Meet the Candidates: Victoria-The Lakes

Victoria-The Lakes was created in 1867 (you better not be lying to me, Wikipedia) as simply “Victoria” and comprised all of Victoria County. It apparently remained like this until 1993, when it “gained the area north of the southern border of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park.” In  2003, it  was renamed Victoria-The Lakes, at which point it “lost the top of Inverness County to Inverness and gained some of the rural areas of Cape Breton The Lakes.”

The district has traditionally gone back and forth between the Liberals and the Progressive Conservatives. In fact, the current incumbent, Keith Bain, held the seat for two terms before losing it to Liberal Pam Eyking in the 2013 general election only to win it back in 2017 with 59.55% of the vote

Turnout in the district that year was 59.75%.

I had some email problems when trying to send questions to the Victoria-The Lakes candidates and as of press time, I’d heard back from only two of the four of them. I will, therefore, update the article when I hear from the others.

Map of Victoria-The Lakes district, NS


Adrianna MacKinnonAdrianna MacKinnon (NDP)

Why did you decide to run for the New Democratic Party?

I have always followed politics through the lens of the labor movement, having grown up in a mining town and knowing the history of corporate power over the lives of workers. Volunteering my time to past campaigns has given me a clear picture of how things operate in the the legislature. I have always voted in the democratic processes of municipal, provincial and federal elections.

The neoliberal agenda of privatization and centralization of power and decision-making has not served the citizens of this province. The Glaze Report was the catalyst that lend me to offer as a candidate for #somethingbetter.

What is something in your own background/experience you think will serve you well as an MLA and how will it do so?

My background in education (including being part of a project with the department of education prior to 2013) has given me a skills set to effectively critique data/information and use it to design a plan for improvement. The cooperative team processes within education lends quite easily to being an effective MLA.

What is one NDP election promise you believe will make a material difference in the lives of Cape Bretoners?

The ONE focused policy that will make a huge impact on improving the lives of residents in Victoria-The Lakes is the NDP plan to maintain primary healthcare (including emergency services) within communities.

What are you hearing on the doorsteps? Is there any one issue that seems to come up repeatedly?

Infrastructure has always been a concern for residents of this huge geographical area. Specifically, roads and the impact they have on daily life and one’s ability to access services such as healthcare and education. The pandemic has put a spotlight on the other huge piece of neglected infrastructure: reliable high-speed internet. Families were not all equal in their ability to do online learning. Some students didn’t even have access to devices to be connected to their teachers and classmates. Poverty is impacting every aspect of so many people in this riding (and across the province) and Gary Burrill and the slate of dedicated candidates have offered up a plan that best serves so many Nova Scotians.

Better access to healthcare and education, with decision-making at the local community level, gets the best results for dollars invested.



Stemer MacLeodStemer MacLeod (Independent)

Why did you decide to run as an Independent?

I first ran as an Independent 28 years ago and have seen no reason to change. In fact, it’s become more clear that the party system benefits the parties and their controllers and leaves a big segment of society holding the bag. If Independent candidates controlled the house or a significant portion [of it] I believe we would all be better served.

What is something in your own background/experience you think will serve you well as an MLA and how will it do so?

My work in the income tax field, including owning a Block franchise, gave me an insight into how our system favors the rich. It is disgusting how much the corporate sector has reduced their tax burden since the early 1950s by controlling the parties. The straw that really broke any faith in decency was the overhaul of the treatment of charitable donations. Twenty years or more ago the deduction rose from 20% of one’s net income to 75%. No one ever, in my experience, donated 20% even in years of death. This change allowed the corporate sector to trade tax receipts for favors (check out Alexi Yashin’s million dollar donation as part of signing with the Ottawa Senators). Trudeau’s WE charity started here, but Harper did the dirty work. Prior to that, in the early ’90s, they took the auditors off GST fraud — where they were finding millions — and put them on medical expenses, where they spent over a decade screwing the sick, poor and disabled.

What is one promise you are making to those who vote for you?

My one promise: I’ll not legislate to line my pockets but to attack the crooks in power. Voters expect their government to have their best interests at heart. This is far from the truth.

What are you hearing on the doorsteps? Is there any one issue that seems to come up repeatedly?

Roads, healthcare and education are the common complaints with high-speed [internet] and climate change new questions.


Still to come…

Keith BainKeith Bain (Progressive Conservative)*









Nadine BernardNadine Bernard (Liberal)