Nova Scotia election 2021

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Nova Scotia election 2021

Speculation is running rampant that Premier Iain Rankin could call an election any day now, after just agreeing to a daycare deal with the Trudeau Liberals and while Covid is on the decline.


Two June polls show somewhat different results for Nova Scotia for the Libs and Cons  while the NDP and Green results are pretty consistent. All three parties already have most their candidates nominated. 

Angus Reid June 9 

Libs 41

Cons 33

NDP 20

Greens 4


Narrative Research June 3

Libs 52

Cons 24

NDP 19

Greens 5


There is a redrawn electoral map meant to improve the chances of electing Acadian and Black candidates and an increase to 55 seats from 51 that also reflects increasing urbanization. 

In 2019, an independent commission recommended the reinstatement of four so-called protected seats — Argyle, Clare, Richmond and Preston.  The first three were to encourage the probability of Acadian representation, while the Preston seat was reinstated to increase the likelihood that a person from the historic Black communities in the riding would represent the area. Many Acadians have taken seats at Province House but only five Black MLAs have ever been elected to Canada's oldest legislature.

Velma Morgan, who chairs the non-profit group Operation Black Vote Canada, urged the parties to run more Black candidates in ridings the parties believe they can win. In Preston, which is designed to give a Black candidate a better shot at winning, she would like to see only Black candidates on the ballot. "If you want to have diversity in this protected seat in Preston, we would expect that they would only run Black candidates in that seat," said Morgan.  "So no matter which party wins, there'll be a Black person elected in that riding."  (White) Liberal cabinet minister Keith Colwell, who has represented the riding 23 of the past 28 years, recently announced his retirement from politics.

Redrawing the electoral map was also needed because of population changes that have resulted in two more urban ridings and two more rural seats in southwest Nova Scotia. Overall it's a shift that favours the Liberals, according to Eric Grenier a political analyst — formerly with the CBC — but now with author and publisher of The Writ, an online political publication. "On the whole, they are better for the Liberals because, with the extra four seats, the Liberals would have won three of them based on the results in 2017," said Grenier. "That's not something that's really all that surprising because the Liberals had the majority government last time and they did well in the regions that have gotten the new seats."

But the new battle lines are not all good news for the party in power, according to Grenier. Elections Nova Scotia provided Grenier with the new map that also transposed the votes from the last election onto it, allowing him to come up with some interesting observations.

If people voted roughly the way they did in 2017, for example, the PCs are in a neck-and-neck race in Waverley-Fall River-Beaver Bank. "This was the riding that was won by a little bit less than a point by the Liberals in 2017, but now with the new boundaries, the PCs actually eke by with [a 0.2 per cent] advantage over the Liberals," said Grenier. Grenier said Queens, on the South Shore, is now "much safer for the PCs." ...

A riding change that helps the NDP is in Dartmouth. "In Cole Harbour-Portland Valley, [Liberal] Tony Ince won that one by four points," said Grenier. "The new riding, just Cole Harbour, where he's going to be running, the Liberals would have won that by two points. It's much more of a three-way race, where the NDP is closer to first than they were when they finished third last time."

There are at least 13 MLAs — 11 Liberal, 1 NDP, 1 Independent — have announced they will sit out the 2021 election.

Both independent candidates Alana Paon and former PC MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin are running as an Independent.  That will, in theory, put all those seats more into play than in previous elections.  Grenier said incumbency has been a distinct advantage, especially in this part of the country.

"It definitely puts these seats up for grabs when there are incumbents that don't reoffer for re-election," he said. "In the rest of the country, often incumbents don't have that much of an impact. But in places like Nova Scotia, if there isn't an incumbent on the ballot, it really does shake up the riding and present an opportunity for other parties to take a riding away, that before, had actually been pretty safe."


The NDP has outlined its 2021 election program that focuses on people's needs as opposed to the Liberals' $209 million  cuts to balance the budget and the Cons plan to send half of corporate taxes back to corporations to supposedly pass onto to their workers. 

NDP Leader Gary Burrill says that if his party forms the next Nova Scotia government, it would bring in a $15-an-hour minimum wage, permanent rent control and 10 pro-rated paid sick days for all workers, all within the first months in office.

