Nova Scotia NDP leader Gary Burrill has announced seven candidates in Cape Breton ahead of the next provincial election, expected to be called soon.
The party is still looking for a candidate in the eighth riding on the island — the newly minted constituency of Richmond.
At an announcement in Membertou, N.S., on Thursday, Burrill said the candidates are prepared for an election call.
"[They are] all people committed to bringing forward a program that is going to improve real people's real lives," said Burrill.
The NDP currently has 48 candidates in place, but Burrill said it will soon have all 55 candidates nominated or acclaimed.
Not all of the seven Cape Breton candidates announced Thursday are registered on the Elections Nova Scotia website yet, but they are:
Kendra Coombes in Cape Breton Centre-Whitney Pier.
Barbara Beaton in Cape Breton East.
John Morgan in Glace Bay-Dominion.
Joanna Clark in Inverness.
Jennifer Morrison in Northside Westmount.
Madonna Doucette in Sydney-Membertou.
Adrianna MacKinnon in Victoria-The Lakes.
The NDP leader said Liberal Premier Iain Rankin plans to cut more than $200 million in services to try to erase the deficit created during last year's COVID-19 pandemic. He said mental health problems have increased over the last 18 months and now is not the time to eliminate supports.
Burrill also raised the issue of funding for Cape Breton Regional Municipality. He reiterated an NDP promise from just after the last election to provide the municipality with an extra $50 million a year for three years to make up for equalization funding from the province that has been frozen for at least eight years.
Burrill did not say whether he had any specific funding promises for other municipalities.
"This stimulus commitment is based on the understanding that there needs to be structural reform in municipal finance across the province, but that nowhere else in Nova Scotia does it have the present malfunctioning system," he said.
"Nowhere else does it have the intense negative effects that we experience in [Cape Breton Regional Municipality]."
Burrill said the centralization of health care, education and economic development has made matters worse for the province's second largest municipality.
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