A Cape Breton woman says she was shocked when she became the topic of discussion during a leaders debate on CBC Tuesday.

Arlene MacIntyre is a senior living in a Sydney apartment. During the winter, she only turns her electric heat on in one room.

MacIntyre said she had no idea Progressive Conservative Leader Jamie Baillie would be talking about her during the roundtable discussion.

Baillie said he was campaigning for people like MacIntyre.

"She can no longer afford to heat her entire apartment in the wintertime," he said on Tuesday. "That’s not right in our Nova Scotia."

MacIntyre’s income is less than $10,000 a year. Last winter, she said she paid close to $500 for two months of heat. She only turns the heat on in her living room and tries to trap the warmth with a curtain.

Baillie visited MacIntyre in the spring to talk about her situation. But she didn't realize she'd made such an impression.

"I was shocked," she said. "But I knew he didn’t forget because he saw what I took in in a month and he couldn’t believe it."


Arlene MacIntyre says many seniors in the province are like her, struggling to pay the bills. (CBC)

MacIntyre said she has to pick her priorities when paying the bills.

"I pay the rent … and then it’s the groceries and the bills because if I’m cold, I still have to eat."

MacIntyre also met with Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil. She said she hasn't heard from anyone from the NDP.

A key point in Baillie’s platform is tackling rising power rates.

"We are the only ones prepared to make the structural changes in the way the government runs to stop the increases in power rates for people like Arlene MacIntyre," he said during the CBC forum.

MacIntyre said she’s honoured to be mentioned during the campaign, but she’s not the only one worried about power rates. "There’s thousands and thousands of Arlene MacIntyres," she said.

MacIntyre says she voted for Darrell Dexter’s NDPs last time.

She won't say who she's voting for in this election — only that it won't be NDP.