Backed by a number of candidates on Sunday in Halifax , Burrill released his party's so-called vision document, 60 pages that provide a 10-year outlook for the province if the NDP forms government after the provincial election on Aug. 17. ...

While there are items, such as rent control, increased minimum wage and access to same-day or next-day mental health care — which will be part of the party's four-year platform complete with costs to be released later in the campaign — there are also items that Burrill admits will take more time to achieve.

Those include guaranteeing single rooms for everyone in long-term care who want one and a review of whether Nova Scotia Power should remain privatized.

The NDP is also building on the announcement last week of a plan from the Liberals to bring in affordable daycare, by pledging to provide free care before and after school based in elementary schools, including pre-primary sites.

Broadly, the document lays out commitments — some short term, some long term — related to a variety of issues, including education, social supports, health care, the environment, natural resources and housing. ...

The party is positioning its campaign about people, while the Liberals and Tories, he said, are about cuts. He pointed to the spring budget passed by the Liberals, which calls for a reduction in department spending next year of $209 million as part of a plan to balance the budget within four years. ...

He also criticized Tory Leader Tim Houston's plan to increase wages for workers by sending 50 per cent of the corporate taxes companies pay back to them, if they agree to pass the money on to their employees. Last year, the province collected about $400 million in corporate taxes.

Ken Burch

Sounds good.  


The Liberals are facing a scandal over a female candidate who claims the party told her to lie and say she withdrew her nomination in Dartmouth South for mental reasons when the reality was that it was about "boudoir" photos that she claims she had already told the party about. The Liberals have a history of misogynistic complaints about them that is highligted below and Rankin himself had two DUIs in his past. The riding is currently held by the NDP. 

Ahead of the 41st general election, Nova Scotia’s Liberal Party is being accused of misogyny and double standards after a female candidate says she was forced out of the race over “boudoir photos.”

Robyn Ingraham was acclaimed as the Liberal candidate in the district of Dartmouth South. But on Saturday, she said in a statement posted to her Instagram page that she would no longer be vying for the seat, citing mental health reasons. However, in another statement posted Wednesday evening, she said she was told by the Liberal Party to lie about her reasons for leaving. “I posted the statement of lies. I posted because I was worried how this would look on the team that worked so hard to get me on board,” she said.

“But after sitting with the fact that I let myself and those around me down by hiding behind my mental illness to save something bigger than I — I was furious.” ...

According to the statement, Ingraham had been open with the Liberals during the application process about her “time in front of photographers lenses.” She said she has used a number of platforms to post pictures of herself, including Instagram, Tumblr and OnlyFans.

“I explained that I love to show off the artwork on my skin, and I have no problem taking boudoir photos alone and with my friends,” she said, adding that she provided an “extensive list” of her past and present social media accounts, provided tax statements and paid for a criminal background check.

“I explained to multiple people over the course of my application that if/when my photos were to come out, there would be a teachable moment for the community and province,” said Ingraham.

“This screams gender inequality from all angles, why should I be ashamed of my body and what I decide to do with it?” ...

Ingraham, who works as a barber, explained that as a small business owner and someone whose business was shut down due to COVID-19, she needed to look at other revenue streams.

“Having a platform to post photos and videos on that charges a subscription fee, among other features, seemed like a fast way to pay my bills and put food on my table,” she said. “Although, I shouldn’t have to explain myself. This platform is LEGAL. ”

She said roughly six hours after the party announced she was acclaimed as a candidate and posted a headshot, she received a call from a Liberal Party contact who told her the boudoir photos had resurfaced.

Ingraham said they asked if she ever “had sex for money. No. I haven’t — but they shouldn’t have to ask and I don’t think they have the right to,” she said. She said she was told to call the communications director, where she “explained myself for the 10th time, and told them all about my mental health.” She was led to believe “everything was fine,” she said.

But the next day, an hour before she was set to meet with Liberal Leader Iain Rankin at the Alderney Market, she received a call telling her that the surfacing of her photos has made the “higher ups” worried.

According to Ingraham, the party sent her a statement for her to post, which she did. But it’s clear that didn’t sit well with her.

