|Candidate||Party||Vote Count||Pop. Vote||X|
|Don Melanson||New Democrat||760||13.19%|
Current MLA: Wayne Gaudet (LIB)
Riding Profile: The Acadian riding of Clare, located in Digby County in southwest Nova Scotia, is about 80 per cent French speaking. It's home to the province's only French-language university, Universite Ste-Anne at Church Point, and North America's oldest Acadian festival.
The fishing communities of Weymouth in the north and Salmon River in the south serve as bookends for the riding.
Lobster and scallop catches in St. Mary's Bay and along the Fundy coast are critical to the economy. Comeau Seafoods is one of the largest employers in the riding.
Boat building (including pleasure craft as well as fishing trawlers) has boomed in recent years at yards such as A.F. Theriault & Sons in Meteghan. The area is generally more prosperous that it used to be, and the rate of emigration by young people is lower than in other rural areas of the province.
The average income is $21,290, and the population is 9,340.
Forty-nine per cent of residents have not completed high school but 30 per cent have some post-secondary education.
|Issues: Education issues, which were red hot in the last campaign, have been overtaken in this campaign by road repairs and car insurance.|
Although Clare often bucks the provincial trend, people in the riding acknowledge they receive more attention and government services when they back the winning party.
Wayne Gaudet, a former education minister and interim Liberal leader, has represented Clare for 10 years.
Voter Turnout: in 1999 was one of the highest in the province at 87 per cent.