Houston government picks July 15, 2025, for next election

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A woman walks by a voting station where people are lined up to vote on Aug. 17 in Halifax.  (Rose Murphy/CBC - image credit)
A woman walks by a voting station where people are lined up to vote on Aug. 17 in Halifax. (Rose Murphy/CBC - image credit)

Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston has moved to established fixed dates for provincial general elections, ensuring future campaigns will take place in the summer.

Houston introduced a bill Wednesday to make July 15, 2025, the date of the next general election.

Subsequent elections would take place on the third Tuesday in July every four years.

Speaking to reporters following first reading, Houston said the summer vote is "a date that made sense to us."

"There's a lot of reasons that it makes sense to have it in that time period," he said. "Schools are vacant. We can use schools as polling stations."

Nova Scotia is the last province in Canada to move to fixed election dates.

NDP balk at mid-summer election

But a mid-summer vote makes no sense to NDP Leader Gary Burrill.

"Of the list of possible, reasonable, helpful dates for fixed election, the middle of July would be about No. 37," Burrill told reporters outside the legislative chamber.

He said the objective of democratic reform is to increase engagement in the political process — something unlikely in the middle of summer.

"What part of the year are people less engaged than ... the dead centre of July?" he said.

Liberal Leader Iain Rankin said he needs more time to talk with his caucus before taking a position on the date, but he said the party could in principle support discussion on a fixed election date.

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