“All I want is for the real story to be out there, and for those to know that though my mental (illnesses) have hindered me in the past — they are not responsible for this,” she said.

Rankin had previously told CBC News that Ingraham made the decision to step down, and on Thursday, he insisted that his understanding of the situation was based on her initial statement, when she blamed her departure on her mental health.

“I certainly wasn’t part of any conversation with her, I have yet to meet her,” he said. “I’ve read the statement that she originally put online and then I’ve read the subsequent statement recently and then I’ve reached out again, so respectfully I’d like to have that conversation first.” ...

Rankin’s government has been previously accused of sexism after MLA Margaret Miller resigned in May over alleged “misogynistic” and “atrocious” behaviour by a recent hire in the premier’s office. Former Premier Stephen McNeil was also criticized for employing Kyley Harris, who had pleaded guilty to assaulting his partner, during the last provincial election. Harris eventually stepped down. [PC  candidate Nicole] Mosher, who pointed to Rankin’s two DUI charges from the early 2000s, said Ingraham’s ousting was a double standard.

In a tweet, Claudia Chender, the incumbent NDP candidate for Dartmouth South, said she was disappointed after reading Ingraham’s statement.

“It was good to see a candidate like Robyn put her name forward,” she said. “Sadly her story is not surprising. The misogyny and double standards that exist in politics (and life) are alive and well in Nova Scotia. She deserves better.” ...

New Democrat Leader Gary Burrill said his party is committed to ensuring women and gender-diverse candidates are a central part of politics in the province. “Considering the climate of misogynistic attacks on women candidates, it is incumbent on political parties to stand up for anyone facing attacks to ensure more people from a diversity of backgrounds are able to successfully run for office,” Burrill said in an email Thursday.



For the first time in Nova Scotia history all the candidates for a riding will be Black. Sadly Black issues rarely are discussed in the province because at 3% of the Nova Scotia population politicians have rarely felt the need to address those issues to win an election. 

For the first time in Nova Scotia history, there is a riding in the upcoming provincial election where all of the candidates for MLA are Black.

In the riding of Preston, which encompasses Nova Scotia’s most predominantly Black community, Angela Simmonds (for the Liberals), Archy Beals (for the PC’s), and Colter Simmonds (for the NDP) are all vying to replace Liberal MLA Keith Colwell, who has served four terms as the riding’s MLA since 2003.

Colwell, who was the riding’s sole white candidate in the last election, announced that he would not be reoffering earlier this month, just two days before it was announced that Angela Simmonds would be running for the Liberals instead.

Angela Simmonds is a lawyer from Cherrybrook, and served as vice chair on the commission that suggested switching the boundaries in the Preston riding and ridings with other “communities of interest” back to their original form despite decreasing population (that suggestion was adopted for this election). She also sits as the executive director of the Land Titles Initiative in the province’s office of equity and anti-racism.

Archy Beals is from North Preston. He serves as the Co-Chair of the Preston Township Emergency Response and Impact Team. Beals was the last African Nova Scotian representative on the Halifax school board before the McNeil Liberals replaced it with an unelected advisory council in 2018.

Colter Simmonds’ online bio says he is “from all the communities that make up the Preston district.” Simmonds is a basketball coach, nicknamed “C.C.” (short for “Coach Colter”), and is the founder of a community organization, We Will Win Youth Association, that focuses on educating and developing community youth.

Where Black people make up roughly only 3% of the province’s overall population, mathematically it’s hard to make the argument that there is a strong voting block of Black voters — ie: a “Black vote” — that has a significant impact on election issues in the province, let alone overall voting results.

It is unlikely that “Black issues” — topics such as Afrocentric education, racism in the justice system, racism in healthcare, specific allegations of racism toward RCMP and municipal police forces, racism within municipal services, any specific correlation between racism and the hot topic of mental health and mental health services, or even racism in of itself beyond general talking points — will take shape in the form of any major campaign issues in the upcoming election. They never do.

Simply put: Black issues are arguably of little-to-no interest to most Nova Scotians. They don’t see them as applicable to them.

