Nova Scotia ag minister unseated in Liberal win

Nova Scotia’s provincial agriculture minister was among the New Democrats swept out of office Tuesday as Stephen McNeil brought the Liberal Party back to power.

John MacDonell, a teacher and farmer who had been Premier Darrell Dexter’s agriculture minister since the NDP’s 2009 win, on Tuesday lost the riding of Hants East which he’d held since 1998.

Liberal candidate Margaret Miller — a logging business operator, former Shubenacadie dairy farmer and former national president of MADD Canada — won in Hants East with 4,438 votes over MacDonell’s 3,406 and the Tories’ Kim Allan Williams with 1,677.

Dexter was also among the NDP MLAs who lost seats as the Liberals won 33 of 51 ridings, followed by the Progressive Conservatives with 11 and the NDP with just seven.

Among McNeil’s possible candidates for the agriculture minister’s job is the Liberal agriculture critic, Leo Glavine, who easily held his Kings West riding with 5,890 votes, well ahead of the Tories’ Jody Frowley (1,275), the NDP’s Bob Landry (603) and the Greens’ Barbara Lake (158).

Glavine, a former teacher and high school administrator, has been the MLA for Kings West since 2003.

The new Liberal caucus is relatively slim on ag experience, but other possibles include Pam Eyking, who won the riding of Victoria-The Lakes on Tuesday with 3,150 votes, unseating Tory MLA Keith Bain with 2,847.

Eyking is the wife of Sydney-Victoria MP Mark Eyking, who in August was named the federal Liberals’ agriculture critic. The Eykings operated a vegetable farm for 20 years and were named the Outstanding Young Farmers of Nova Scotia in 1990. — AGCanada.com Network

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