face, showing off his jump shot with the other leaders on a court.
“I got game, I’m willing to go," he said.
Leaders campaign across the province Saturday
The leaders of Nova Scotia's three major political parties are continuing to campaign across the province today.
Dexter is starting his day in Halifax, while McNeil is in Antigonish and Baillie campaigns in Yarmouth.
Both the NDP and the Progressive Conservatives produced campaign promises Friday aimed at boosting the construction industry. The Tories pledged to double the number of people in apprenticeship programs for skilled trades by changing regulations.