Sadly, the mere mention or suggestion of any sort of “Black issue(s)” annoys a lot of people. Many people find it offensive. Some, if not many, would argue their mere suggestion to be, in of itself, racist or indictive of “reverse-racism.” And then there are people who, themselves, are simply racist. An argument could be made that the racist people alone vastly outnumber the mere 3% of the province’s Black population. The stark reality is: we’re all eligible to vote.

However, unlike the other 54 ridings — the vast majority of whom have a Black population much lower than 3% – the community of Preston has the highest population density of Black people in all of Atlantic Canada. And though the riding itself encompasses additional surrounding communities that are mostly white, and whose voters are believed to still outnumber the “Black vote” in the riding, it’s not unlikely that Simmonds, Simmonds, and Beals will have more knowledge of, and freedom to openly and honestly discuss “Black issues” with voters on the campaign trail.


It sounds like the riding of Preston was created for very laudable purposes, although it also sounds a little weird to me that the vice-chair of the commission that recommended creating the riding then announced she's running in it. 

It also sounds to me like the incumbent NDP MLA is probably pretty safe in Dartmouth South now, although this election is probably still the Liberals to lose.

Great to hear updates from the ground like these.


DARTMOUTH – The   are defending their choice to drop candidate Robyn Ingraham over revealing photos, citing party rules that state that members can only have their nudes publicly shared if it’s during a Zoom meeting.


For anyone interested in the debate or election night coverage: 

Live Debate - July 28

Leaders from Nova Scotia's Liberal, NDP and Progressive Conservative parties will come together for a live, commercial-free, 90-minute debate to discuss important issues affecting Nova Scotians on Wednesday, July 28 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

The debate will be broadcast live on CBC TV and CBC Radio One, and streamed on CBC GemCBC and YouTube.

CBC Nova Scotia News hosts Tom Murphy and Amy Smith will moderate the debate with Liberal Leader Iain Rankin, NDP Leader Gary Burrill and Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Houston.

Election Night on CBC - August 17

CBC Nova Scotia brings you election night coverage starting at 8 p.m.


Here's some more detail on each party's election platform at the url below, with the NDP and its diverse candidates featured here: 

On Sunday, Day 2 of the official election campaign, the NDP issued a road map or high-level plan of what the party intends to do should it form the next government. Specific commitments will be costed out and released within the next two weeks. 

NDP leader Gary Burrill said a motion to make $15 the minimum wage for workers in Nova Scotia would be passed within the first month of being elected. Another motion — to continue rent control beyond the current State of Emergency — would be passed within two months, according to Burrill. And an NDP government promises to initiate a review or study of which aspects or segments of Nova Scotia Power’s business monopoly might be returned to public ownership. 

“Our vision will change and improve the real lives of real people,” said the 65-year-old Burrill, a former United Church minister. “Real needs: we are talking about things like permanent rent control so people will be able to save toward a down payment. Real needs: like same day/next day walk-in mental health clinics so support won’t be available only to people with private health insurance. We are talking about the practical. Like a $15 minimum wage so the purchasing power of Nova Scotians can be strengthened.”

The NDP slogan is “Something Better for Nova Scotia.” The party can also claim the greatest diversity of candidates ever. More than half — 28 out of 52 — are women or gender-diverse. Burrill said the NDP team include five persons with disabilities, seven candidates who identify as LGBTQ, and five who are visible minorities or racialized.


Low wages, workers' rights, and cost of living as inflation increases are becoming important issues for those at the bottom of the income hierarchy in Nova Scotia. 

As the cost of living continues to rise, low-wage earners in Nova Scotia are wondering what the next provincial government will do to help them survive.

A café employee in the Halifax area, whom Global News has agreed to keep anonymous to avoid compromising his employment, makes $13 an hour, which is five cents above the province’s minimum wage. The worker, who identifies as queer, transgender and disabled, said he’s fortunate to have a partner who makes more money than him and a supportive family network. “I feel like if I didn’t have those supports, I probably would not be particularly comfortable, but I’m lucky to be in the situation that I am,” he said, noting that many people in the LGBTQ2 community do not have the kind of family support that he does. I’m currently comfortable, but I could easily not be if something were to happen in my living situation.” ...

