Nova Scotia·Analysis

Atlantic Canada Liberal sweep means strong voice in Justin Trudeau's Ottawa

It's back to the future for Nova Scotia when it comes to sending MPs to Ottawa. Just like in 1993, all 11 members of Parliament from the province are Liberals.

Don Mills of Corporate Research Associates says MPs from the region should act together in caucus

Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau will welcome 32 Liberal MPs from Atlantic Canada to Ottawa. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

It's back to the future for Nova Scotia when it comes to sending MPs to Ottawa.

Just like in 1993, all 11 members of Parliament from the province are Liberals. Back then the party garnered 52 per cent of the vote. This time, it's closer 62 per cent. Enough for the party to not only keep the four seats it had, but add another seven to the mix.

Perhaps just as important, is the fact the entire Atlantic region is Liberal red. Thirty-two seats in all, in a majority government led by Justin Trudeau.

Rather than a political hodgepodge, MPs from the region can speak with one voice on issues that are important to Atlantic Canadians. Which is exactly what the CEO of Corporate Research Associates, Don Mills, would like them to do.

"We're going to have a very strong voice in this government," he said. "Probably the strongest voice this region had in a government in a long, long time."

Mills would like to see that strong new voice speak in a unified manner.

"Atlantic Canada should act together as a caucus in government. They should decide what's good for Atlantic Canada and promote it. Never mind the individual provinces trying to do things. We have much more power by acting as a single caucus in the region."

Mills pointed to immigration as one file in which a common front would be helpful. Nova Scotia has been trying for years to persuade Ottawa to increase the number of immigrants the province can accept.

The fact the region also has Liberal provincial governments may also help foster better relations with Ottawa. All three Maritime premiers are Liberal. The party is riding high in the polls in Newfoundland and Labrador, which is heading towards a Nov. 30 election.

Mills says the political stars are lining up for an unprecedented level of cooperation.

"If we can't get things done under that scenario, if we can't have good cooperation between the feds and the governments in this region, we will never be able to have a good relationship."

About the Author

Jean Laroche


Jean Laroche has been a CBC reporter for 32 years. He's been covering Nova Scotia politics since 1995 and has been at Province House longer than any sitting member.


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