TRENTON – Steven Cotter, Central Nova candidate for the Conservative Party of Canada, knows his community up close and personal.
A councillor for the Town of Trenton, he was employed as an auto mechanic for more than three decades, was a volunteer with the Trenton Volunteer Fire Department for approximately 40 years (he was also employed with the New Glasgow Volunteer Fire Department), and he enjoyed a stint in the Canadian Armed Forces.
A school bus driver for Chignecto Central schools, Cotter has been recognized for his volunteer work in the community, assisting the Trenton Legion through its Chase the Ace program, among other activities. He says the Conservatives recruited him to become a candidate in this federal election.
The Journal recently spoke with Cotter about the campaign and his candidacy.
What are your top priorities and why do you think your party is the best choice at this time?
“We all know the importance of health. Conservatives want to increase the funding to the province [health transfers] from three per cent to six per cent. That’s one issue amongst a lot of others, like getting people back to work. Here in Pictou County, we had Trenton Works for many, many years. That’s pretty well flattened out now, and we have to turn around and come up with something that will take its place. With COVID, we’ve lost an awful lot of jobs, because people can’t get out to work, which is not a good thing all the way around. Granted, Atlantic Canada is one of the safest places in North America because we weren’t afraid to shut everything down and keep our people safe.”
What are you hearing from voters?
“We’re late getting into the game. We’re going out and knocking on doors. We’ve been trying to touch base. The riding is so big. But a lot of the concerns are work and healthcare. Healthcare is one of the biggest problems and, granted, it is a provincial issue. Some people understand that and some people don’t. So, we try to turn around and get through funding so the province can turn around and look after them.
“I [consider] myself to be a blue-collar worker. I know what it’s like to work in hard times. My main priority is serving the people of Central Nova and, hopefully, come election day, we’ll be successful. I know I have a lot to learn, and we will do our best, if successful.”
Why are you running in this election?
“I was asked by the party.
“It was always way in the back of my mind. I thought maybe someday. In 1942, my grandfather came back from overseas. He was injured in the war. He ended up being the mayor of Trenton for one term. So, ironically, it’s the place where I continue on with my political career. I’m still young at heart, and so we keep on doing what we can.”
Alec Bruce, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Guysborough Journal