The Nova Scotia NDP have selected Lara Fawthrop to run in the Sackville-Cobequid byelection.
The party held their nomination ceremony in Lower Sackville on Saturday. The seat opened up in November when NDP MLA Dave Wilson announced he was stepping down.
Fawthrop says her focus, if elected, will be on wait times in health care, specifically when it comes to mental health.
“For me, to represent Sackville, it would mean accomplishment for all,” said Fawthrop, “because one of the things I value is working together as a team. So it’s actually not for me, it means something for us.”
Fawthrop says she saw Wilson’s resignation as an opportunity.
“I thought for a minute, maybe this is my opportunity to expand the work that I did at Sackvile High School for that school community, and to expand that work to the larger community of Sackville,” she said.
Sackville-Cobequid has been a stronghold for the NDP, with Dave Wilson representing the riding since 2003. Prior to that, NDP MLA John Holm held the seat for over a decade.
Provincial NDP Leader Gary Burrill says it will be up to the residents of Sackville, but he’s hopeful his party will continue to represent the riding.
“The constituency has been served here for the last 35 years with extraordinary diligence, with a real door-to-door service to the people,” Burrill said.
WATCH: Nova Scotia NDP house leader Dave Wilson retires
Saturday’s decision was between Fawthrop and Trevor Sanipass, who had hoped to have a chance at becoming the first Mi’qmaw MLA.
While he didn’t win, Sanipass encourages other Aboriginal people to get involved in politics.
“We need a change in this government. Obviously, we need more representation of Aboriginal people,” Sanipass said. “Align yourself with a party that best reflects the community needs and get involved at all levels, municipal provincial and federal.”
Premier Stephen McNeil has until May 16 to call the election, which will then be held 30 to 46 days after.
The Liberals have not announced any nominees. The PCs have announced regional councillor Steve Craig will be running for them.
With files from Alicia Draus.