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5 minutes with: Jamie Baillie

Jamie Baillie, the current and future leader of the Nova ScotiaProgressive Conservatives, is making a return to politics after asix-year absence.

Jamie Baillie, the current and future leader of the Nova Scotia Progressive Conservatives, is making a return to politics after a six-year absence.

Leader-elect, but not yet elected, Baillie has yet to announce where he’ll try to secure a seat in the legislature.

What are you most excited about, being back in the politics game?
Well, it’s a great honour to be selected as leader of a political party. It’s a great honour to represent people in the house of assembly, which is another step I’ll be taking on the road. That, to me, is both humbling and exciting.

The Tories are currently in third place, behind the NDP and the Liberals. What do you see as the role of the PC party in the immediate future?
Look — it’s a majority government. They don’t need us to help them govern.

Our job is to criticize them when we think they’re wrong. Many opposition parties stop only at that, but I don’t believe that’s our entire job. Our job is also to provide a better way forward.

How has the party changed since you were premier John Hamm’s chief of staff?
The party has gone through a lot of ups and downs since then, including losing the last election rather badly.

I think it’s important that the party understand why that was and learn those lessons ... There are certain principles that I believe in, that conservatives believe in, that premier Hamm exemplified, like balancing the budget, like keeping the government focused and efficient on the things that it does best.

Over the years since premier Hamm left, I think we learned an additional lesson. And that is: Being conservative is about more than balancing the budget.

 
 
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