Nova Scotia

Rankin MacSween running for mayor of Cape Breton Regional Municipality

The head of a Cape Breton community economic development agency announced Friday he is running for mayor of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

MacSween is the longtime president of community development group New Dawn Enterprises

Rankin MacSween made the announcement of his candidacy Friday morning. (Norma Jean MacPhee/CBC)

Rankin MacSween is taking a second run at winning the mayor's seat in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

The head of community economic development agency New Dawn Enterprises announced his candidacy Friday in North Sydney.

MacSween, 65, will again take on incumbent Cecil Clarke, whom he ran unsuccessfully against in 2012.

The two are the only candidates running for mayor in the Oct.15 municipal elections.

Clarke did not deliver, says MacSween

At his campaign announcement at the Emera Centre in North Sydney, MacSween wasted no time attacking his rival's record.

"There is a sense that the last four years have been lost to us," he said.

Cecil Clarke unveiled his 100-point platform for re-election on July 29. (Joan Weeks/CBC)

MacSween accused Clarke of failing to live up to commitments Clarke made during the 2012 election campaign.

"He was going to give us a city charter. That charter has never seen the light of day," said MacSween.

A charter would allow the municipality more flexibility to change some of its own rules.

CBRM's image needs boost

MacSween also said Clarke abandoned a plan to spend $300 million on infrastructure, including a second berth for cruise ships and a container terminal, which did not materialize.

Clarke, a former MLA and provincial Tory cabinet minister, could not capitalize on his much-touted political connections to bring business to CBRM, said MacSween. He pointed to a 2016 Money Sense magazine article that said Cape Breton was the third worst city to live in Canada.

Child poverty, taxes in platform

In the 2012 election, Clarke got 27,732 votes, while MacSween received 17,847 votes.

MacSween said his election platform will focus on:

  • Reducing taxes for CBRM residents.
  • Improving municipal roads and infrastructure.
  • Attracting immigrants to the area.
  • Dealing with the "shamefully high rate" of child poverty in the area.

With files from Norma Jean MacPhee