Liberals face tough test in Halifax ridings
'It's not just a race between the Liberals and the Conservatives,' says NDP candidate Matt Stickland
Metro Halifax's four ridings went Liberal red in 2015.
But it's uncertain if the Liberals will be able to hold on to the seats in the face of strong traditional support for the NDP in those ridings, as well as strong national support for the Conservatives and a rising Green Party.
Here is a breakdown of the four ridings.
The NDP loss in Sackville-Preston-Chezzetcook in 2015 was a huge upset. Peter Stoffer had represented the area since 1997.
Liberal Darrell Samson took the riding with almost 46 per cent of the vote. Samson readily admits he benefited from an anti-Harper tide.
He now has a four-year record that he thinks will keep him in office.
"I'm the brand now," said Samson. "Judge me for the work that I've done, that's what it is all about."
Matt Stickland, who was medically released from the navy in 2018 and now has a journalism degree, will be trying to win back the riding for the New Democrats.
Stickland believes the NDP vote is still strong in the district and that there's a benefit from the performance of Leader Jagmeet Singh.
"We're starting to feel some energy," said Stickland. "It's not just a race between the Liberals and the Conservatives. I think it's a race between us and everyone else."
Kevin Copley, the candidate for the Conservative Party, also thinks the riding could change colours again, but to blue, not orange.
"People are talking about what matters to them on the doorsteps," said Copley. "They want to know who's going to help me get ahead."
Parts of the riding recently voted in a Progressive Conservative MLA at the provincial level.
Anthony Edmonds is the Green Party candidate. Edmonds, an aerospace engineer, insists he will be a factor in this race.
Climate change is now listed as one of the top five issues in the federal election campaign.
"The real fascinating thing about this district is there is no clear front runner," said Edmonds. "It may be one of the true four-way races."
Sybil Hogg is representing the People's Party of Canada. She used to be in the army and is now a university student.
The Dartmouth-Cole Harbour riding has gone back and forth between the Liberals and the New Democrats since 1988.
Darren Fisher, a former HRM councillor, beat the NDP incumbent in 2015 with 58 per cent of the votes. Fisher is banking on the work he's done in the past four years to get him re-elected.
"I've advocated for investments that our community needs to succeed," said Fisher.
Emma Norton, who has worked for the Ecology Action Centre for seven years, is running for the New Democrats.
"I'm a young person who has been let down by several of our political leaders," she said.
Lil MacPherson, who owns the Wooden Monkey restaurants and has run for mayor of the Halifax region, is the Green Party candidate.
"We're the only game changer," said MacPherson.
Pastor Jason Cole, who ran for the Conservatives in 2015 and ended up with 14 per cent of the vote, is once again on the ballot for the Conservative Party.
"We want to make life more affordable," said Cole.
Michelle Lindsay, a Cole Harbour businesswoman, is running for the People's Party of Canada.
The Halifax riding was represented by the NDP for 18 years until Andy Fillmore won for the Liberals in 2015 with 51 per cent of the vote.
Fillmore also points to his accomplishments in his efforts to get re-elected.
"Going from the very bottom of the barrel where the Conservatives put us, to the eighth most-invested federal riding in the country," said Fillmore.
Christine Saulnier, who has worked with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives for a decade, is hoping to take the riding back for the New Democrats.
"I'm running because we need people who will work to take the power away from big corporations and shareholders and give it back to the people," said Saulnier.
Jo-Ann Roberts is the Green Party candidate. She's a former CBC broadcaster and deputy leader of the party.
"Vote like your life depends upon [it], because it does," said Roberts.
Bruce Holland has been a Halifax County councillor and an MLA. He currently works for the Spryfield Business Commission and is the publisher of the Parkview News, a community newspaper.
"I have a lot of grassroot experiences from working in the community," said Holland.
The Conservatives only took 8.6 per cent of the riding in 2015.
Duncan McGenn is running for the People's Party of Canada and Bill Wilson is running for the Animal Protection Party of Canada.
The Halifax West riding has been represented by Liberal Geoff Regan since 2000.
Regan took 68 per cent of the ballots cast in the last federal election.
Halifax Coun. Richard Zurawski is once again representing the Green Party. In 2015, Zurawski received 3.9 per cent of the votes.
Fred Shuman, a Bedford businessman who used to be a helicopter pilot in the American military, is running for the Conservatives. Jacob Wilson, a construction worker and labour activist, is the NDP candidate.
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