Sackville-Cobequid byelection called for June 18

The people of Sackville-Cobequid finally know when they will get a new MLA.

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil announced Wednesday the byelection to replace former MLA Dave Wilson will be held June 18. Elections Nova Scotia rules say the premier has six months from the time of a departure to call a byelection. Thursday was the last possible day for McNeil to make the call.

The seat has been vacant since Wilson retired in November.

Three parties have already nominated candidates for the race. Steve Craig is running for the Progressive Conservatives, Laura Fawthrop is representing the NDP and Michel Hindlet will carry the banner for the Liberals.

Dave Wilson, seen here with some of his former NDP caucus colleagues, retired as MLA for Sackville-Cobequid in November. (Jean Laroche/CBC)

Craig is a Halifax Regional Municipality councillor, Fawthrop a music teacher and Hindlet, who ran for the Liberals in the last provincial election, is a salesperson.

All three parties have had their candidates nominated for more than a month.

While incumbency is not a guarantee in a Nova Scotia byelection — seats have flipped in nine of the last 20 byelections — Sackville-Cobequid has been a staunchly NDP district dating back to 1984, when John Holm was first elected.

Holm held the seat until 2003, the year he retired and Wilson was first elected.

Wilson retired after 15 years as a New Democrat MLA, which included a stint as health minister and House leader for his party. He’s now the director of the provincial 911 system at the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office.

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