According to Hailie Tattrie, an organizer with Fight for $15 and Fairness Halifax, these precarious environments are common among people who make less than a living wage in Nova Scotia, which the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives estimates to range between $16.18 and $21.80 an hour. Tattrie says she’s fortunate to be making above minimum wage, but through her work, she’s spoken to people fighting to make ends meet on less $12.95 an hour. “So many people I know — people my own age, people who are older — have moved back home during the pandemic. The minimum wage wasn’t high enough before COVID-19, and it sure as heck isn’t high enough now,” she said. ...

Another part of the issue is the precarious nature of minimum wage jobs: paid sick days are few and far between; many don’t provide full-time hours — so the employer can avoid giving workers benefits; and schedules are often inconsistent, which can make getting a second job difficult.

The idea of pulling oneself up by their bootstraps and working hard to get better opportunities is getting further and further away from reality, Tattrie said. “It’s not as simple as, ‘Go get a better job,’” she said, noting that the education required to advance one’s credentials is out of reach for many people. Education is so expensive. Ridiculously so. It takes a lot of time, it takes a lot of money. A lot of folks aren’t privileged enough to be able to go get more schooling. ...

Even with better credentials, earning a higher wage isn’t a guarantee. The café worker who spoke with Global News graduated with a bachelor’s degree in January of last year and hasn’t been able to find a well-paying job — and he’s even seen jobs requiring a degree that pay about the same as what he makes now. ...

So far, Nova Scotia’s New Democratic Party has been campaigning on social issues like a $15 minimum wage, 10 paid sick days and permanent rent control. ...

But with the pandemic itself in the rearview mirror, many of the pre-existing issues exacerbated by COVID-19, such as out-of-control housing prices, remain. “And those problems are going to come back on the agenda with a vengeance in the next couple of years,” Lars Osberg, research associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, said. Essential, low-wage workers, in particular, who were once hailed as “heroes” and told flowery platitudes like “we’re all in this together,” are now being left in the dust, he said. ...

Some grocery stores brought in a so-called “hero pay” wage bump in the early days of the pandemic, which they discontinued only a couple of months later, even though COVID-19 cases continued to rise and hopes of a vaccine were still far off. ...

“Those low-wage workers aren’t any less essential now than they were back a year ago, when we were in the first lockdown phase, but they’re not getting paid to the same rate, and they still face the problem of how they buy their own groceries, how they pay their own rent,” Osberg said.

While some critics say a higher minimum wage would lead to layoffs and more unemployment, Osberg said most research suggests that’s not the case. According to a report he wrote in April, research shows there is no clear indication that there are higher unemployment rates in places with higher minimum wages. He added that a higher minimum wage would only have a “really small impact” on the general cost of living, which has already been rising regardless of wages.


The NDP has promised to ban police checks to prevent racial profiling, something the Liberals promised to do in 2019, but did not do. 

Nova Scotia's NDP leader says his party will ban street checks to curb racial profiling if they were to win the provincial election next month.

Gary Burrill made the announcement in the newly created riding of Preston, which is predominantly African Nova Scotian.

Burrill says his party is also promising to do away with the "suspicious activity" exception for the checks, calling the practice "highly problematic."

The Nova Scotia government promised to ban the practice in 2019 after the release of a report from the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission that found street checks disproportionately affect Black Nova Scotians.

Burrill says despite the promise from the Liberal government to do away with the practice, Black people in the community continue to experience unfair interactions with the police.


A new Mainstreet Research poll from July 22 shows the NDP up 2% to 22%, Liberals up 1% to 42% and PCs down 3% to 30%, Greens constant at 4%, all within the margin of error from the Angus Reid June 9th poll. In the 2017 election the Liberals won 39.5%, the Cons 35.5%, the NDP 21.5%, and the Greens 2.8%, which translated into 27 Liberal seats, 17 Cons, 7 NDP, and no Greens. 

Frankly, I thought the Liberals would be well ahead of their last election numbers given the history of elections during the Covid era tending to produce large victories for the governing party, whether it was Liberal, Con or NDP, and the announcement of the childcare program. But Rankin has faced a few controversies already. 

Among decided and leaning voters only, the Liberal lead grows. Rankin’s party has 42 per cent support with decided and leaning voters. The PCs are at 30 per cent, the NDP at 22 per cent, and the Greens have four. ...

Rankin has faced some controversy during his short tenure as premier. In early July, he publicly disclosed that he was convicted of drunk driving in 2003. He dodged questions about a second charge in 2005which was later overturned on appeal that same year.

On July 21, then-Liberal candidate Robyn Ingraham said she was forced to step down because of explicit photos she had posted and sold online. Ingraham said the party knew about the photos during the vetting process, but later reversed its decision to let her run. The party presented her with a prewritten letter of resignation, and asked her to blame her withdrawal on mental illness, she said. Rankin has previously said it was Ingraham’s own decision to withdraw.


With those numbers it looks like the Libs have widened the gap with the PC's and may have a better chance at a Majority than they did in 2017.

Although with 3 weeks to go a lot can still happen to reduce Rankin's dreams of a Majority.


Debater wrote:

With those numbers it looks like the Libs have widened the gap with the PC's and may have a better chance at a Majority than they did in 2017.

Although with 3 weeks to go a lot can still happen to reduce Rankin's dreams of a Majority.

Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin repeatedly dodged questions from reporters Wednesday about whether he was drunk when he flipped his car and was arrested and charged for impaired driving in 2005.

"As I said Monday, I want to reiterate that I'm very, very sorry for my actions as someone that was very young," he said at a news conference Wednesday. "It's regrettable that I have to relive that experience right now."

Rankin disclosed publicly Monday at a COVID-19 briefing that he was convicted of impaired driving in 2003, when he was 20. He also said he was charged in a second incident in 2005. He said in that case he was found "innocent," although court records note he was initially found guilty but the conviction was later overturned on appeal.

It does not give me any cofidence in a leader who was convicted twice of drunk driving including one involving "flipping his vehicle into a ditch in Halifax" , although one was overturned on appeal, when  "In July 2021, Rankin falsely claimed that the court had determined him "innocent" in the 2005 case.[10]"(

People make mistakes, sometimes serious mistakes. However, when you don't admit it when running for office or for Premier and then this month you can't even admit the truth about what happened more than fifteen years later about what you did, why should anyone trust him with power? It also looks hypocritical that when the Liberal Party, and possibly the Premier himself although he says he wasn't involved in the decision, removes Robyn Ingraham as a candidate when she "said she was forced to step down because of explicit photos she had posted and sold online" (

You're not worry about this, Debater, or do only worry about the polls?


Rankin's history of drunk driving and the party's treatment of a female candidate are obviously troubling.

I think the reason they aren't making a huge impact so far is because in the Age of Trump, most bad behaviour and scandals committed by politicians don't seem to have as much impact on the public as they used to.


Debater wrote:

I think the reason they aren't making a huge impact so far is because in the Age of Trump, most bad behaviour and scandals committed by politicians don't seem to have as much impact on the public as they used to.

That approach has worked out really well when the United States elected Trump. Or as Maya Anjelou said: "when someone shows you who they are (in Rankin's case a repeated liar), believe them the first time."


The election debate can be watched at the url below:


During the election debate Liberal Premier Iain Rankin came in for heavy criticism for the Liberal government's failure to live up to promise to provide a family doctor for everyone and for saying building 2,500 more long term care beds would be "overbuilding" and " a competition on who can throw the most money at an issue" (maybe he should talk to Liberal PM Trudeau about throwing another $5.2 billion on the Newfoundland Muskrat Falls dam in a $13 billion "bailout of a bailout of  a bailout... to [try] secure Newfoundland’s seven seats in the House of Commons") when the Nova Scotia Liberal government only built a paltry 57 beds in eight years.

Rankin also faced heavy criticism during the debate over forcing a female Liberal candidate to withdraw over racy photos, while Rankin himself was convicted twice of DUI, with one overturned on appeal. At the same time "Rankin’s government has been previously accused of sexism after MLA Margaret Miller resigned in May over alleged “misogynistic” and “atrocious” behaviour by a recent hire in the premier’s office.(

Early in the 90-minute contest, Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Houston and NDP Leader Gary Burrill criticized the premier for failing to deal with a chronic physician shortage that has left almost 70,000 Nova Scotians without a family doctor. The opposition leaders also said the province's nurses were burning out and quitting, a persistent problem they said had been aggravated by the pandemic.

