Nova Scotia Liberals elect new leader Zach Churchill to replace ex-premier Rankin

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HALIFAX — Nova Scotia's Liberal party has elected Zach Churchill as its new leader to replace the province's former premier.

Churchill won the leadership with 65 per cent of the vote over Angela Simmonds.

He first joined the legislature in a 2010 byelection and has served as a cabinet minister for the departments of education and health.

The new leader from Yarmouth, N.S. thanked his community for supporting him for the last 12 years and told delegates that Simmonds showed courage in running for the party's top job after first being elected last August.

Simmonds received a standing ovation as Churchill said she would be key to the party's future, calling the lawyer and small business owner a "wonderful person."

The Liberals were defeated in last summer's provincial election, and leader Iain Rankin stepped down in January.

"Liberals, we will rise again," Churchill told delegates.

He said in a release that the current government is failing in its promise to fix health care, and there's no plan to deal with the province's labour and housing shortage.

"As a party, we can do better," he said. "As a province, we must do more to lift our people up. I'm ready to take on that challenge, for all Nova Scotians."

The party says it has more than 3,400 registered delegates who were eligible to vote, which is less than half the number of members who were able to vote in the February 2021 Liberal leadership race won by Rankin.

The Canadian Press

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