A new leader for the Nova Scotia New Democrat Party has been crowned.
There were three candidates vying for the leadership. In the end, despite not actually having a seat in the Nova Scotia legislature, Gary Burrill beat out MLA’s Lenore Zann and Dave Wilson. He won with 59% of the vote.
The decision to name a new leader comes as the party works to re-build.
“The next chapter of our story needs to be one where there is a strong underlying emphasis of income equality and on the abolition of poverty,” Burrill said after being named leader.
Darrell Dexter led his party to a historic win in 2009. Dexter defeated Rodney MacDonald and the Progressive Conservatives to lead the very first NDP government in Atlantic Canada.
But the glory was short lived. Dexter went from making history to becoming the first Nova Scotian premier in 131-years to only serve one mandate.
In 2013, the NDP went from being in power, to having third party status when a Liberal wave struck the province.
Dexter resigned after losing the election and his own seat.
Shortly after Dexter resigned, Maureen MacDonald was named as interim leader of the N.S. NDP, a role she’s been filling ever since.
“I took on the job as interim leader knowing there was an end date and here we are. I’m excited to hand the torch over to a permanent leader,” said MacDonald.
With the past now behind them and a new leader at the helm, the NDP say they’re ready to move forward.
“There is a, as I described it today, a burgeoning and a simmering hunger for a politics that talk straight about the fact that the 1% in this city make $330,000, while the average income for people in Nova Scotia is under $27,000. Something is wrong somewhere,” said Burrill.