Kim Masland, the PC Party of Nova Scotia MLA for Queens-Shelburne, will be the PC’s candidate in Queens, when the riding is divided for the next provincial election.
Masland’s nomination, announced last week, was uncontested.
“I’m over the moon. I’m extremely excited to offer my name once again on a ballot to the people of Queens County,” she said. “I was brought up in Queens County and I never left. I love where I live and I love the people that surround me.”
Party leader Tim Houston is equally pleased to have her back.
“I’m happy that she re-offered. She is a great MLA,” said Houston, adding that Masland is tenacious and thoughtful. “When people approach her with issues or concerns, she does her homework.”
Masland was elected in 2017 in the riding of Queens-Shelburne. Soon after the election, it was decided to divide the two ridings once again as it was prior to 2013.
She admitted in a phone interview last week that it was tough to represent both municipalities and that she is happy for the change.
“It’s been difficult to equally represent a constituency that is so large and two municipalities that are so different from each other,” she said. “But I made a commitment to Shelburne residents that, even though Queens County was home, it would not make a difference in the way I represented them, and I think I’ve proved to Shelburne County residents that I was a strong voice for them.”
That she can now focus entirely on Queens and work on all that she feels needs to be done in that county was largely behind her decision to re-offer.
Better access to health care for residents, for one, remains a top priority of hers.
“It is the number one issue I hear from my constituents. Many that I’ve talked to have just given up hope on the government because they’ve been waiting three years for a family doctor, or they don’t want to sit in an emergency room for eight or nine hours to get a prescription renewed. This is just so wrong,” said Masland.
Other priorities include trying to improve the long-term care homes and roads in the county. Another issue is the housing crisis in Queens and the province as a whole.
Masland said she has heard from constituents that are relying on short-term accommodation with friends or families, or who are homeless, as well as people that are being evicted because their landlords are choosing to sell their properties outright during the current housing market.
“We need safe, affordable and appropriate housing. We have no emergency shelters in Queens County,” she said. I really want to focus on getting the government to take a more active role to ensure that there is more housing construction and to make sure they are incentivizing developers to develop affordable housing. We are in a serious crisis.”
No novice to the field of public service, Masland was an executive assistant with MP Gerald Keddy for 18 years before becoming the Senior Safety Coordinator for Queens County in the fall of 2015.
Houston praised her work on the Diversity Bill, Bill 4, which the government introduced earlier this year suggesting it would provide for the stewardship, conservation, sustainable use and governance of biodiversity in the province.
However, several groups, including the Concerned Private Landowner Coalition and the PC Party, called on residents to express their displeasure with the legislation arguing that the bill would take away control of what property owners can do on their own lands.
“She was really on the front edge of exposing the issues with that bill. In many ways, she led the charge that forced the government to back down on that bill,” said Houston.
A date for the next election has yet to be set. The only other person reportedly running for MLA of Queens is Liberal candidate Susan MacLeod.
Kevin McBain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin