New Inverness County councillor hopes to keep helping people

·2 min read
Blair Phillips defeated five other candidates to win the District 2 byelection on Saturday in the Municipality of the County of Inverness, N.S. (Municipality of the County of Inverness - image credit)
Blair Phillips defeated five other candidates to win the District 2 byelection on Saturday in the Municipality of the County of Inverness, N.S. (Municipality of the County of Inverness - image credit)

A retired forestry worker and paramedic defeated five other candidates to win a byelection in Inverness County on Saturday.

Blair Phillips said his previous work experience should come in handy in the new role.

"I have great empathy for people who have needs and I think I'm just carrying it over to the next journey in my life," he told Information Morning Cape Breton on Tuesday.

Phillips replaces former District 2 councillor Laurie Cranton, who was the county warden when he died in March.

Phillips said he was approached to run by another of the district's former councillors, Gloria LeBlanc.

"At first I said, 'No, I don't think I can do this,' but then after reviewing my situation and saying, 'Well, you know, I've helped people all my life,' this would probably be a good opportunity for me to go forth and help the community," Phillips said.

While campaigning door-to-door, he gathered a list of projects voters would like to see.

They include affordable seniors apartments, increased child-care options, better cellphone and internet service, erosion control along the Margaree River, flooding protection for roads and possibly a food bank.

"Those are some of the things that I'll be trying to work on over the next little while," Phillips said.

"It's like a mountain to climb, but I've got to start somewhere."

Phillips got 373 of the 964 ballots cast, receiving 39 per cent of the vote.

The byelection was conducted solely by electronic voting, with ballots cast online and by phone in both official languages.

According to returning officer Tanya Tibbo, voter turnout was 54 per cent.

That's an increase over the 46 per cent of voters who cast ballots in 2016, which was the last time an election was contested by more than one candidate in District 2, she said.

Results in descending order:

  • Blair Phillips - 373

  • Alfred Aucoin - 235

  • Seph Peters - 160

  • Shaun Bennett - 112

  • John Carmichael - 78

  • Rob Romard - 4

  • Declined - 2

  • Spoiled - 0

Inverness County's District 2 includes most of the Margarees, Belle Cote and Grand Etang along the Gulf of St. Lawrence coast.

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