From Bermuda business to Nova Scotia premier
Former Bermuda resident Tim Houston has led the Progressive Conservatives to a decisive election victory in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.
Mr Houston, a 51-year-old chartered accountant, worked in the island’s business community from 1995 until 2007, first at Deloitte Bermuda and then at Enstar Group.
The Tories won 31 of 55 seats on Tuesday to form a majority government and return to power for the first time since 2009.
The Liberal Party, which finished with 17 seats, had led the province since 2013.
The New Democratic Party won six seats, while an independent candidate claimed a seat.
Mr Houston, a graduate of St Mary’s University in Halifax, and his wife Carol have two children – daughter Paget, and son Zachary – both of whom were born in Bermuda.
After their stay on the island, the couple moved back to Nova Scotia, raising their family in Pictou County, about 80 miles northeast of Halifax, where they continue to live.
In 2013, Mr Houston won election to the provincial legislature representing Pictou East.
He was elected party leader in 2018.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reported that Mr Houston, speaking to a jubilant crowd gathered in Pictou County on Tuesday evening, referred to polls in the spring that suggested the Liberals would cruise to victory.
He said: "They were writing us off. Well, I wonder what they're writing right now. Tonight, we made history."
During the campaign, the PCs concentrated heavily on healthcare in the province under the Liberals, focusing on wait lists for family doctors, ambulance delays and a lack of long-term care beds, the CBC said.
On Tuesday, the CBC reported, Mr Houston said: "For the next four years – and beyond – I will promise you this: I will give you everything I have to fix healthcare. I will give you everything I have to make this a better province. It won't happen overnight and it will cost money, but if we work together we can get the job done."
The CBC said that the provincial party pledged to spend $423 million in the first year alone of a Tory mandate trying to fix healthcare.
The Liberals become the first sitting government in Canada not to be re-elected during the Covid-19 pandemic, the CBC reported.
Incumbent leaders have remained in power in elections that have taken place during the pandemic in Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, British Columbia, Yukon and Saskatchewan.
As reported by news agency, The Canadian Press, Mr Houston said in his victory speech: "Not just here in Nova Scotia, but in all of Canada, we proved that just because there is a pandemic, doesn't mean government gets a free pass."
Political pundits in Canada are now wondering what impact, if any, the Nova Scotia election victory by Mr Houston’s party will have on the Canadian federal election due to take place on September 20.