3 PC MLAs in Nova Scotia confirm federal intentions

Two Cape Breton MLAs are planning to leave the Nova Scotia legislature for a run at federal politics.

The latest announcement makes it a total of three Progressive Conservative MLAs confirming their intentions to become MPs for the Conservative Party of Canada.

Alfie MacLeod, MLA for Sydney-River-Mira-Louisbourg, said on Tuesday he intends to run in the federal riding of Cape Breton-Canso.

MacLeod said jumping to the federal arena would allow him to tackle issues such as seniors' housing and infrastructure funding.

Help for health care

It would also be an opportunity to work on the doctor shortage in Cape Breton, he said.

"The program that identifies where residents go is a nationally run program, and one of our problems here in Cape Breton Island is we have many young people from this area who have studied abroad and can't get back here to do their residency," MacLeod said.

"They would be people that would be willing to stay here because this is where their roots are, their family is, so we need to revisit that."

Nova Scotia government

The current MP, Liberal Rodger Cuzner, recently said he will not reoffer.

MacLeod's caucus colleague Eddie Orrell, MLA for Northside-Westmount, announced his intention to run federally last week.

Orrell is hoping for a win in Sydney-Victoria, where Cape Breton Liberal MP Mark Eyking has already said he will not reoffer.

Orrell said he, too, would fight for more doctor residencies to help Cape Breton, but he'd also like to work on fisheries policies.

Patrick Callaghan/CBC

The government's handling of the Arctic surf clam quota is a prime example, Orrell said.

"I'd like to see that it gets distributed fairly and equally, and to the people that can actually do the fishery and promote the fishery, and do it in a sustainable way," he said.

Last fall, Chris d'Entremont, PC MLA for the South Shore riding of Argyle-Barrington, made public his plan to run for the federal Conservative nomination in West Nova.

Conservative Party nomination meetings are expected to be held within the next month or so.