In a surprise result, the PC Party surged to victory with a majority government in yesterday’s Nova Scotia provincial election. The PC Party, led by Tim Houston won 31 of the province’s 55 seats. The Liberal Party was reduced to 16 seats, the NDP won 6 seats, while an independent candidate was also victorious. A winner has yet to be declared in a few constituencies but none of them will impact the majority government status for the PC Party.
The PC Party ran a campaign focused on improving the health care system and growing the economy. Of note to retailers, Mr. Houston:
- is a Progressive Conservative thus, government initiatives related to the environment will likely continue
- is a supporter of the retail sector
- is on record stating that the province should take steps towards the liberalization of alcohol sales in the province
- has committed to not raise taxes during his mandate (despite the significant investment that he will make in health care)
Please note the response from the PC Party of Nova Scotia to the RCC Nova Scotia Election Questionnaire.
In 2019, Tim Houston (as a relatively new leader) began to resonate with Nova Scotians and the Party was rewarded with a number of by-election victories. This momentum was thwarted as the COVID-19 pandemic focused all attention on the Premier and the Chief Public Health Officer. As late as May 2021, pollsters pegged the PC Party as lagging behind the governing Liberals by 28 percentage points. To state the obvious, the Liberal election campaign did not go well and the Tories gained momentum each week during the month long campaign. Nevertheless, the once massive Liberal lead had even the most optimistic Tory supporters suggesting that the PC Party could do no better than form a minority government.
RCC will continue to develop working relationships with the Premier elect and the new cabinet (once appointed). RCC will ensure the voice of retail is heard as the new government attempts a tricky balancing act of taking steps to grow the economy and make significant investments in health care while not raising taxes.