WINDSOR, N.S. – The Liberal Party of Canada has selected its candidate for the riding of Kings-Hants, following Scott Brison’s departure from politics earlier this year.
Kody Blois, 28-years-old, with a background in law and public administration, of Belnan, Hants County, won the nomination, which was decided at Avon View High School on May 11.
Two other candidates vying for the nomination were Meg Cuming and Pauline Raven.
“I was up against two great candidates,” Blois said following his win. “Together, we have shown the Liberal Party in Kings-Hants is vibrant, competitive, and ready to win.”
The nomination was called following the resignation of Scott Brison, former President of the Treasury who left public office after 22 years as the member of Parliament for Kings-Hants.
Brison’s departure triggered a cabinet shuffle, which, after several moves and departures within cabinet, eventually erupted into the larger SNC-Lavalin scandal, which has left the Liberal party’s brand bruised leading up to an election this October.
Brison, who said he left public office to spend more time with his family, was also allegedly implicated in the Vice Admiral Mark Norman affair, which was recently stayed by federal prosecutors.
It’s alleged that Brison was lobbying on behalf of Irving Shipbuilding to get an earlier decision, awarding a supply vessel contract to Quebec-based Davie Shipbuilding, reversed. Mark Norman allegedly leaked these details to the Davie Shipbuilding and the press and the government charged Norman with breach of trust, but those charges have since been stayed.
Despite the political turmoil in Ottawa, Blois said he’s excited about the upcoming campaign.
“Lots of work to be done, but the support for the Liberal Party and my candidacy during the nomination was strong,” Blois said. “I’m excited to roll up my sleeves and allow the people of Kings-Hants to get to know me.”
“If you look at the government’s record, it’s certainly something I’m willing to run on,” he said. “There’s been a million jobs added since 2015, there’s been nearly a million kids lifted out of poverty, so there’s a lot of successes we can point to as well.”
Blois, a hockey and softball athlete, has coached minor hockey and in 2013 helped create the East Hants Sport Heritage Society.
He also founded Tidefest in 2016, a homecoming music festival, which invests funds back into community organizations.
“I’m passionate about the work I’ve done, and I see elected office as a chance to put more of my time and energy into serving other people,” he said.
The candidate says people have been “overwhelmingly positive” about his relatively young age.
“Most people are excited to see someone that’s young wanting to make a difference in their community,” he said.
- Martha MacQuarrie running in Kings-Hants under Conservative banner
- Schneider acclaimed as Kings-Hants NDP candidate
- Andrew Scheer aims to regain Kings-Hants riding for Conservatives, campaigns at town hall meeting in Windsor
- Vibert: SNC-Lavalin is a very Liberal affair
- Scott Brison quits federal cabinet, won’t run for re-election
Blois will be up against Conservative Party of Canada candidate Martha MacQuarrie and the NDP’s Stephen Schneider.
The Green Party is expected to select their candidate on June 2.
Without Brison’s well-established name on the ballot, it’s anybody’s guess as to who could pull it off in October.
Blois volunteered for the Liberal campaign in 2015, saying that he’s been drawn to the Liberal banner because of their focus on middle-class families and dealing with climate change.
“There has to be a tip of the cap to Scott Brison, growing up I’ve watched him and seen what he’s done and the difference he’s made in our communities,” he said. “It’s a natural fit to look up to someone like Scott who I recognize was a Progressive Conservative in 1997, but he certainly has been a strong Liberal since that time.”
He’s been a volunteer on Brison’s past campaigns and Margaret Miller’s on the provincial level in the riding of Hants East.
“As someone who is under 30, I do think it’s important to get young people interested in democracy and engaged in government,” he said. “My focus will be to engage as many young people as possible as to what matters to them.”
Access to post-secondary education, affordability and climate change concerns are all things Blois says he’s hearing from young people at the doors.