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Former Pictou town councilor to run for NDP in next provincial election

Shawn McNamara has been selected as the New Democrat candidate for the provincial riding of Pictou West.

Shawn McNamara was chosen as the NDP candidate for Pictou West on Sunday. He is pictured with Nova Scotia NDP leader Gary Burrill, who attended the meeting.

A long-time Michelin employee before he retired, McNamara raised a family of five in Pictou and now has 11 grandchildren.

During his speech to a crowd on Sunday at the IOOF hall in Pictou, McNamara talked about his experience and his goals for Pictou West.

“I would like to thank the Pictou West New Democrats for putting their trust in me to lead this charge,” he said.

In particular, he thanked Charlie Parker who held the seat in 1998-99 and again from 2003-2013.

“I personally learned a lot working with Charlie over the years,” McNamara said. “He stays calm. He listens. He gets the facts and then he acts.”

McNamara said he’s proud of his own involvement in the community, including four years as a member of the Pictou Lobster Carnival committee when he and the other volunteers turned around a debt of $40,000 to having $30,000 in the bank.

He said he also learned a lot while serving as a Pictou town councilor for eight years.

“This position taught me a lot about helping the needs of the people,” he said. “One of my big commitments to you is I will get back with your answer – good, bad, otherwise.”

While saying he isn’t a great public speaker, he said he’s been told he speaks from the heart. “When I say I am committed to help you, I am committed.”

He said he’s saddened by some of the losses in the riding over the last four years, including the River John school, the Registry of Deeds office, mental health services and government closing the visitor information centre, which has been kept open by Destination Eastern and Northumberland Shores.

“We cannot afford four more years of the McNeil government,” he said.

“We cannot afford four more years of ineffective representation.”

He said roads are also a huge priority, and that work on the worst roads first.

“If I started the list of poor roads we’d be here until midnight.”

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