Hamilton sees a time for change

Jennifer Vardy Little
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ANTIGONISH – Describing himself as a “simple country doctor,” John Hamilton says he was prompted to run in the federal election when he saw the impact the Conservative-led government was having on his patients.

He’s seen people make tough choices between paying for their medication and buying food, something he says has to stop.

Now the Liberal candidate for Central Nova, Hamilton says he’s concerned about the direction the Harper-led government was having on the area.

“There’s a significant lack of support for health care, veterans,” Hamilton said. “I’m a rural specialist, part of a group that’s in short supply, and we’re not being replaced. I’ll never be able to retire if the present situation continues on.”

Winning this election is an uphill battle, he acknowledges, particularly against Peter MacKay, who has held the seat for more than a decade. But it’s not an impossible task, he says.

“Peter MacKay did not win the popular vote the last election, and each election, there’s been a steady drop in the number of votes he’s received,” Hamilton said. “I think people perceive that it’s time for a change.”

Hamilton, who has family ties to both Pictou and Antigonish counties, says he believes his reputation as an ophthalmologist in the area for almost 30 years will only help his cause.

“In the eastern half of the county I’m very well known, possibly in Pictou County I’m a little less well-known, but for a while, I was the only ophthalmologist in eastern Nova Scotia, so I’m not an unknown coming onto the scene,” he said, adding that he’s not afraid of tough battles.

“There’s more glory in uphill battles.”

He’s also buoyed by the help of volunteers, who he says have come out in droves to answer the phones, hang signs and organize canvassing of the area, as well as offering support through fundraising.

“I’m so gratified by the number of people who have come forward to help,” he says, adding that his family has also thrown their support behind him, with his wife working on the fundraising end, his oldest son driving him around and his youngest son active in coming up with Hamilton’s strategy. His daughter, who is currently writing exams, will be helping out as well.

“I’m just focusing on meeting as many people as I can and letting the chips fall where they may.”

Name: Dr. John Hamilton

Resides: Antigonish

Occupation: Ophthalmologist

Family: Is married to Dr. Minola Amit and father of Allistair, Claire and David

Volunteer Experience: Board members of L’Arche in Antigonish for the past 15 years; involved with the Highland Society of Antigonish for the past 25 years; president and chair of Recovery House in Antigonish; board member of Festival Antigonish, to name a few.


Organizations: Minola Amit and father, Claire and DavidVolunteer Experience, Highland Society of Antigonish Recovery House

Geographic location: ANTIGONISH, Central Nova, Pictou County Eastern Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • Bud
    April 20, 2011 - 16:58

    Now this is a candidate that knows first hand the state of the health care in this riding, which is something that desperately needs repair.

  • Sue Yewchuk
    April 19, 2011 - 15:44

    I agree that it's time for a change in Central Nova! Dr. John Hamilton is an honest person who works hard for his community and will truly be a voice for us in Ottawa

  • David
    April 19, 2011 - 08:31

    Regarding Dr. Hamiltons comment; “Peter MacKay did not win the popular vote the last election, and each election, there’s been a steady drop in the number of votes he’s received,” Hamilton said. “I think people perceive that it’s time for a change.” I would like to point out that his facts are in error. In the riding of Central Nova Peter MacKay received the following vote totals: Election 2008-18,240 votes Election 2006-17,134 votes Election 2004-16,376 votes In the riding of Pictou /Antigonish /Guysbourgh Peter MacKay received the following vote totals: Election 2000-19,256 votes Election 1997-18,196 votes As one can clearly see, Peter MacKay has increased his vote totals in both ridings at each successive election. My advice to you Dr. Hamilton is that before you make a statement, you or your handlers do a little basic research. In Central Nova, we expect no less from our candidates.

    • Casey
      April 19, 2011 - 10:47

      Your stats are true. However, if you look at it from a percentage point of view, you will see Peter Mackay went from 43% in 2004, to 40% in 2006 and then up to 46% in 2008. So he is up and down with the percentage of votes, even though his vote numbers are increasing. Good news is more people are voting. At least there is a liberal candidate this time - I am disappointed to see the riding went empty in the last election. Good for Dr Hamilton for stepping up to the plate.