"People will remember the Liberals promised a doctor for all Nova Scotians," Houston told Rankin, referring to a promise made by Rankin's predecessor, former Liberal premier Stephen McNeil. "They failed on that. They didn't really try." ...

Rankin, who at 38 years old is Canada's youngest premier, took aim at Houston's big-spending pledge, arguing the Tory leader wants to "overbuild" in the long-term care sector by promising 2,500 new beds. ...

Burrill picked up on Rankin's comment: "Did you just use the word, 'overbuild?' Do you not acknowledge that in eight years, the grand total was 57 beds you built?"

Rankin responded that his party's investments in health care and long-term care were sensible. "What we don't need is a competition on who can throw the most money at an issue," the former business manager said.

Later in the debate, sparks flew when Houston called attention to national headlines that appeared earlier this month after a female Liberal candidate alleged party staff had pressured her to drop out of the race because she had previously sold revealing photos of herself online.

Shortly after the election campaign began on July 17, Robyn Ingraham also alleged the party had told her to cite her mental health issues as the reason for her departure, which she did in writing before going public with her version of events. "Your party forced a young lady to lie about the reason that she was resigning as a candidate and forced her to further stigmatize mental health," Houston said. "That's bad. That's a disgrace actually." ...

Burrill interrupted the heated exchange to say that when it comes to politics and gender, Nova Scotians will be taking part in the first provincial election in which a party (the NDP) has fielded a slate of candidates mostly comprised of women and gender-diverse persons.


Rankin and the Liberals have repeatedly shown a double standard when it comes to male and female behaviour and pay as the following Progressive Conservative ad shows: 

Iain Rankin’s Liberals - one standard for men; another for women

1. A few months ago, when accusations of bullying and misogyny by Liberal communications staffer Stephen Tobin forced former cabinet minister Margaret Miller out of politics, Iain Rankin didn’t investigate the accusations into his hand-picked advisor.  He didn’t even call his long-time MLA colleague.

"Stephen has treated me with repeated disrespect, and I've witnessed his behaviour with my female colleagues. To reward such behaviour is something I cannot condone and I can't even fathom the thought process that allowed this misogynistic behaviour to happen." (Margaret Miller, CBC May 7, 2021)

2. Last weekend, senior Liberal campaign officials forced their young, female candidate in Dartmouth South to not only step down, but to lie about the reason why.  Even more shocking, they trivialized Nova Scotia’s mental health crisis by telling her to say she resigned because of her mental health issues when the reality was she was being forced out.

“I explained to multiple people of the course of my application that if/when my photos were to come out, there would be a teachable moment for the community and province.  This screams gender inequality from all angles, why should I be ashamed of my body and what I decide to do with it?” (Robyn Ingraham, Instagram, July 2021)

3. Iain Rankin, at the time a 30-year old son of a longtime Halifax Regional Councillor, was approved as a Liberal candidate in 2013 with two drunk driving convictions - one of which was later overturned on a legal technicality. Under Iain Rankin’s Liberal leadership, a woman was denied a Liberal candidacy over photos deemed inappropriate by party insiders.

4. In 2015, as Liberal caucus chair, Iain Rankin hired Kyley Harris as a researcher in the Liberal Caucus Office.  Harris was the former communications director to Premier Stephen McNeil who was convicted of a violent domestic assault.  Rankin hired Harris when he was still on probation for a domestic assault conviction.  Harris was then named Liberal campaign media contact in the 2017 election, before public backlash caused him to resign.

“She was a Liberal insider. Her boyfriend was premier Stephen McNeil's spokesperson, Kyley Harris. After he assaulted her, the party turned its back on [her] and supported her abuser. Enough is enough.” (The Coast June 2017)

5. Iain Rankin’s chief of staff Joanne Macrae is reported to be earning an annual salary of  $131,200.  Iain Rankin’s principal secretary Dale Palmeter has a reported salary of $141,400.  The chief of staff is the most senior position in the Premier’s Office, yet Iain Rankin made sure that the more junior ranked male - principal secretary Palmeter - makes $10,000 more.  Why does Iain Rankin value his male advisor more than his female advisor?